Dear Olive came to me in the following weeks after I experienced the loss of my pregnancy. The loss of life was devastating. As you’ll read elsewhere on this site, I was so hungry for information those first few weeks. As a whole, there was a great deal I had
gleaned in my searches, but individually, everything I found was flawed. I just wasn’t finding what I was looking for. Google Miscarriage and what do you find? Statistics, symptoms, causes. All relevant information but not what I needed. I needed to know how to talk about it, how to cope, how to suffer the loss that no one knew about. I needed information on how to move forward with my life. I didn’t know how to find that kind of information. So I started to make it up as I went. Along the way, I honed in on what I really felt was lacking out there:
1. A space where women and their partners could share not only their stories, but what helped them cope, how they managed their grief, and how the experience may have changed them. If and how they memorialized the baby and how they navigated the common silence and isolation associated with this type of loss.
2. Pregnancy apps became a habit and provided excitement surrounding my pregnancy. When I was no longer pregnant, suddenly no longer pregnant, I had this habit that I had to quit cold turkey. I figured there had to be some app out there that would fill that void and help with this journey that I had no idea how to navigate. If there’s one out there, I didn’t find it.
With these two areas severely lacking, in my opinion, I wanted to create something that would fill those gaps with the assumption that I’m not the only one looking.
The article linked below by Alexandra Kimball speaks to so many of my feelings about this issue regarding lack of community and resources. It’s absolutely worth a read.
“There were no ribbons or Twitter hashtag campaigns to interrogate the 12-week rule that ensures miscarrying women have limited – if any – support while grieving.” – Alexandra Kimball
Unpregnant: The silent, secret grief of miscarriage
In addressing whether I wanted to name my lost baby, I found I would also need to name this project, so they have become one in the same. You know those pregnancy apps I talked about? The ones that tell you all about the developments of your baby each week, and compare the size to fruits and vegetables? Well, most women miscarry within the first trimester, suspending their baby at the size of anywhere between a sweet pea and a lime. At the assumed time my baby died, she was the size of an olive. Olive seemed, seems, like a suitable name with significance and beauty to match the imagined soul I will never meet. In short, the name Dear Olive refers to the writing that has been so therapeutic to me, in addition to being for and in tribute to my dear child.
The website serves as a place to offer broader and more detailed information and I am more capable of taking on a website project. The app serves another purpose and is taking more time and expertise than I have to offer alone, but it is in the works with a pending launch date of Olive’s due date, 11.12.18. Stay tuned.
At this point, I can only hope that this project serves others as it has served me, and that other women and their partners are intersted and able to share their stories here as well.
Thank you for joining me here on this journey.