Birth Ease

Baby Loss Support

PODCAST  EPISODES

The following are episodes of The Birth Ease Podcast that focus on grief and perinatal loss. There are episodes featuring guided relaxation sessions, interviews with parents sharing their journey of losing their child to stillbirth and  pregnancy after loss, ways to support a grieving family, and the alarming disparities black mothers that face. (Black women are twice as likely to experience a miscarriage than other races and are three to four times more likely to suffer from infant mortality, have pregnancy complications, and experience pregnancy related mortality than white women in America.)

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HONORING GRIEF MEDITATION: PREGNANCY & INFANT LOSS REMEMBRANCE DAY

 

Bonus Episode: In this very special episode, Michelle honors of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. With this in mind, Michelle created a guided relaxation recording geared towards parents grieving the loss of a baby or a child. However, it can be helpful for anyone walking through the journey of grief. The intention is to help release some of the heaviness of our grief and to provide an opportunity to feel the love and connection that we have with our beloved child or loved one. If you would like a version of this guided relaxation session geared towards the loss of any loved one, please simply contact us through the website. We would be honored to send it to you. 

 

“I, too, am walking through this journey of grief at this present time in my life. It is my sincerest wish that you find this guided relaxation soothing and healing.” —  Michelle Smith

 

As a gentle reminder, please avoid listening to this guided relaxation recording while engaged in an activity that requires your full attention. Please stop the podcast and return to it when you can be safely seated or reclining in a supported position. Unless you are a passenger listening to this guided relaxation with headphones on, for everyone’s safety never listen to it while driving or riding in a vehicle.

HOW TO SUPPORT A GRIEVING FAMILY

Episode 005: In honor of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, Michelle shares that 1 in 4 women have experienced pregnancy or infant loss. Because of the silence around the loss of a child, it can cause the necessary grieving to be a lonely and isolating experience. Even if you, as the listener, were blessed to have never personally experienced perinatal loss, the chances are quite high that you know someone that has. The silence surrounding this type of loss can leave us unsure of how to really support grieving families, which can sometimes lead to well-meaning comments inadvertently cutting a grieving parent to the core. Michelle shares best practices and helpful ways to support families experiencing the devastation that perinatal loss brings. 
 

“It is time to break the silence surrounding pregnancy and infant loss so that families are no longer grieving alone.”  —  Michelle Smith

MY JOURNEY TO HEALING AFTER LOSS

 

Episode 006: In this special episode honoring Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, Michelle has a beautiful and inspirational conversation with Nydia, mother to Santiago and Mateo. Her insights will benefit anyone traversing the pain of losing a child, a loved one, or some sort of tragedy. During Nydia's eight month of pregnancy, she lost her beloved older sister to cancer. Approximately a month later, Nydia experienced the stillbirth of her son, which almost cost her her own life, as well. Nydia sagely shares what she found instrumental in her ability to move forward from such intense grief.   

 

"Suffering happens, I think, when you are in one place and wanting to be somewhere else." — Nydia, Sanitago's mother

BABY LOSS FROM A FATHER'S PERSPECTIVE

 

Episode 007: In this special episode honoring Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, Michelle has an open and raw conversation with Matt, who lost his daughter, Rowan, to a stillbirth. Matt candidly shares the journey of baby loss from the father's perspective. He describes how grief, through no fault of your own, can create a sense of being ostracized by those around you. Because of the unique nature of perinatal loss, Matt explains how grieving parents inadvertently often end up comforting those around them. Michelle and Matt discuss how the loss of a child can shake the foundation of your belief system, how you understand the universe, and even your place in the world. Matt also points out that sharing unsolicited religious beliefs in an attempt to comfort someone mourning can often inadvertently have a profound effect on their grief — it can cause anger, sadness, increase their sorrow or compound the burden that they are already carrying. 

 

"Because to be honest, a loss of a child isn't fair. No matter how it happens, it just is not fair. And that is something to be angry about." — Matt, Rowan's father

NAVIGATING LOSS WITH THE RADICAL RABBI

 

Episode 08: In this special episode for the month of October honoring Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, Michelle has a beautiful and healing conversation with The Radical Rabbi, Elisheva (Emily) Brenner. Emily shares her own journey of perinatal loss, which she describes as the tsunami of her soul. She retells the sacred wisdom story that helped her create a Divine Reframe and quiet the storm in her own heart. Emily explains the foundational 5 step program she teaches, based on the journey of the Isralites in the desert, which can assist anyone in weathering the most difficult of circumstances. As a divorce lawyer, a psychologist, and a rabbi, Emily shares insights that can help couples to traverse the extreme grief of losing a child and support any other children they may have that are also grieving as well. Michelle and Emily discuss how even in our deepest sorrow, in our deepest pain, we can still find peace. We can still find moments of joy.

