I must admit that the entire month of October deemed as, “Pregnancy and Infant Loss and Awareness Month,” is weighing on me. I keep seeing posts all over the internet and on social media. I appreciate people for acknowledging that there are so many moms suffering in silence over the loss of their child. However, every post I come across cuts like a knife to the gut and is a reminder of one of the most agonizing forms of heartbreak a person can experience.
And while the month exists to spread awareness, so many of us are aware all the time. No month, week, or day is immune to the roller coaster of emotions.
When you lose a baby, you don’t only grieve for one specific month; our losses stay with us all year, every year. Our lives are forever changed, not by what is present but by what is missing.
And it’s not only moms who experience this pain. It’s dads, partners, siblings, grandparents, other family members, and friends. They all experience the void. It is palpable to even those who didn’t carry the baby.
There are women right now struggling to overcome a miscarriage or the loss of a baby with other little ones at their feet. They have to get up and get moving because other children depend on them. With a heavy heart, they put on a smile and keep going, even through the pain.
There are women who have gone to countless doctors’ appointments in an attempt to find out why their body is not doing something they were always promised it would be able to do. The tests, the shots, the exams, the bills–they are neverending. And while others have suggested adoption, these moms are still holding onto hope that they will one day be able to carry their own baby.
There are women who know they cannot get pregnant. They toss and turn at night, wondering how to grieve the loss of all the potential babies they always dreamed of having. These babies may have only been conceived in the heart and in mind, but the devastation of being without them is just as traumatic.
There are women who only hold the title of “mother” in secret. They have carried babies and lost them, and even though their heart knows they are a mom to those angel babies, society is hesitant to bestow this title on them until they actually hold a tiny, healthy person in their arms.
And women experience these challenges and heartache year-round–not just in October.
I think about the baby I lost every day. I think of what she’d look like, what she’d tell me she did at school, what her favorite book would be, what her hand would feel like in mine. These are all things that I will never know and would give anything to discover.
And because she lives on with me, and with all the others around me who would’ve loved her to the moon and back, it’s important to remember and to be aware of the loss during all months.
Please don’t forget about us during the other 11 months of the year, but most importantly, please don’t forget about her.