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After holding my lifeless daughter through the night, it was time to give her tiny body to the nurse. The sun was coming up, but I was sure there would never be a darker moment. Until I looked outside my hospital-room window a while later and saw cars going through a fast-food drive-thru. Life continued, despite my heart, mind and body feeling crippled, forever changed, by the trauma of my baby’s death at birth. It was the first sign that grieving would be a highly personal journey. But one no one has to take alone.

If you have recently experienced pre- or post-natal loss, you likely feel lost. Many women have walked before you and have encouragement to offer, as well as some concrete ideas on healing your broken heart.

Be gentle with yourself. You are a changed and changing woman. “I remember at our grief group, our leader said we would become different people because of this,” said Angela, who son died shortly after being born full-term. “I resisted that. I was happy with who and where I was. But now I see how true this is. Loss is something one will never get ‘over.’ It must be incorporated into your life because it will forever be a big part of who you are.”

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Susan Besze Wallace is a writer based in Northern Virginia. A mother to three boys on earth and two babies in heaven, she attended and later helped facilitate a hospital-based grief group.