October 15 – Raising Awareness
I hate October 15.
Every single year, I hate it.
Why? Because October 15 is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day, and at 7pm everyone is encouraged to light a candle.
Every single year I participate by lighting a candle in one of my mom’s tea-light candle holders.
And every single year, I hate that I participate.
I hate that I know the experience of losing 5 babies. I hate that I have “tried” all types of ways to process a lost baby – misopristol, D&C, natural and even terminating for medical reasons our loved little girl at an abortion clinic.
I hate that so many other’s also know this experience and these emotions.
I hate that those outside of this horrible club have no idea of today’s significance and the overall impact of baby loss, because babies who are lost too soon vanish from everyone’s memory, except for those directly involved. I hate that our world doesn’t seem to understand or acknowledge (for the most part) the life long impacts of such loss. I believe that most people do not understand the impacts go beyond the actual physical loss. It’s the loss of a baby, but also the loss of hopes and dreams for that baby and our future together. It’s the loss of the family many have dreamed about their entire life. It’s the loss of innocence.
And so, because of the lack of awareness in society, I will continue to participate in movements like today. Not because lighting a candle on a particular date honours my lost babies, but because we need to raise awareness to create more understanding and more safe spaces for conversations about pregnancy and infant loss to occur. And so, I will continue to use my voice to raise awareness, to help make these conversations more normal, to give future loss mom’s and dad’s more people in their villages who can offer support during such a hard time in their lives.
As much as I hate that this has been part of my life, the fact is, losing 5 babies will always be part of my life story. And so, I will never stop talking and supporting others who have also endured loss. Raising awareness is the least I can do to honour my lost babies and all those women (and men) who also experience loss.
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