Breaking Taboos & Leaving Room for Grief
At 20 weeks of pregnancy, Jill learned that her son Alex had a diaphragmatic hernia. And a ventricular septal defect. An amniocentesis revealed a rare diagnosis of Mosaic Trisomy 5: some of her son’s cells had a typical number of chromosomes (46,XY) and some had an extra copy of chromosome #5. Jill shares a detailed account of her prenatal and neonatal journey, including the diagnosis of additional birth defects and complications and the lack of available information or anticipatory guidance for parents who know they will have a child in the NICU. Alex died when he was 10 months old. Jill explores the taboo around acknowledging parental exhaustion and burnout as well as the taboos surrounding talking about children who have died—which has the effect of isolating a grieving parent. She shares the importance of leaving room for grief and allowing people to talk about loved ones they have lost.
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