John O’Leary welcomes Rachel Lewis to share her experience and insight on navigating the grief of pregnancy loss on the Live Inspired Podcast.
Even though pregnancy and infant loss are common, society often shrouds them in secrecy and sometimes even shame—starving grieving women and their partners of much-needed support. Women may leave the hospital feeling like strangers in their own bodies, facing postpartum life without a baby in their arms. And like many faced with grief, the well-intentioned but hurtful comments from loved ones may make them feel lonelier than ever.
Today, we’re joined by Rachel Lewis, the friend bereaved mothers never hoped to need. Gleaning from her five losses, Rachel founded the online community Brave Mamas, to share the practical tips on coping she wished she had.
With transparency and compassion, this conversation celebrates life’s profound blessings, unexpected struggles and the goodness that comes from healing.
If you or someone you love is experiencing the loss of a child or pregnancy, this conversation is for you.
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- Growing up in a military family, moving around frequently forced Rachel into facing the uncomfortable.
- After a complicated first pregnancy, Rachel thought that would be the hardest thing they’d have to walk through while building their family.
- “I lost a lifetime with someone. I didn’t just lose the weeks that I was pregnant.”
- If I’m walking through this, someone else is too. After her losses, Rachel found belonging in other people’s stories as well as attending Mommies Enduring Neonatal Death (MEND).
- When a father is faced with pregnancy loss, they frequently put off their grief for the mother to grieve.
- While Rachel can certainly anticipate emotional experiences when grieving, she also calls out the unexpected emotional bombs like a television commercial for diapers.
- Continuing bonds: To cope with these triggers, Rachel found comfort in creating a living legacy to celebrate their child. This can look like purchasing a birthday cake for another child or go to a memory walk on the child’s birthday or anniversary.
- If you or someone you love is experiencing the loss of a child or pregnancy, acknowledge and validate their feelings.
- Having a “care coordinator” to assess the needs of the bereaved and ensure they’re being met.
- “All the worry in world doesn’t prevent death. It prevents life.” – Naguib Mahfouz
- Get a copy of Rachel Lewis’ book Unexpecting.
Did you find comfort in today’s episode?
You’ll enjoy my conversation with Amy Wolff. Overwhelmed by the staggering suicide rates in her small Oregon town, Amy was determined to support those struggling by having simple phrases of support printed on yard signs displayed throughout her community. Never anticipating it would ignite a powerful + life-saving movement, these phrases are displayed across the United States and across the world. Hear Amy Wolff on ep. 350.
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RACHEL LEWIS' LIVE INSPIRED 7
- Q. What is the best book you’ve ever read?
A. A Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl.
- Q. What is a characteristic or trait that you possessed as a child that you wish you still exhibited today?
A. Feeling fully myself without worrying about how that was being received.
- Q. Your house is on fire, all living things and people are out. You have the opportunity to run in and grab one item. What would it be?
A. My computer.
- Q. What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
A. No matter how many losses you’ve had, those are just jumping off points. It’s just another way to launch into life; it’s not the end of life.
- Q. What advice would you give your 20-year-old self?
A. Your life looks nothing like you’ve planned but it is absolutely a life worth living. There is so much joy and meaning mixed in with the pain.
- Q. It’s been said that all great people can have their lives summed up in one sentence. How do you want yours to read?
A. She loved with everything she had in her.