Today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Day. I was in college when I first heard about it. And I thought it was the saddest thing I’d ever heard of. Young and naive and unaware of what could happen. It wasn’t until I was in a nursing class that I learned that there is a 15% chance of miscarriage in the first trimester. Being still young and naive, I still considered this very sad, but foolishly believed that it couldn’t happen to me.
But it has. It’s happened to me four times. And as sad as this is, it’s still nothing compared to the horrible 1% of pregnancies that end in stillbirth. I only knew the joy of two pink lines and telling family. I only started to plan out what everything would be like. I never felt those babies kick. I didn’t get to see their sweet profiles on the ultrasound in glorious detail. And I didn’t hold them in my arms after they were born.
For all the families who have felt this pain, my heart just breaks. I ache for their losses, their pain, their dreams that will never come true. Miscarriage is horrible and in my life has been crushing. But I haven’t had to bury a child so I am grateful. I had planned to have six children in my life. I do. Everyone who has ever lost a child, regardless of their date of gestation, is still a parent. They are still mothers and fathers, regardless of where or not there is an accompanying car seat and dirty diapers.
My last miscarriage was two years ago this Christmas. And we’ve spent the last 22 months trying and praying and hoping for another baby. Oh, how I’ve wanted another baby. This summer, I started hunting for another doctor’s opinion. Several opinions later, we accepted that we won’t be having more children. In a few weeks, I’ll be having surgery so repair an internal issue from so many pregnancies in a short amount of time, but there is nothing they can do to fix the fact that my body will not support another pregnancy. My heart will always wish for more children. It is going to hurt for a long time when people announce subsequent pregnancies, because no matter how happy I am for them, that longing in my heart will always be there.
This post serves to remind you, dear readers that there is always someone in the world who is hurting. Love on the people around you, even if she starts to cry when she sees your baby. Be kind to the man next door who hasn’t had it together enough to keep up on the yardwork. You don’t know where people are in their lives.