As many people know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Did you know that this month is also Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month? On October 25, 1988, President Ronald Regan designated the entire month to this cause.
"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. This month recognizes the loss so many parents experience across the United States and around the world. It is also meant to inform and provide resources for parents who have lost children due to miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, molar pregnancy, stillbirths, birth defects, SIDS, and other causes.”
1 in 4 women experience pregnancy or infancy loss. I hate bringing up statistics but these numbers help people to see that this is more common than anyone would like to think. It is very possible that you’ve encountered these women. Many grieving families deal with this painful loss in silence.
I am one of those women.
My husband, Tony and I always discussed having four children. Our three beautiful daughters made this dream a reality. Their pregnancies and deliveries were uneventful. When we got pregnant for the fourth time, we were ecstatic.
From the moment I saw the plus sign on a test, I started to have hopes and dreams for this little person inside me. Is it a boy or a girl? What will their name be? Will they look like my husband or myself? What will they be when they grow up? But those hopes and dreams were cut short.
In April 2012, I went through the worst experience a parent could go through. Losing a child. I miscarried twins at twelve weeks in a traumatic, emergency situation. I remember lying in the hospital bed praying that this horrible nightmare would end. In that moment, I felt utterly alone. In the days and weeks following, I struggled with all of the emotions I was feeling. Who could possibly understand what I was going through? I decided to open up to my friend, Kristen. She had experienced the same devastating loss with two previous pregnancies. Through our grief, an unexpected blessing occurred. Not a day goes by that I don’t thank her for the gift that she gave me - A loving, nonjudgmental bond of friendship, which can never be replaced.
If you are going through or have faced pregnancy or infancy loss, you are not alone. No one person’s experience is the same but there are others who will listen with an open heart to your story. Lean on those people! For when that happens, our babies will always be remembered.
Please join me on Monday, October 15th 2018, for International Wave of Light at 7 pm in your time zone. Light a candle and join the worldwide wave of light as we remember our little ones together.
Proud Momma of Gianna, Sofia, Tessa and Santino
In loving memory of my sweet angel babies and my beautiful friend, Kristen.