Most people in my life know at this point that I’ve experienced a miscarriage. Most people don’t know the full story: that I lost 3 babies in a year. The first was probably a fluke, a genetic anomaly, and the subsequent two were probably lost due to the damage done to my body by the first loss. Most people don’t know I had to have two surgeries to put my body back together again, or the physical and emotional toll the last year has taken on me.
Talking about loss, especially of pregnancy and infants, is an uncomfortable topic, one that most don’t know how to respond to and as often as not don’t understand. For people who experience early loss like we have, our society actively encourages families not to even tell people about their pregnancies until they are past the magical 12 week mark out of fear of having to share a loss. Then when those babies are lost, the parents are expected to keep their grief to themselves or simply not to experience it at all. We do grieve our babies, though, and sadly we tend to do it alone.
October 15 is an important day, though, for those like me who have lost babies, whether early or late in pregnancy or after birth. It’s Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day, a day when we can bring our stories out into the light and remember our babies. Because we do remember, even when others forget, even when others never knew our babies existed.
Today my belly is swelling with my 5th baby, growing and moving and based on our latest genetic tests and scans, probably healthy. I haven’t forgotten my 2nd, 3rd, and 4th babies, though, anymore than I could forget my 1st. I think of them every day, of all the milestones I’m meeting with this precious baby that I never got to experience with them, of how they’ll never get to play with their awesome big sister, and how I’ll never get to hold them, touch them, or tell them how much I love them anywhere except in my heart.
For those who have experienced loss, I shared this because I want you to know that you’re not alone, even though your grief is probably solitary and the experience is certainly a lonely one. There are so many of us who share your experience, who have lost and haven’t forgotten. Today we honor your grief and remember your angels. We will not forget you or them.