 

“You are living in this world for a reason and your journey as a parent has a reason” — Rabbi Elisheva

EXPLORING THE CONCEPT OF HEALING

 

In this special episode for the month of October honoring Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, Michelle has a profound conversation with her mentor, Amy Wright Glenn. Because birth and death are intertwined, their conversation not only benefits bereaved parents, but provides powerful insights to birth professionals as well.

 

Amy reflects upon what healing means as it relates to loss and how the managed medical care model can do a disservice to the bereaved. Healing does not mean a return to what was, a fixing, or making it look like it never happened. Healing is an ongoing journey of keeping our heart open, and being compassionate and present to what is. It is an approach to learning how to walk in a world where we do reconcile with things we didn't want to occur. And yet, these things happened.

Mourning is our personal expression of grief. Our inner experience of loss is the grief. That grief needs to be expressed through mourning. That can be public, it can be private, it can be a combination of both. That expression is unique to each person. Ritual can be a powerful tool at anytime after a loss. It is never too late to utilize ritual to create meaning and process the loss.

 

Amy and Michelle touch upon the importance of planning and preparing for the death of a loved one when circumstances allow so that decisions are made when the brain isn't in emergency mode and feeling rushed and overwhelmed. And at the same time, the emotional pain of the loss is difficult, intense, and raw; no matter how prepared we may be. Creating space to slow down and be gentle with ourselves is vital.

 

"Loss is a deep, deep [life] transition to integrate… We, over time, learn to reconcile with the losses we have known. But this may take many, many years."– Amy Wright Glenn

 

Episode 040: Listen in as Michelle and two student filmmakers, Taylour Marks and Candace Williamson, discuss the disparities facing black mothers, perinatal loss (black women are twice as likely to experience a miscarriage than other races), and their debut documentary film, In Between US. Their film is an intimate portrait of black motherhood, a deeply flawed system and the complicated beauty of life. The story was born from the alarming statistic that black women are three to four times more likely to experience pregnancy related mortality than white women in America. If it’s not about money, education, or pre-existing conditions, then why are black mothers still dying at higher rates?

 

"There is so much power in your voice, and you have the right to speak to up. You have the right to share your story. And when you do, it really brings people together."—Candace Williamson

 

"I think that it is really important that we start prioritizing mothers. The first steps are to validate the feelings and the stories of these mothers by showing them that they aren't alone. There are so many other mothers that are going through the exact same thing. ...And we should trust black women and what they have to say and their feelings and their pain. So I think it is a three step process of listen, share, and trust and then make change off of what you have represented."—Taylour Marks

CREATING A POSTIVE STATE OF MIND DURING PREGNANCY

 

Episode 021: We all need a guide to help us stay in a more positive and peaceful space for ourselves and our babies. Dr. Ankita Marjadi’s book, "Knock, Knock, Let's Talk" is just that. This beautiful resource is for all expecting mothers. It is designed to reduce the fear and anxiety a mother may be experiencing during her pregnancy and to enhance bonding with the baby in her womb. It acts as an uplifting guide for mom during each week of her pregnancy and provides a passage to be read to the baby that teaches a virtue such as kindness, happiness and honesty.  It also includes a space for journaling and sharing a mother’s own thoughts and dreams with her baby. In this episode, Dr. Marjadi graciously shares with Michelle how the book was born during her second pregnancy as she searched for a way to lessen the fear and stress that threatened to consume her after losing her first child to a stillbirth. This sweet book, which can be used at any time to receive a dose of motivation and positivity, is the achievement closest to her heart.

 

"Babies are very, very conscious. They're having an environment in the womb. They can feel what you are giving emotionally. And they are learning and listening to everything that you have to offer. So if you are saying and if you are talking to your baby something positive, it has a very beautiful positive reaction unto the baby because the baby feels wanted. The baby feels loved with the words you are sharing." —Dr. Ankita Marjadi

TIPS FOR LOSS & GRIEF DURING THE HOLIDAYS

 

Episode 013: With Thanksgiving fast approaching, this time of year can be magical, and at the same time there are the images and expectations of happy family get-togethers and the pressure to keep up with the parties, gift giving, and years of tradition. Michelle has created this special episode for those of us facing the holidays after experiencing a loss. The experience of grief may take the form of the death of a loved one, it may be the loss of a relationship through a break up, divorce or separation, it may be a move that now has you far from family and friends, or a major life transition. The grief may be from the wounding we experienced from past painful holidays. This episode is meant to create a space to simply relax into and honor what is there for you. Michelle shares 7 tips for facing the holidays when grieving or facing the challenges of stressful family dynamics. There will be a meditation at the end of this episode to help create a safe haven in a time of loss, grief and/or transition.

“The holidays feel incredibly daunting... When you are grieving any sort of loss, now more than ever, be kind to yourself. Be patient and compassionate with yourself. You need only do what you feel capable of. Nothing more. It really is okay to put yourself first. I would suggest surrounding yourself when possible with those that can honor your grief and allow you the freedom and vulnerability to cry, laugh, be sad, leave early if you need to. Someone that allows you to be authentic.” —  Michelle Smith

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