Life coach Jodi Sky Rogers's book reaches out to grief-stricken women
Soothing the pain of pregnancy and baby loss
On the 1st of October American celebrity Chrissy Teigen shared a series of black and white images on her Instagram page. The images documented her and her husband, John Legend’s, pain at losing their child, whom they had decided to name Jack.
The world mourned with them.
The pictures are haunting and emotionally moving. Coincidentally, the 1st of October marked the beginning of Pregnancy and baby loss Awareness Month.
For most women who go through the pain of losing a baby, the loss is often shared by themselves and their partner if they are around. One of these women is Jodi Sky Rogers, a former environmental researcher turned author and life coach.
Rogers (38) has written a book on healing after losing a pregnancy. The book is titled Mending Softly. She says she chose that title because while writing the book she had been reading articles about the process of mending broken pottery. The process the restorers have is a slow, calculated process that examines each piece of the pottery.
Rogers suffered an ectopic pregnancy, which means the fetus implants in the fallopian tubes or somewhere else around the uterus instead of inside the uterus. This becomes a life threatening situation, the mother either has to take medication or surgery to induce a miscarriage.
She has also suffered a miscarriage and a chemical pregnancy. The difference between a chemical pregnancy and a miscarriage is that a chemical pregnancy is when a woman ovulates and conceives, but before confirming with a blood test from a doctor, she loses the pregnancy by normally getting her period.
Losing a pregnancy comes with some stigma, something that Rogers feels falls unfairly on the woman.
“We have the sense that you have failed as a woman because of the way we are valued in a patriarchal society. Even now as progressive as our society has become there is still the sense that your role as a woman is to provide children for your husband," she said.
Dr Qinisile Diale, an obstetrician and gynaecologist as well as a fertility specialist at the Netcare Unitas Hospital, told Sowetan that about one in five couples experienced a pregnancy loss in South Africa.
“A miscarriage in South Africa is defined as a spontaneous loss of a pregnancy before 24 weeks of pregnancy (fetus of <500g), about 10%-20% of known pregnancies end in a miscarriage (1 in 5 couples). Most miscarriages go unnoticed by the women and therefore unreported,” she said.
"There are various types of fertility treatments that are available for couples, but first the couple should investigate the cause of difficulty to conceive or pregnancy losses."
The lack of professional support is something Rogers laments. She wishes for women to be given access to emotional support, access to counselling facilities or resources, after diagnosis and surgery.
“It’s something that I want to look at doing myself as well but my focus has been that I am still going through my journey and I am still trying to create resources and share things that can help women manage their emotions, their anxiety and that kind of thing. I have been working on creating resources to share with people," she said.
Dr Diale said organisations like Empty Wombs SA, Infertility Awareness Association of South Africa (IFAASA) and local fertility specialists can provide support to struggling couples.