PADUCAH — Losing a baby is traumatic, and many women do not talk about it.

The March of Dimes reported that every year, as many as 50% of all pregnancies end in a miscarriage. 

Two women who have experienced that loss say more open conversations about the topic are needed.

Jenna Shelby is the owner of Face Photography in Paducah. The business specializes in maternity, newborn and children creative imagery.

Ultrasound

Shelby's three children holding the ultrasound of Baby Caleb, who would've been five this year. 

Shelby has three kids now, but she has lost two babies in the past.

"I think letting yourself grieve, it's taken me years to just allow myself to know that it's OK to cry when I feel like I need to cry," said Shelby. 

Her loss has inspired her to help others, capturing the last moments mothers have with their stillborn children. 

"If they [OB-GYNs] have a patient who's come in with either a stillbirth delivery or a loss of some kind, they let that patient know that we are available, and offer bereavement services" said Shelby.

Hospitals will call Shelby at any time of the day, informing her of woman experiencing stillbirths.

Shelby drives over, takes pictures for free and spends time with the mothers in those moments. 

Hospice Center Intake Coordinator Anna Davis works at Mercy Health Lourdes Hospital.  She also had a miscarriage this year. "It's a very lonely place, because people don't talk about it very frequently. It can be a very tough subject to broach."

Candle for pregnancy and infant loss

A candle is lit at a Memorial Service supporting families who have experienced pregnancy and infant loss. 

Davis wanted to do something, so it was her idea to hold a special ceremony Tuesday morning.

"We lit candles for the loss of either infants or miscarriage," said Davis. "Whatever your loss was, we got to light candle for those children lost."

Both woman have found healing through their work and faith, but said open dialogue goes a long way.

Candles also lit up around the world for the "Global Wave of Light." The event brings to light the losses families have experienced, and for those looking to share their stories. 

There is also an infant loss support group that meets at 6:15 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month at Community Life Church.