NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (May 18, 2022) — The Author and publisher of the book “Lifting the Weight of Miscarriage” says her decision to host a panel discussion on the topic “Lifting the Weight of Miscarriage and Infertility” in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Gender Affairs in the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) is to help persons cope with the difficulties surrounding childbearing. The event will be held at the Nevis Performing Arts Centre (NEPAC) on May 19, 2022.
Ms. Jihan Williams, a lawyer by profession, explained that she was prompted to embark on such a mission because of her personal experience with the issue and the overwhelming and positive feedback from her book.
“In November 2020, I suffered my own loss six and a half months into my first pregnancy due to fibroids. I started looking for resources to read to help me understand what happened and what I could have done differently but I did not find anything that spoke to the Caribbean experience.
“I started writing as my emotional outlet and that writing morphed into a book that I launched in November 2021 called “Lifting the Weight of Miscarriage.” The book chronicled the physical, emotional and spiritual impacts that the loss had on me, and to some extent my baby’s father, in the first six months after the loss.
“Since the book was launched women across the Caribbean, including Nevis, have reached out to me to express their gratitude for providing this book since so many suffer in silence. I reached out to the Ministry of Health and Gender Affairs so that we can jointly provide a safe space for persons to learn about pregnancy loss and infertility and strategies that help to cope with or overcome the difficulties. A similar exercise was done in St. Kitts at the book launch and persons in Nevis have asked for a similar discussion so that they can benefit…
“I am a Kittitian woman living in St. Kitts who became an unwilling and unexpected pregnancy loss support advocate. Since I spoke publicly about my loss, I have been shocked by the number of women who have shared their struggles with pregnancy. I am genuinely interested in helping others deal with this unspoken yet hurtful experience. I am also an attorney, poet, and social advocate,” she told the Department of Information.
Responding to why this sensitive topic at this time, Ms. Williams noted that Mothers’ Day and Fathers’ Day can be difficult times for persons who are struggling to hold babies of their own in their arms.
The author added that statistics show one in every four pregnancies does not go full term which suggests that many women are affected by an issue that is not spoken about.
She said they want to provide strategies that will help the women and men of pregnancy loss cope if unfortunately, that becomes, or is their reality. October is celebrated as Pregnancy Loss Awareness Month and June is Infertility Awareness Month. It is a sensitive topic, but the statistics show that it is relevant.
Speaking of Nevis which as known as a conservative community and the expectations regarding the topic for discussion, Ms. Williams expressed hope that the information would offer help to those suffering in silence.
“As conservative as Nevis is, there are people in our country who are willing to speak openly about these issues because they know the trauma of suffering in silence first hand. We hope that these brave persons will help those who don’t have strong support around them and don’t know where to turn for help. They would then be able to assist someone else.
“Our conservative, “stay behind closed doors” nature may actually be one of the contributing factors for declining mental health. My hope is that those who need the information would put their wellbeing above any fear of judgment that they think will come by attending. Attendees will not be asked whether they have lost a baby or struggled with infertility. Someone may simply choose to come to learn how to support someone in their life who is suffering,” she said.
The event is designed for men and women who have suffered loss or infertility and want to know what resources are available to them, people who interact with persons who have suffered pregnancy loss or infertility and want to know how they can support them better. This includes spouses, family, doctors, policymakers or anyone else because chances are they all know someone who has lost a baby.
Ms. Williams’ book was published by Bouncing Daughter Publishing (BDP), the business name for her book publishing efforts. The book was her first and she plans to publish others in the future under the BDP umbrella.