National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness
October is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month. It is a time to honor and support all those affected by miscarriage, still birth, and infant loss as well as remember the ones who were taken far sooner than imagined. In all probability, each individual reading this knows or is someone who has been affected by pregnancy and infant loss. They say statistically 1 in 4 women lose a child in utero.
I am 1 in 4.
To the mamas who are feeling alone and hopeless in the midst of this pain, please know that you are not alone. There is a band of women who have walked these valleys. Who have joined this club that no mama ever wants to be a member of. We are made up of your friends, your family, your neighbors. We are standing behind you at the grocery store. We are sitting next to you at church. We are here.
Each experience of infant and child loss is as unique as the individual. Yet each story is important. Some formally remembered their child at a memorial or funeral. Others privately behind the closed door of a bedroom or exam room. Some choose to tell their story publicly; others choose to hold their story in confidence. Regardless of the means to which each of these mamas came to grieve, they grieved. They loved hard, and lost immeasurably.
Exactly a decade ago to the week, I lost my first baby. I still remember the excitement. I still remember the pain. I still remember. And I’m so very honored to stand together with all the mamas remembering this month. To stand beside and reaffirm that your child was real. That your loss was significant. That your experience was life changing.
To the mamas…
To all the mamas who are in the thick of a loss and drowning in grief wondering if the pain ever goes away…I will tell you that from my experience, the healing comes, but the hole remains. There will always be a place in my heart for my baby. For the one I loved so hard, but never held. The wound has healed, but the scar remains.
To the mamas who have felt misunderstood or dismissed by your pain, I’m sorry. Your experience is not to be diminished. Regardless of the length of the life, there was life lost. I stand with you and recognize that loss and the gravity of your experience.
To all the mamas who are carrying the weight of blame. Who believe it was in some way their fault. Whose mind is wondering into the if I’d only trap: if I’d only been better, prepared harder, recognized this, known that, taken this, done that, or not done this… Please, mama, know that these are lies. Lay that weight down. I do not for a minute believe that it is our burden to carry.
I remember the life of your child or children with you. I recognize your story. I am honored to share mine with you. I pray that each and every mama reading this affected by this l loss is comforted and given peace and healing.
If you’d like to read more about miscarriage, check out my post May There Be Rainbows: A Note on the rainbow after the storm of loss.