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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Your words ring so true to my heart. I feel like this day creeps up on me so quickly, how can it be another year has already passed. I know this is part of my story as well but it never gets easier. Thank you for sharing your feelings and for remembering all of your lost babies and ours. Hugs!
Thinking of you today. It’s a hard day, and every other day is hard too. I am in full agreement with you that many in society do a disservice by brushing off or not wanting to deal with topics like miscarriage and baby loss. Some think it’s no big deal, others don’t want to go there. Ultimately over 10 years as infertility has determined so much of my life, learning, and emotional being, I’ve held onto the friendships and relationshipships of people who acknowledged my losses and grief when I trusted them with it, and who were willing to listen to be impacted by my truth, as I do for others when they express sadness or stress over anything. Those that don’t have time to consider me or my lost children – don’t have a place in my striving for as healthy a life as I can muster. (Usually the worst offenders are those who adore being parents and had their kids without trouble, which really stymies me!!) Anyway, it just goes to explain why for me at least, I always hesitate to post anything on social media about his day or related issues – I feel it’s so important, but I also have been so affected/hurt by others not wanting to see it or know about it, like I’m wrong to post it bc it makes them uncomfortable or I should be over it. As you can see, I have a lot yet to work out about it all.
I’ve started following a lot of infertility or commemorative sites, and it is such a feeling of safety and validation. I see many of these women posting today and them raising each other up. I wonder, should I post too, and only have some of those people like or respond to it – and wonder what the rest of my real-life ‘friends’ are thinking or why they don’t respond? I guess that’s where I stopped… first talking about it with people in real life, then rarely in any way.
Sometimes it’s hard to figure out how to be and how to feel heard/seen. I know society encourages people to reach out and open up, but this is a topic that doesn’t often seem to mesh well with doing so and positive results. Although – this has just been my experience.
Lots of love.
I couldn’t have said this better myself. After I lit my candles, I’ll admit. I was angry and then I read this post.. and this is exactly how I feel.
Sending you much love today. It’s so strange to miss someone you never really got a chance to know. Someone from blog-land announced a twin pregnancy the other day and it all cams flooding back. I spent a long time that day wondering when I’ll get over it, and then I realized that I won’t ever get over it. It’s a part of me. I wish it wasn’t, but there it is, as much “me” as my red hair.
Try having October 15th also be your birthday 😦
Hugs to you xo. It’s a very tough day. Last year was my absolute worst. I hated the day and wished I could just skip it all together. But luckily, each year we grow, we heal, we change. This year I loved my birthday. I made a point to not to put my attention on it being a day of recognition. I didn’t bring that fact to my mind until 7 p.m. when I lit my candle and remembered our 2 lost babies. I took a moment for them and then focused on my beautiful daughter and the wonderful life we have with her. I hope each year October 15th can get a little easier on your heart xo