Today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day and today I send love to all of my family, friends and readers that have lost a pregnancy or baby.
One in four woman will lose a baby in their life. 25% of women. So many more than you may ever know.
It’s a sad and often silent sisterhood.
I didn’t learn how much miscarriage and child loss affected those around me until I became the 1 in 4.
When I became pregnant in 2011, while Michael and I were working desperately on keeping our marriage together, I was elated. Sure, everyone always tells you that a baby can’t fix what’s broken. But we were already on the mend. Our pregnancy was something to bind us even closer together.
But just as swiftly as I found out I was pregnant, I began to spot, and then cramp, and after several devastating hours in the emergency room it was clear that I had lost my baby.
It was hard. So very hard. But like all hard things, I wrote about it, and the outpouring of stories, love, compassion and support I received was remarkable. You can read my thoughts and the kindness I received HERE.
I have lost my father, my grandparents, aunts, uncles, beloved cousins. Attended countless funerals, memorials and wakes.
But losing my baby was something so intimate and personal and internal for me. No memorial service. No coffin. Largely just me and my sadness.
I know so many brave women that have named their Angels. That honor them with tattoos or trees or statues.
But I haven’t.
Not because I don’t long for and miss who my baby could have been. But because I am not strong enough to give my baby a name. To memorialize. To constantly remember.
It hurts in such an abstract and hard way. It’s like I can’t touch the grief. It’s there. Right under the surface, a nagging sadness in the corner of my heart. But I can’t cry it out. I can’t grieve it away. It aches but I’m used to it.
And then there’s the guilt. Guilty for longing for a baby that was lost when just months later I was graced with my perfect and healthy Isora. Perhaps guilt is irrational in this circumstance. But it’s there. I can’t help it.
So many friends have suffered losses in the past couple years. Mamas who gave me the excited news about being pregnant only to call to tell me something went wrong. Friends who lost a baby and feel that was their one and only chance to be a mother. Women that have suffered multiple miscarriages only to finally be blessed with a rainbow baby. And one incredible mother who has lost three dear sons, in such a short amount of time, whose courage and strength are inspiring to thousands of us.
My heart and soul goes out to each and every one of them. My tears pour out onto my keyboard for them. Whether they suffer in silence, or welcome people into their journey, they are, each and every one a hero. Heroes that are capable of making life and surviving beyond the life they have created though it pains them to do so.
I know that the ache in my heart is part of motherhood. Part of life, really. And while I would love to be holding my baby, instead I choose to accept that this baby was lost so that Isora could be born.
So I light my candle today…for Dani, Jen, Leslie, Kaitlyn, Stephanie and of course my dear Diana and the hundreds of others.
May each of you find peace and comfort from the grief. And may your Rainbows light the way.