Two years ago this month, October 15th to be exact, I was innocently scrolling through my Facebook feed. I came across a photo of a lit candle and text that hit me out of nowhere like a ton of bricks. “Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.”
I was instantly transported back in time six months to the awful day when the doctor confirmed my worst fears — miscarriage.
Is this day of remembrance even a thing? Are you for real? I thought to myself as I read the Facebook graphic again. I was so shocked and hurt that my emotional bottle had been uncorked without my permission. I wasn’t ready to feel all of those feels all over again.
I Am Not Alone
Still, I read on. I saw comments by friends and colleagues about little lives that had worth and value and were loved. I had no idea that I was connected to so many people who had suffered the same loss.
And so, I kept the cork off of my emotions and let the tears flow. There was healing in the grief that hit me out of nowhere that day. I realized that I needed to know that I wasn’t alone. Along with so many others, I remembered, and I celebrated life.
Little did I know that in a few short months, I would again rejoice a positive pregnancy test and again hear the same crushing words that would confirm what my body was already telling me. Two pregnancies and two miscarriages in fourteen months. It was brutal, my friends.
But my story isn’t mine alone. We live in a fallen world, and with it comes stillbirth, sudden infant death syndrome, infertility and a whole host of other issues that bring pain, sorrow and grief.
Celebrating Beyond the Grief
Looking back now, the pain doesn’t really go away. It fades, but it doesn’t go away. And neither does the fear. In January, I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy (praise the Lord). It took me months and months to trust my body and trust my doctor that the little life really was thriving within my womb. And when friends tell me the great news of their own pregnancies, I have to admit that my heart holds back a little bit of excitement as I let the fear of miscarriage creep in.
What I do know is this — life is precious. As one friend told me after hearing of my miscarriage without yet knowing I was pregnant, “I always want to celebrate life, no matter how small.”
I completely agree. For me, I get bogged down in the day-to-day crazy that is life. But I’m learning to recognize and celebrate (or at least laugh along with) the little things in life — like a hysterically screaming 9-month-old at 2 a.m. and a non-stop talking 3-year-old and a 6-year-old who would eat peanut butter crackers three times a day over a gourmet meal.
Life gives us so much to rejoice over: hitting milestones, making memories and dreaming of future adventures. And life also throws some tough stuff our way. But life is precious, and instead of keeping it all inside, we need to keep the cork off of our emotional bottle and share in the ups and downs of life with those around us.
How can you celebrate life today?
October is dedicated to Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance. Those little lives, however brief, made an impact. We’d like to help you visually mark those little lives. If you’d like to add your baby to this wall, we would be honored to remember them with you.
If you would like to add your child to this page in memory, please email the name and date you would like added to [email protected].