October is officially National Pregnancy Baby Loss Awareness Month in the United States. I typically only write on the topic in April since that is when I lost my baby boy, but I felt compelled to write this month as well.
Losing a baby is nothing short of heart breaking. Soul breaking. It really just kills you. As a mother, you wonder what you did wrong to cause this to happen. I know moms who still blame themselves 20 plus years later. We women are hard on ourselves and when it comes to protecting our children, we have a hard time ever forgiving ourselves even if there was nothing we could have done to cause the problem or to prevent the problem.
I remember when we lost our baby boy, my husband commented that he felt like someday, we would know why it had happened, but that we wouldn’t know for a while. I can think of lots of reasons the experience has strengthened me, but I do feel like the greater purpose of it all is still unknown to me.
I also remember the utter fear I had while pregnant with Kaitlyn. Kaitlyn came after our baby Braxston. She is my rainbow baby. I feared for her life in earnest for many years after she was born. I spent her newborn months positive she would die at any moment. I spend several years of her life with every fever sure it meant she was about to die.
When I was pregnant with Katilyn, my amazing doctor was kind enough to do an ultrasound on me any time I wanted to. I could walk on in and he would do it. In the early weeks, he monitored me weekly. One week I went in and Kaitlyn hadn’t grown at all in the last week. That is a bad thing. I went home a complete mess. I prayed to the Lord and let Him know I was not strong enough to experience the loss of another baby. I don’t think anyone is strong enough for one loss of a baby. My heart aches for mothers who lose baby after baby. The strength they possess is nothing short of a miracle. It is only through the Lord that we can make it through these times. To finish my story, when I went in the next week, Kaitlyn had doubled in size from the previous week. She did two weeks of growing in one. Obviously she made it through (though she had a rough start to life. She went to the NICU shortly after being born. It seriously shot my nerves).
I love this quote:
“…there are times when we will experience heartbreaking sorrow, when we will grieve, and when we may be tested to our limits. However, such difficulties allow us to change for the better, to rebuild our lives in the way our Heavenly Father teaches us, and to become something different from what we were—better than we were, more understanding than we were, more empathetic than we were, with stronger testimonies than we had before.”
–Thomas S. Monson-President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
Times of trial and difficulty usually result in one of two ways–you either become stronger in your faith or bitter in your faith. I pray you will turn to the Lord. I pray you will allow this sorrow to strengthen you rather than tear you down. With the Lord, you can do it.
October 15 is a day set aside for grieving parents to come together. At 7 PM in your time zone, you light a candle and leave it burning for one hour. The idea is that if everyone does this, a wave of light goes around the Earth. See http://www.october15th.com/ for more. I love this because I think it is important for us to speak of and support those who have lost a baby.
Miscarriage and Stillbirth
Allow Grief to Be Felt
Not Less Painful–Just Better At Handling It
Traditions for Lost Child’s Birthday
Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day