October 15th is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day, a time to promote awareness for those who are suffering or may know someone who has suffered a miscarriage, an ectopic pregnancy, a still birth, or the loss of an infant.
When I had my miscarriage, I was amazed by how many women contacted me who had also experienced miscarriages. Most of them contacted me privately, through emails or quiet conversations.
What amazed me even more were the stories I heard and the emotions that still surfaced in these women, even 30 years later for some. They spoke about the sadness and longing that was still a part of them. They spoke about feeling alone, and about husbands who couldn’t understand their grief. It was an eye-opening experience.
It is sad how alone these women feel, when in reality there are so many of us. What saddens me more are people who think that miscarriages happen to so many women, it must not be that big of a deal.
But it is huge. It is huge because it is the loss of life, the loss of a dream, and (for a period of time) the loss of hope. It is the loss of what once was, what could have been, and what will never be. Personally, it was the loss of a happiness and a fulfillment that was 7 years in the making. It was devastation.
Fortunately, I am of the mindset that my baby had a spirit. And whether he or she returns in this life or the next, I will hold my little “appleseed” someday, and that baby will be perfect.
I can only speak about miscarriage. I can’t imagine the heartache that comes from the loss of an infant. I hold those families close to my heart today.
So for all those women out there who are suffering in silence and anonymity, I wanted to say that you are not alone in your grief. I am crying with you and for you, and remembering your precious babies today.