October 15th is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day

family mother with child 7I wrote this post on my personal blog last year for October 15th, which Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day. I’m sharing it here, with the hope that it can give comfort to someone, as I feel particularly burdened today for various reasons.

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Some years I remember October 15th and some years I don’t.

This year, I think, things have not been particularly hard when I’ve remembered our babies that we lost to miscarriages, but I have thought a lot about the fact that they would have been 8 years old. And for Mormons, age 8 is significant, because that’s when we are baptized into our church. I’ve been thinking about those baptisms that will not happen. Not in a sad way, but with a hint of longing is all.

I remember the fall of 2005 and the winter of 2006 without much fondness. I was unexpectedly plunged into a very deep and lasting sadness because of miscarriage. I just felt totally broadsided by my circumstance. betrayed by my body, and wholly unprepared for how to handle it. It took me almost year for that fog to lift and to feel like myself again.

There were days when I could not face people because I knew I would just dissolve into tears. I didn’t want people to ask me how I was, because I certainly was not “FINE” at all. But I didn’t even know how to deal with the depth of emotions and feelings that I found myself in. I wanted help, but I didn’t even know how to ask for it.

Perhaps that was the lesson for me. Going thru pregnancy loss certainly helped me to understand empathy and compassion in ways I never thought possible, and how to reach out to women in need. It also helped me to understand the indescribable joy that children are. In the spring of 2008 when I was expecting Sweet Baby James, I did not let myself be happy for the first 6 weeks of the pregnancy, not until I heard the comforting whir of a fetal heartbeat on an ultra sound. That was a very blessed and miraculous day.

So, almost 9 years later, what have I been thinking about in relation to pregnancy loss and what it taught me?

Pregnancy loss collageFirst, there are still women who suffer alone when they lose a child. My heart goes to them. I wish I could find all of them, and sit and comfort them — because you are not alone. There are many women who perfectly understand what you are going thru. Pray to find them.

Second, despite the associated sorrow of losing a child, we still have the amazing ability to heal and be made whole thru the grace of Jesus Christ. He truly is a sun and shield (see Psalms 84:11). Days will get better, I promise.

Third, I think losing my first pregnancies made me appreciate my subsequent ones, even with all of the associate complications. Modern medicine is amazing and miraculous. Children are amazing and miraculous. The births of both of my children were amazing and miraculous, because truly we almost lost both of them during their pregnancies.

Fourth, I can even say now that I would not trade the experience of losing my first children either, because I would never want to lose that walk with God.

Fifth, I am thankful for the people that I have met and who I have been able to help, as a result of losing our babies, in support groups and community groups like on Organic Gender. Most especially my friend Paula, who was a true friend, and to the friends who have come to me privately when they have lost their pregnancies. Even though those were sad times, I am so thankful that I was able to mourn with them and stand with them in their times of need. I’m so thankful they thought to trust me with their sorrow.

So, to my friends who have lost children, either due to miscarriage or some other circumstance — I am remembering you today. And I am looking forward to that day, in two years, when we will have a baptism to celebrate in our family.

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About Joyce Anderson

Joyce is a mother, wife, sister, school teacher, Bulgarian speaker, conservative, lover of good music, social media junky and a two time culinary arts Grand Champion bread baker. She and the family reside in a remote mountain community where great discoveries have been made. When not changing the world, she enjoys the occasional bowl of chips and salsa. She can be found at: http://pinterest.com/TheAtomicMom

9 thoughts on “October 15th is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day

  1. A relevant and worthy cause.

    https://www.nowilaymedowntosleep.org/

    I have a hard time keeping my composure when I go to that site.

    We recently had a couple in our ward lose a son at birth. They knew it was going to happen, based on ultrasound — I don’t know the details; my guess is a major nerve tube defect. The graveside service was a deeply moving experience.

  2. Yes, I know that site. I don’t go there very often for the same reasons. It’s just too much to take in.

  3. A few years back I did volunteer photography for Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep. In the beginning, I was terrified that I wouldn’t be able to hold in my composure in a room with so much heartache. I cried when I visited the site. But I was surprised when I went into sessions and my photographer’s hat would come on and I would be able to do what I was there to do. Sometimes I would sit in my car afterwards and cry. Sometimes I would feel uplifted by being able to give such a precious gift. And then I had my own miscarriage. Grief sometimes does strange things to us. I’ve never quite been the same since I lost my own little babe in terms of coping with infant death. If I am exposed to too much of it, especially in some of the awful news stories, it really weighs me down. I had to stop my work with NILMDTS. And now, I am now like many others who can’t visit the webpage any longer, and I remember those who I served at little more heavy hearted than I did before.

  4. I remember this date every year. When I lived in a larger city I was very involved in infant loss organizations. I lost an infant daughter due to illness.

    Thank you for sharing this.

    My heart, prayers and thoughts go to those who have lost children of any age. It hurts no matter what age the child.

  5. When you’ve held a child too pale, and sought within your heart the meaning to the mystery of leaving,
    In your soul confront death,
    A sleeping child sometimes raises fears.
    You lean to hear the precious sound of breath.

  6. My most recent pregnancy, years ago now, officially ended on a Thanksgiving Day.

    Due to ultrasound, we knew that little one had failed to thrive, so were merely waiting for my body to figure things out.

    Advice: don’t wait until your body figures it out.

    Luckily, I am not dead (yet), despite failing to take proactive measures to clear things out after the death of that tiniest one. Though my doctor did say words I wouldn’t want to repeat here at M*.

    I look forward to heaven and meeting my relatives that died too soon, both those who lived for a time within me and those who would have been related in other ways. For those who died so early that they likely were given another chance, I will be fascinated to hear about the life they enjoyed in another sphere.

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