Wave of Light – Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness
While yesterday was the actual date set aside to remember our lost babies, I decided intentionally not to write about it. I decided to write after the day was done, not because it wasn’t on my mind all day yesterday (it was), but because I wanted to write about the day in it’s entirety. Rather then sharing my thoughts in anticipation of the day, I wanted to share my thoughts after I spent all day thinking about the significance of October 15 and what it means to my life.
Yesterday, all day my WordPress, Instagram and Twitter feeds were filled with acknowledgements from other grieving mothers about their lost children. Those of us who are part of this club, we comforted each other as we acknowledged our lost babies. So, last night I light a candle at 7pm and let it burn itself out. And, as with last year, I lite a candle from my mom in honor of all babies who are no longer with us and all mothers with empty arms.
Yet, in my real life, no-one, not a sole, recognized the significance of yesterday in my life. Those who know of our losses, said nothing. Including my parents, our friends and even Mr. MPB.
And I honestly understand why they said nothing. Most likely, they didn’t even know. Unless you are part of the infertility and baby loss club, it’s likely you have no idea that October 15th holds special meaning to mothers like me whose children never took their first breath. (In fact, Mr. MPB didn’t know until I nearly bit his head off when he went to blow out my candle). And even those who might have known the significance of October 15th (which I honestly doubt anyone in my life knows about) I suspect they probably question what to even say. How do you acknowledge that someone has lost a child in a meaningful and non-hurtful way?
Sometimes saying nothing at all, is easier for the other person. I get that.
Heck, sometimes saying nothing at all is easier for me, the grieving mother. Sometimes I prefer silence to saying the wrong thing because sometimes the wrong thing cuts deeply and it takes effort to remind myself that they probably meant well, just got tongue tied and/or were simply uneducated. And honestly, a large part of me just prefers that people say nothing rather then say the wrong thing because sometimes it’s hard to be constantly trying to correct, educate and explain. It’s hard to be protecting my feelings and check my attitude at the door as I correct, educate and explain.
I’m not upset that no-one in my real life acknowledge the significance of October 15, because honestly, I’m not one to acknowledge these types of dates anyways. I know it’s a date meant to remember and honour our children who were lost too soon, and to honour the parents who continue to live with the grief. I respect the efforts of raising awareness and I want to contribute my voice to that effort. Yet, I firmly believe that October 15 is not the only day I can do this. I believe it needs to be done day in and day out in the way that I lead my life.
And, so yesterday I realized that October 15th just isn’t a significant date in my personal story.
Because, for me, in my life, those dates are those one that are marked by life and death. On the life dates (i.e. birthdays of people in my life who are living), I get to celebrate the joy that is right in front of me. Whether it be our nephews birthdays, Mr. MPB’s birthday or our dogs birthday, I love those dates because they are a day dedicated to celebrating life. But the other dates, the death date, those dates are the ones where I have no choice but to remember what was and what could have been, my goal is simply to survive.
And sadly, I have way too many death dates in my life.
When it comes to my the date of my mom and my sister’s death I do absolutely nothing specific to acknowledge the anniversary of their deaths. Instead, I simply try to survive the day without bursting into tears and being irrationally angry.
When it comes to the dates our babies were supposed to be born, well after our first loss, I never even learned a single expected due date. I don’t know potential birth dates. After our first loss, I did this to myself intentionally and I’ve chosen to still not learn them (if I look I could figure it out based on conception dates but I know I don’t need those dates marking my calendar, they wont help me). But what I do know is the dates that each of our babies died. With the exception of our first loss, I know each and everyone one of them. They are forever etched into my mind:
Early miscarriage / chemical pregnancy October 2013.
Emergency D&C, February 16, 2013.
Termination/abortion of our much loved little one, August 14, 2013.
No FHR, March 3, 2014. Miscarriage completed March 31, 2015.
Early miscarriage / chemical pregnancy ended June 1, 2015.
So, while I didn’t expect it, yesterday I realized that October 15 just lacks significance in my heart because it’s not attached to my personal experiences. And, I really don’t feel that I need a specific date or time to remember, because I remember every.single.day. My life will forever be marked by the losses I have endured. No mother, ever expects to carry her children with the end result being that they never take their first breath. Never did I expect that I’d go through 5 pregnancies, and be here today with empty arms knowing that they each slowly died inside me. This, is something I will always carry with me.
Our 5 lost children will never take their first breaths, but they will always live on in my heart and forever impact my daily life.
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