LAFAYETTE, Ind. — The thought of losing a child is every parent's worst nightmare.
Now, two women who've gone through the traumatic experience are encouraging others to come forward and share their stories.
"When you lose a child, it's just something that you can't explain," said Jen Hittle. "Unimaginable grief."
It's a feeling Hittle knows all too well.
She lost her six month-old-son, Brenton, to sudden infant death syndrome in 2013.
Sarah Norkus knows it too.
"You feel in that moment that you won't," said Norkus. "That you will never smile again, you will never laugh again, and it's awful."
Norkus lost twin boys Evan and Elliot in 2018. They were born at 20 weeks and lived for just an hour.
"You just never really get past that initial grief and you don't really know when it's going to hit, but then, eventually, you do," Norkus explained. "You do move past it."
Moving past the pain of losing an infant inspired the two IU Health Arnett nurses.
"We've been through these scenarios, these situations," Hittle said. "We know how hard it is and how important it is to have that support."
After realizing the need, they created the Open Arms Miscarriage and Infant Loss Support Group.
"Our goal with this is to make you know that you're not crazy for feeling the way you feel, and to know that people have been through it and that you can survive it," Norkus said.
Hittle said just sharing and listening can help mothers, fathers or anyone dealing with a miscarriage or loss of an infant.
"It bridges that gap to where they see that hope and they know, 'I can get through this. Other people have'," Hittle explained.
Open Arms Miscarriage and Infant Loss is held from 6 to 8 p.m. on the first Wednesday of each month.
Its next meeting is Oct. 7 in the physician's lounge of the IU Health Arnett Medical offices. That address is at 2600 Greenbush Street, Lafayette.