FLORENCE, Mass. (WWLP) – At least 1,000 runners assembled at Look Park in Florence Sunday morning to raise money and build a community for families enduring pregnancy and infant loss.
About 1 in 4 pregnancies in the United States end in the loss by miscarriage or stillbirth. But you wouldn’t know that based on the constant gender reveals, birth announcements, and pregnancy posts on social media.
“It goes underreported because we live in a culture and society that loves to be optimistic. We like to think of pregnancy as just something fun and beautiful,” expressed Founder and Director of Empty Arms Bereavement, Carol McMurrich.
The Empty Arms Bereavement Organization offers support services for people who have had a different experience with pregnancy. Their Syrup Stampede 5K raises money so they can continue offering counseling services. It also gives those enduring these unimaginable losses a place to belong and feel comfortable.
“It’s really hard when there are no answers. I’ve gone through so much guilt, so much questioning,” said race participant Vero Gonzalez. “Is there something I could have done differently? And there’s just not.”
“The experience of losing a baby is a very invisible experience. This is a way we get to come together and celebrate the rebuilding of our lives after the tragedy,” said McMurrich.
That community is evident by the sheer number of participants on Sunday. Close to 1,100 runners lined up ready to raise money for this great cause. It does put into perspective just how many people are affected by this kind of tragedy.
Between 10 and 20 percent of women who are aware they are pregnant suffer a miscarriage which is a lost pregnancy before the 20-week mark. After 20 weeks pregnancy loss is then referred to as a stillbirth, which affects another 1-in-100 pregnancies.
Empty Arms Bereavement’s support group meets the 4th Wednesday of every month from 7-9 p.m. at their Pine Street office in Florence. The miscarriage group meets on the second Wednesday of each month. The termination for medical reasons group meets on the second Thursday of every other month.
There are also weekly online group chats available through the national office.