Dianne Yudelson and her husband were married a year and a half before receiving the glorious news she was pregnant.
She tells Independent Journal Review the pair was ecstatic, as many first-time parents are when they find out they’re expecting:
“My husband and I were overjoyed, after hearing heartbeats and seeing our baby moving on the ultrasound at week 12, our dream of a family was coming to fruition. Gifts were received and baby names were discussed.”
Dianne had called her mother to share the good news that she was going to soon be a mom. Her mother told her she was already a mother, saying:
“From the moment you discover you are pregnant every future decision made is for your baby’s wellbeing — that is the definition of being a mother.”
But something tragic happened at their 4-month checkup:
“No heartbeat was detected and in the weeks following our lives stood still — we were stunned. Then the grief sets in. The loss of a baby naturally carries grief. This grief is accompanied by the added residual physical pain of the miscarriage and hormonal transitions associated with pregnancy which add to the emotional toll.
Miscarriage is heartbreaking; miscarriage is exhausting; miscarriage is isolating.”
In the years that followed, the Yudelsons lost ten more babies due to miscarriages, something that has forever changed her life.
The San Fransisco Bay Area artist kept a box full of mementos from each child’s short life. For each of her eleven babies lost, she kept gifts, journal pages, cards, test results, hospital bands, purchases, and heirlooms she saved for the day she’d become a mom.
In her most recent collection, “Lost,” she finally shared these keepsakes, along with her story, with the world.
Here are her visual portrayals of the precious eleven babies Dianne will never forget:
Dianne explains she was inspired to share her story after helping a friend through a tough time.
In a way, she says the entire experience has been therapeutic:
“They say in giving you receive, I have found this to be true, especially when you give from the heart. In helping to heal others’ emotional pain from pregnancy loss, I have lessened my own.”
The award-winning photographer isn’t looking for fame for her masterpiece; rather, she wants women who’ve had miscarriages to know “they’re not alone”:
“To women who have recently miscarried I would like to express the following; grieving is normal and everyone experiences it in their own way and on their own timeline. When you feel like crying — cry. If you feel like surrounding yourself with others and partying — party. Conversely, if you feel you need privacy — let everyone know. Try not to bury your feelings, instead experience them.”
Dianne also hopes this creates a broader conversation about miscarriages in general, which she says is often silenced in our culture and considered a “taboo” subject.
Source: Independent Journal Review