Sophronia and Perinatal Loss

Losing any baby during pregnancy must be one of the most difficult experiences a woman can deal with. If you are reading this post, most chances are that you have experienced what one in four women go through- pregnancy loss, or worse still, neonatal death.

I have been working with women and couples who have lost their baby since 2014. It took me a couple of years to be able to put my own skills as a psychologist in practice in order to be in a decent position to offer psychological support to others. Plus my determination that my only child was not going to be my only child, kept me trying to conceive. I am not certain as to how I would have functioned if I was unable to have another viable pregnancy with an alive baby at the end of 40 weeks of pregnancy.

The truth is, that had I not experienced Sophronia’s stillbirth on May 9, 2012, I probably would never have made the decision to get my licence to practice psychology in Greece. I owe so much to my quiet girl.

SOPHROSYNA was founded because when I suffered stillbirth there was not a service available that provided exclusive perinatal loss support in Greece. I was compelled to change this, to honour my quiet girl, to make a difference in the lives of other women who had suffered and would suffer in the future. Pregnancy loss and neonatal death, unfortunately are two experiences that if you have not lived, well, it is very difficult to identify with. Even as a professional. Because if you have not suffered loss you cannot find the tolerance to understand the complicated grief.

Perinatal loss and death is a different kind of grief. This grief can take years to come to terms with. It affects the relationship between the couple. It changes the way a woman- a mourning mother- interprets the new world around her. The life around her. Some of these couples are faced with the stark realisation that they will never experience pregnancy and childbirth.

Supporting these grieving mothers and fathers balance the view of their new reality is fundamental to my work as SOPHROSYNA. The reality that as grieving parents we have to move forward, and re-enter the social world, without our baby.

Chrissa Georgiades