In October 1988, President Ronald Reagan declared October as National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month saying, “When a child loses his parent, they are called an orphan. When a spouse loses her or his partner, they are called a widow or widower. When parents lose their child, there isn’t a word to describe them.” (October15th.com)
I have never intended this blog to be solely for those who have experienced infertility and/or pregnancy loss. But today, I speak to you who know what it is to lose a child before you even saw their face. I know you are out there. Statistics indicate that 1 in 4 pregnancies end in a miscarriage.
There are many things I would hope to become an expert at…miscarriages are NOT on the list. But unfortunately, I have had more pregnancies end in miscarriage than end with the delivery of a healthy, full term baby. Sometimes in this life we know things we hate knowing. Allow me to speak from my experience in this area: Please-take a moment sometime this month and remember; remember your child. If you have not done so already, do something to commemorate your child’s life. Shortly after our third miscarriage we purchased a Christmas ornament…it has three sparkly stars. As I take it out of the box, carefully unwrap it from it’s tissue paper, and hang it on the tree, I remember… These babies are a part of us…a part of our Christmases for now until the end of our days.
What we’re doing this year, the Caroline Project, blogging; this is THE Most. Vulnerable. I. Have. Ever. Been. (And I have a love/hate relationship with it). At times this is our coping mechanism. At times a distraction from reality. At times an action step we can take because we have no idea what to do next.
But it is beyond a coping mechanism, beyond a distraction. This is our unborn children’s legacy. They didn’t even make it out of the womb, and yet they are leaving a mark on the world, and their mark on our family. We are letting them.
Something tells me that this is Holy ground…perhaps the most holy place my feet have ever been.
Many of you have shared your stories with me…a treasure that I value so very much. You may choose to share your story, or choose to keep your story in your secret place of remembering, either way, remember them this month.
Here is a link to a great interview with Sherokee Ilse, the author of Empty Arms: Coping After Miscarriage, Stillborn, and Infant Death and the President of Wintergreen Press and Babies Remembered. It’s worth your time, even if you have never experienced loss in this way.