There’s a designated month, week or day for almost everything. October hosts a number including Breast Cancer, Domestic Violence, Chiropractic, Estate Planning, and Adopt A Shelter Pet Awareness… Another honored this month is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. For all the personal reasons, this one holds the greatest meaning and consideration. Last year, we joined others at our clinic to honor and remember our son, James, and the other lives mourned and wanted by so many other families. Once again we are approaching his due date and reflect on his life and the impact it has had on us.
1 IN 4 PREGNANCIES ENDS IN LOSS
The chance of a woman losing her child during pregnancy is greater than her chance of getting breast cancer in her lifetime. Yet the attention to this statistic and efforts behind awareness are far overshadowed. Until it impacts you or someone you love, it is hard to understand the devastation of a life lost before you ever really had the chance to realize it.
Pregnant with a much-wanted baby, the anticipation, the excitement, the love, building. Then, devastatingly, the pregnancy suddenly ends. For some, it’s well into their pregnancy, others are told, “Sorry, we can’t see a heartbeat”, and others a spotting… all heartbreaking signs of the reality. For many women, despite the heartbreak and the guilt and the endless internal questions, they put on a brave face and move on, to protect others, to protect themselves. Those that have support are fortunate that they are allowed to grieve, remember, and acknowledge the importance of that life.
We’ve been pretty fortunate in that respect. Friends who’ve shared the experience and family who wanted those lives as well have helped us cope. So many others are not as fortunate and my heart breaks for those suffering and feel they have to do so alone.
Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month enables us to consider how, as individuals and communities, we can meet the needs of bereaved parents and family members. The greatest gift you can offer, in my experience, is the opportunity to talk and remember and to acknowledge the life that was wanted and loved.
We’re grateful that after two losses, things are going so well in our fourth pregnancy. Excitement is building as we are in the homestretch of bringing this baby into this world, officially. The next 9-10 weeks are going to fly by! While we are blessed to experience a healthy pregnancy once again and grow our family, we’ll never forget the lives we planned for that we could not raise. This next child will be a reminder of those lives as well as the unknown workings of a greater purpose.
“A “rainbow baby” is a baby that is born following a miscarriage, stillbirth, neonatal death or infant loss. In the real world, a beautiful and bright rainbow follows a storm and gives hope of things getting better. The rainbow is more appreciated having just experienced the storm in comparison.”