A photographer has documented her 11 miscarriages in an emotional photo series to let other women know they are not alone.
Dianne Yudelson, from San Francisco, suffered 11 miscarriages between 1993 and 2005.
The 57 year old began her ‘Lost’ photography project in July 2015, more than a decade after her last miscarriage.
Dianne says; ‘Miscarriage is heartbreaking; miscarriage is exhausting; miscarriage is isolating.’
Each of the photos, all presented in black and white, show an ultrasound scan image and a tag with the child’s name.
They also each have a personal touch – newborn clothes, a child’s toy and in the case of twins Mary and Vivian there are two tiny crucifix earrings.
Lost: Mary and Vivian
Dianne says that she was inspired to start the series after ‘helping a friend through a painful loss’ and reflecting on her own experiences.
‘These thoughts propelled me to take down the big white box in my closet, which safeguards the mementos of my lost babies. It had been quite a while since I last took each item out.’
The fine-art photographer laid out the mementos on her bed at home and instantly felt ‘their story needed to be documented’.
By sharing her story Dianne hopes to lend comfort to others ‘So that they understand their feelings are normal and they are not alone.’
Not only to help those who have suffered a miscarriage, but to encourage a greater understanding of how to deal with the sensitive subject, Dianne continues; ‘I believe everyone knows someone who has miscarried, be it mother, wife, sister, friend or coworker they simply have never spoken of it.
‘When experiencing this type of loss other people can, in the hopes of being helpful, make insensitive comments inferring your grief is unreasonable – so you keep it private and locked away.’
The response to the Lost photo series has been so far, ‘overwhelmingly positive’ – including critical acclaim with International Photography Awards – but what Dianne has valued most is the feedback from ‘hundreds’ of men and women about the images.
Dianne also wanted to share her advice with those currently going through a miscarriage; ‘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.’
And her advice for friends and family members who know someone going through a situation like hers is just to let them know that you are there for them and willing to listen.
Dianne added; ‘In helping to heal others emotional pain from pregnancy loss, I have lessened my own.’