Thursday, October 15, 2015

thoughts for Thursday: Day of Remembrance

Sometimes I wonder what he or she would be like.  I wonder if he or she would look like Natalie.  Would I still have a Natalie?  I wonder if I would have changed having a baby so much sooner than I did because looking back we were so unprepared.  And then I wonder how much I would have changed because of course I would change - I changed when I had Natalie. I wonder if I would have changed the same way. Is there a big difference between having a baby at 27 or having a baby at 28? I wonder sometimes if I would be a stay at home mom of two by now. Is that really what I want? How different would my life be?

Everything happens for a reason. While in the trenches of the experience, there was absolutely no believing that was true. There were no words that were going to make me feel better in the months after the loss. I was so hurt and so lost and so vulnerable. I was surrounded by extremely loving people but I still felt so alone. I ached and my heart broke all the time. There are few things worse than losing a baby, no matter what stage of the pregnancy you are in.  Though, I am sure the grief is unfathomable the further along you are.

I know, more clearly now, that God had a plan for me. I felt a pull to work in infertility and I had no idea why. While I am not a particularly religious person, I know that God put me there. I went through the painful loss of a pregnancy, the heart breaking months of trying and failing to build a family, the devastation of failed fertility treatment and then the incredibly joy of a successful treatment cycle so that I could help others because no one should go through that alone. 

In 1988, President Reagan announced October as National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. One in four women will experience pregnancy loss - many of them without even realizing that they were pregnant to begin with. It's a terrible statistic and the stigma associated with it is worse. While we cannot do much to prevent pregnancy loss, we can support those who have experienced it.  No woman should ever feel like she did something wrong to cause a miscarriage and no woman should ever have to feel alone after the loss. We need to hold each other's hands and be that calming and reassuring presence that, in time, everything will be okay.

Today, October 15th, is Day of Remembrance.  A day to show support to all of those who have lost a child. President Reagan said, "When a child loses his parent, they are called an orphan. When a spouse loses his or her partner, they are called a widow or a widower. When parents lose their child, there isn't a word to describe them."  So tonight at 7pm I will light a candle for my pregnancy loss and as a sign of support for all of those who are also grieving the loss of a child. 

Tonight I will take that time to hold my daughter a little closer because I am so lucky to have her.  

Thoughts for Thursday