Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day
Today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day. So I felt compelled to write. Yet, I’ve spent more time then I’d like to admit staring at a blank screen trying to put words to my thoughts and figure out what I actually want to say.
Part of me really wants to write about the five losses we endured. The heart wrenching pain of being told your child is not viable and waiting days to confirm that your child is dying and there was nothing you can do about it. The emotional toll that comes from waiting for your much loved baby to die, and to start hoping that they die quickly because you cannot live this way and you fear they could be suffering. Or the emotions that come along with the moment you are told there is no heartbeat. Or even the complex emotions that lived within me as my husband and I had to make an educated decision weighing the pros and cons of each type of miscarriage while preparing to actually have a miscarriage. Or the fear that consumes you as you lie on the operating table waiting to be put under so that surgery cab start to remove what was your child but now is referred to as the products of conception. Or the gut wrenching physical pain that goes along with each miscarriage. Or the daily fear that future pregnancies after loss are tainted by. Or the anguish I carry to this day (and expect I always will) when we ended the life of our little girl when we terminated for medical reasons at an abortion clinic.
Part of me truthfully wants to pretend that it was all a bad dream. I remember our losses, I will always carry them with me, almost as though I have their little lives etched into my soul. Yet, in someways I wish I didn’t have to. I wish I could just erase all of that from my memory as if it never happened. Maybe that could mean that my children actually lived to term, took their first breaths and are playing in the yard as I type – as if we just never went through any of our losses. Or maybe, and slightly more selfishly, that just means they never even existed and I am not left carrying their memories silently in my heart. Or maybe, what I just really wish is that it didn’t have to hurt to so much to say goodbye to your child far too soon.
Another part of me wants to write about how we learned to live with and in spite of our losses. How I’ve been working to reclaim my life after experiencing so many losses. We were fortunate to find a way to share our love with a child to call our own, in spite of all our losses. And, not a moment goes by that I’m not thankful we chose adoption and we were chosen to parent our amazing son.
I could even write about how frustrating and hurtful it is that people still do not acknowledge our lost children. Not a single word has been spoken by any of our friends or family about our miscarriages or our termination since we decided to pursue adoption. I wish I could tell people that pretending it didn’t happen doesn’t help us. I wish I could lift the cone of silence that surrounds pregnancy and infant loss.
But even as all of these feelings exist within me, what I really want to write about is how I desperately hope someone out there is able to read our experience and know they are not alone. I wish I could tell every mother out there who experiences the loss of their child that it’s okay to talk about your lost child and your lost dreams. It’s okay to cry. It’s okay to want to run away and hide. It’s okay to be sad. It’s okay to smile and laugh again. Life will never be the same, but you will survive and you will learn to live again and it will be okay again someday.
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