October is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. While it’s the last day of October, it seems fitting to me to write about it today, All Hallow’s Eve, the precursor to All Saints Day and All Souls Day.
I don’t have any great wisdom to share. I don’t generally like to offer advice. I do, however, know intimately the pain of pregnancy loss. Every day, I remember the three babies we lost, even though those pregnancies ended in 2010 and 2006.
One blessing of those losses was the empathy it created in me for others who have lost babies, born and unborn. Whenever I’ve shared anything about my miscarriages, I’ve discovered many other friends who have experienced similar losses.
Here are some things I’ve learned:
- No matter how many living babies you have, you will grieve the baby you lost as the unique blessing that he or she was.
- Naming the baby, whether you knew the gender or not, preserves the baby’s unique identity, and, I think, creates a special bond with that baby.
- Regardless of how short an earthly life may be, a soul is eternal.
- Patience is required in dealing with your other children. For example, our oldest, barely three when I had my first miscarriage, suggested that in lieu of a new baby we plant a tree instead. To two grieving parents, it seemed a callous remark to make, but was surely made from innocence, ignorance, and a desire to comfort his parents.
To everyone who has lost a baby, whatever the circumstances, I offer both my sympathy and prayers. Every life, no matter how short, has meaning.
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