October 15th is Pregnancy and Infant Loss remembrance day. A day set aside to honor and publicly acknowledge our fearfully and wonderfully made babies that lived in our wombs and in our hearts. Miscarriage occurs in one and four women and is still a socially taboo subject but it doesn’t have to be.
There are too many women that suffer privately, that experience depression after a miscarriage, that want to grieve their losses but because of feelings of shame choose to hide their pain and sadness. Hiding our losses does not benefit anyone. In all truthfulness it damages the next mother that comes along needing help. It spreads the message that pregnancies should be hidden until “safe” and it condones the notion that the “mother” is some how to blame.
Whether you were 21 or 91, whether your baby was 8 weeks or 40 weeks along, your own personal loss is significant. It matters. It changed you. It changed your partner. Your loss deserves to be a continued part of your story.
I am always so grateful when women share their loss stories with me. Personal stories help me to heal and help me to honor the grief that I felt during my own losses. Today, I want to share a few stories from Mom’s just like us. I asked these beautiful ladies to let me know how they remember their babies and am touched they were willing to share their stories.
Let’s honor each of these beautiful families together.
- I have lost 4 babies between 4 & 6 weeks. I find it so hard to believe that we would have a 4 year old this past September. I tend to get a little emotional around the dates I have lost each one. Especially our first, that was the hardest. I just try to focus on the rainbow baby we do have and try to remember I will see all of them again. I don’t do anything majorly special, just try to remember. ~Amanda
- I have stacking initial rings I wear to remember each of my babies, three angels and a rambunctious little boy. I have recently commissioned a jewelry artist to create a Jitzu pendant to wear on my necklace. I simply want to acknowledge ALL of my children, and keep them close. ~Lauren
- We go on vacation as a family every year during this week to remember and be together as a family. Emmitt 6/10/13-6/13/13 ~Holly
- We celebrated his birthday with cake, visiting the cemetery, and I also ran a non-profit helping other loss parents afford their baby’s funeral. Now, 10 years out, we visit the cemetery on his birthday, and then we do an act of kindness or service on his birthday and around Christmas–one time, we collected toys for a Vietnamese orphanage, once, we sponsored an orphan born on his birthday (we sponsored the same orphan monthly for a couple years), once, we went down Nationwide Children’s wish list and bought gifts for children the age our son would have been, once we took a school shopping list for a local school in the grade our son would have been and bought every single thing on the list and put it in a backpack and donated it to the school. ~Allison
- Two losses at 7 weeks & 4 weeks, and possibly others that I don’t think that I realized. I have a locket with angel wings for the two that I know about. ~Naomi
If you have experienced a pregnancy or early infant loss, please feel free to share with me how you remember your little one in the comments. You can also join us over at Wishing for Rainbows, an online support group for women who who are currently hoping for their rainbow baby or who have love and support to give to those who are. The group is also open to anyone experiencing primary infertility, although the group discussion revolves mostly around loss and the feelings of grief.
As always, beautifully written Mel. Thank you!