Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awarness Month
October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. Sometimes it seems funny to me to have a month devoted to that because when you’ve lost a child or a pregnancy you never really forget it long enough to need any reminders. But alas, the awareness we seek to raise isn’t for those of us who have lost, it’s for those who have never experienced it.
My experience is miscarriage at 12 weeks. Pregnancy loss. Not infant or child loss. My miscarriage was devastating and heartbreaking. I cannot imagine the pain of losing a late term pregnancy or a child who was alive in the world. The mere thought of it can cripple me for hours.
The pregnancy that I lost started out as a twin pregnancy and I lost the first baby very early on. The doctor had warned me that it was very likely that I would end up with a singleton pregnancy even though we saw two heartbeats at the first scan. The second one was very weak. I accepted that and adjusted to the idea of having a single baby. My husband and I kept it quiet, as custom dictates when you are pregnant. Everyone tells you not to reveal your pregnancy until the second trimester. This advice is because of miscarriage. It’s to save you from having to share your sad news with all the people you may have told that you were pregnant. When I lost that pregnancy I was very grateful not to have to tell lots of people that we had let the baby. It was a difficult enough time without compounding it with a lot of sad conversations with friends. We had told a few people and that was hard enough.
But here’s the thing, I was not ashamed of my miscarriage. I was just really sad about it. As I started to open up to people about it I was amazed at how many of my friends had also had miscarriages. It was this big, silent secret we were all keeping from each other. Sharing it was like entering a sisterhood that I never knew existed. I felt so alone when I learned that I had lost my baby but I was never alone. I just didn’t know it.
Of course, a great number of my friends and family members have had babies and never experienced this loss. It is for them that a campaign like Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness exists.
This month in Dubai I am proudly partnering with Little Angels - Love Through Loss and Small and Mighty Babies to share a random act of kindness to raise awareness of those of us who walk through the world carrying a loss. We are handing out a bag of sweets with the name an angel baby in our community. We seek to raise awareness and break the silence of baby loss with a little bit of sweetness. I adore my sisters in the support community and I am really honored to be a part of this campaign.
To those who have lost please know that not for a single second are you alone or unseen.