The Club I Wish I Weren’t Part Of
Today marks the end of October, which amongst other things, just happens to be Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month.
As per the last few years (2016 and 2015), I once again lite a candle on October 15th at 7pm to acknowledge all of those who are unable to hold their children in their arms. Each year, I use the same glass candle holder. It was my mom’s and somehow it just warms my heart to think that my babies and my mom and my sister are out there somewhere together.
Yet, like normal, when I have something hard to write about, I put it off for as long as possible.
You see, I simply wish I didn’t have to write about it.
I wish I weren’t part of this club.
I wish I never had to experience the loss of a baby, let alone the loss of 5 babies. I wish I didn’t have to go through the actual physical loss. And, I also wish I didn’t have to deal with the lifelong emotional impacts of the losses.
But, as much as I wish this weren’t part of my life experiences, I know without a doubt that at least four positive things came out of our losses.
First, I adore the women I’ve met who are also part of this club. There are so many women that I’ve met in this community that I now consider personal friends. Yet I hate that this is what has brought us together. I hate that what brought us together was a need to connect with others who have experienced similar(ish) losses. But, I will forever be grateful for those in my life who understand both the immediate and long term impacts of such losses. Those, who are willing to talk about the hard stuff.
Second, Little MPB. First let me state that Little MPB does not cure our infertility or our losses – that’s not his job in life, and I will never put that on him. But, I do have to say, if it weren’t for our 5 losses, we would never have chosen adoption which means we would never have become parents to Little MPB. It’s not that we were opposed to adoption, it’s just that it didn’t cross our minds. We just naively assumed man + women = living baby. Heck, I once had no idea that I would learn to caveat baby with the word living. And, so now, part of me has to acknowledge that our losses lead us to our child, who I simply cannot imagine our lives without. I’m not a believer in some sort of pre-determined destiny, but, yet I know that if it weren’t for our losses, we wouldn’t be the family we are. And while our family may be small, it’s as close to perfect as I think I’ll ever know.
Third, I’ve become an way more compassionate and sympathetic individual. Honestly, I’m not one to wear my emotions on my sleeve. In fact, I’ve never been one to dive into the hard emotional stuff and would typically run from it. But, since our losses, I’ve really become a lot more understanding that what you first see in others isn’t always their entire story. I’ve become a lot more supportive of people in my life who are going through hard times. I’ve become a lot softer.
Fourth, I will never, ever, ask a couple when they plan to have children. For that matter, I will never ask anyone individual when or if they plan to have children or if they plan to have another child. I know understand just how intimate that question is. And even more, I know understand just how hurtful and triggering that question is specifically for those who desperately want children but are unable to have them the naively easy way.
But as much as four positive things have come out of our losses, I have to say, these four things don’t make up for all our losses. Nothing ever will, because loosing a child, the hopes and dreams of that child, is just not something that can be made up for. Rather, it just is what it is and there’s no need to sugar coat it.
So no matter how much I wish I weren’t part of the baby loss club, that wish will never come true because it can’t. My life story will always include our five children we lost way too soon. My life story will always include my body ultimately being the cause of their deaths. My life story will always include the sorrow and grief that comes from losing desperately wanted children way too soon. These looses are more then just a one time physical thing, at least for me they will always be part of my very identity.
And so, my life story will never be the perfect life story (should such a thing even exist). But, my life story, all of it, the good and the bad, will make up my story.
I owe it to myself to own my story and to speak my truths.
I owe it to our unborn children to speak about their existence, they deserve at the very least to be acknowledged and never forgotten.
I owe it to other women and couples experiencing loss to create more awareness and create safe spaces to speak about their experiences.
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I often have these same feelings. It’s not a club that anyone asks to join but I have found the people in it are incredibly strong. The life lessons being a part of this club have taught me have helped me grieve and given me hope.
I am always being asked when I’m going to have a baby and depending on how saucy I’m feeling at the time I may or may not tell them it’s a rude question. I also wish I weren’t a part of this club but I think sometimes life pushes us in the direction we need to go sometimes in unkind ways.