Friday, October 15, 2010

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day

I promise I'll write about something other than "Days" again eventually but this one is close to my heart not because I have experienced it myself but because I have so many friends that have and because I have seen those losses handled so poorly by the Christian community.

We live in a time when we know very early on, sometimes even before our cycles stop, that we are pregnant. This new knowledge comes with a downside in that we also know where perhaps we might not have before that that "late period" is actually a very EARLY pregnancy loss. I am on a message board GCM for Christian mommies and "Cradled in our Wombs" is a very active forum there, unfortunately so is "Empty Arms". Over the decade I've been on GCM I've celebrated many BFP's (big fat positive test results) only to have to turn around and grieve the loss of those babies. It is constantly in my awareness. For most of us though its not...we have have no idea how many of our friends hold their breath until that magical second trimester is reached before sharing their news with the world. Or how many of them grieve quietly and alone because that little one will never be. Even when these moms do speak of their grief they find it too often dismissed because it was "just a miscarriage"...ask nearly any mom who has experienced one if the dismissive little four letter word "just" ever belongs in the same sentence as the word "miscarriage".

I have a very close friend who has lost 11 children prior to their birth. Unless you know her very well you would never know that about her. I am honored to be one of the ones that not only knows but knows all their names. This time of year is especially hard for her because over half of her losses happened around this time. Four of them happened just two weeks before my own daughter's I am always aware...always...that she should have quads just months younger than my daughter. She came to my house directly from the doctor the day she lost the quads. We cried together and she stayed with me until her husband could come and get her. I remember standing at the sink, my hand resting on my hugely pregnant belly, and crying and asking God "WHY?" Yet as close as we are I had somehow never understood, never realized, that losing a 16 week pregnancy isn't passing some tissue...its birthing a perfectly formed tiny person too small to survive outside the womb. Times four. And because it's a 16 week pregnancy rather than a 21 week pregnancy, it's "just" a miscarriage. No birth/death certificates, no burial, nothing except painful memories to prove that those children ever lived. And a wall of silence where there should be others to mourn with those who mourn.

Thankfully there are now days like today...and websites like silent griefor miscarriage support and for later term miscarriages/losses where memorial photography is a possibility there is now I lay Me down to sleep. But still there is too much silent grief and I for one am grateful for days like today where those who have experienced a loss can speak it aloud and be supported in their grief. So I am posting today for all my friends and family who are grieving and I'm remembering with them today if I know of their losses. Hugs and prayers to you all.

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