a few points about Pregnancy and Infant Loss Day have been on my mind, YOU have been on my mind.
Maybe you're curled up in bed on a tear stained pillowcase, cuddling your fluffy blanket wishing you had a baby to cuddle instead.
Maybe you’ve just put your 2 year old down for a nap and you’re staring into the monitor crying out for a sibling for your little one.
Maybe you’re quick approaching 40 and the idea of becoming pregnant no longer holds risks for just the baby, but for you as well.
Maybe you’re fresh out of college, married for a year or so, and battling the wounds of your insides that won’t allow you to conceive.
Maybe it’s been 5 years and you’re starting to question your marriage decisions because this guy's infertile.
Maybe you're like me... 3 healthy babies, 1 miscarried.
This is the baby I miscarried, just 1 day after finding out I was pregnant..we had been trying for a year and a half.
Someone might look at me and say “At least you have those 3!” And they would be right, I’m so thankful for my children. Sometimes I feel guilty that I got to have all of them...kind of like when you were a kid and EVERYONE had beanie babies while you collected the cards. Some women collect pregnancy tests and sonogram photos, without ever taking home the prize. How is it that I got to take home 3 out of 4?! But it still hurts. When I remember the joy of finding out I was pregnant paralleled with the devastation and pain of miscarrying....plus telling everyone the news of BOTH pretty close together..my heart flutters in that nervous, sad pitter-patter and everything inside of me screams “STOOOOOP REMEMBERING THIS! IT’S TOO PAINFUL!"
(This is the day I found out I was pregnant with the baby that we lost)
The maybes are endless. In the last year I’ve had 10 friends celebrate positive pregnancy tests and mourn the loss of their beloved darling days, weeks, or months later....and each one of them has a valid, heartbreaking story. More than 500,000 pregnancies end in miscarriage EACH YEAR in the Unites States alone. That’s half a million different stories and maybes we could talk about. But we don't, not really.
What Is Infant Loss?
Having a miscarriage or stillbirth or any other physical loss of your infant means you had a baby, a living child, and now you do not.
“and now you do not”.....
Whoa. That’s not easy to type, and it’s even harder to acknowledge in the moment.
Some women miscarry naturally and pass their infant into a toilet (like me)
or in their underwear.
or in the shower.
some women carry until full term and then they deliver a full sized baby that isn't breathing (this is called a stillbirth)
Some women deliver a healthy baby that they get to keep for a day, a week, sometimes months...then sickness or tragedy takes their life.
Some women have no idea they're pregnant and they drink 1 beer too many...then they miscarry and wonder for many many weeks and months to come if they are to blame.
Some women choose to abort their babies and suffer from their choices for decades to come.
Some women miscarry at home and then have to schedule an appointment to clean out their womb.
can you imagine? Clean out the womb...it's called a D&C : Dilation and curettage refers to the dilation of the cervix and surgical removal of part of the lining of the uterus and/or contents of the uterus by scraping and scooping.
The next time you hear about an infant loss...I want you to imagine these scenarios...imagine the pain and agony both physically and emotionally. Be aware.
Oh So Cliche
The most cliche phrase we hear is "Everything happens for a reason". How much does that TICK YOU OFF especially in the moment?! Not gonna lie, I said that to a friend recently and I hated myself instantly for saying it...hated that the stupid phrase came out of my mouth regarding a friend and her loss. We say it because we feel awkward and "I have to say SOMETHING"....so we say it in hopes of leaving an encouraging sentiment...but it doesn't. It never will. Those words, in the heat of ANY moment of loss or grief, do not help. They might be true. God has a reason for everything under the sun...chances are, the broken hearted friend you're abusing with an overused catch phrase ...knows this too. She doesn't need a reminder.
The point of today...Infant Loss Awareness Day..is to do just that..bring awareness to the heaviness and REALITY of infant loss. It's SO hard, no matter what your "maybe" is. You can turn in any direction and chances are..there's a mommy or daddy hurting quietly over the loss of their infant. Love them, ask questions, hear their story. In this way it brings new meaning to their child's short life and long purpose on earth.
We're In This Together
Here’s the thing I want to say to any of you, friends and strangers alike, who have lost a baby -- you. are. not. alone.
And to the mom having her 4th, 5th, or 6th while your friend is mourning her loss or still trying for baby #1....
you also, are not alone. It's not easy being on either end of this spectrum, which is why it's SO important we face our hurts together.
One more thing, when your friend who is walking through the trenches wants to clinch up and be tight lipped, do everything you can to love them through it. They're hurting just as badly as the mom crying on her best friends shoulder. Some people struggle with opening up and some don't, the important thing is for us to be aware, alert, and ready to love people through the loss.
If you're suffering from infant loss and have no one to turn to...message me! I want to hear the story of your child's legacy. Write a blog telling your story, if for no other reason than to document the legacy and share it with those who read along. Living in isolation over a hurt this deep isn't good for you, your spouse, your family, and it's hindering the purpose of your child's short life on earth.