October 15th Marks Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance
I wonder if?
Sometimes the emotions seem to come out of nowhere.
I’ll be busy with my day crossing off items on my to-do list when something catches my attention. All of a sudden my thoughts turn to that horrific day 15 years ago, the day before Thanksgiving Day, when I lost my first pregnancy. Then the flood gates of internal questioning begins…
I wonder if?…
I wonder if that little baby of mine would have had my hair color like his brother and sister do? If he or she would have a laugh that sounds like his siblings’? Would he or she love the ocean as much as they do? Would he or she be tall? Sing well? Love peas?
“I wonder if….” seems to haunt some days more than others even though it has been fifteen years since the day that changed me forever.
Recently, one of my fertility clients and I were having a one on one coaching session. She was sobbing for the loss of her first pregnancy but also was crying for what she called the loss of her innocence. She expressed so eloquently the feelings that mirror those of so many others who experienced pregnancy loss – the feeling that innocence was lost.
Grieving, she no longer possessed the lightness of that magical moment of joy when she learned she was pregnant. Her loss had taken that from her, and the process of creating her family shifted to contain this tragic moment in its history. In its place was a great fear.
My client and I spoke in depth about the reality of pregnancy loss. We both knew that from the outside we looked good, showered and clean. Our hair was done and make up was applied and there was smile on our faces to mask the internal grief, which was there in silence all the time.
I have learned a lot about pregnancy loss from my own experience and because of the privilege I have had to help navigate others through this tragedy. What I know now that I wish I knew then is that the loss will be with you forever. Unfortunately the loss of a child, born and unborn, is more prevalent than most people realize. Just like the infertility journey, we women seem to suffer in silence, until the silence gets too loud, and then we seek help.
The pain will subside. You will put one foot in front of the other and go on living. You will be living and seeing differently, but you will go on.
There will be moments of reverence for the time when you learned you were pregnant and the joy you felt for this new being. You will acknowledge and honor what could have been as well as the brief time you and your lost child were together.
You are not alone and don’t need to face this time alone. Seek out a sisterhood of understanding. Seek the support you need, seek comfort and love, and seek until you find yourself again.
God bless you during this time of grieving, feeling and releasing, and remembrance.
(Originally Published October 12, 2012)