Two years ago I first heard about pregnancy and infant loss awareness month. I don’t know if it was the first time things were shared on Facebook, if it was because I was pregnant at the time or if there were more postings than ever before that made me notice.
I remember seeing these posts and feeling a deep sense of sadness, rubbing my belly with gratitude that I had a healthy baby growing inside. I remember thinking how great it was to see pregnancy and infant loss having such a light shine on it. I remember thinking of the customers I had over the previous 6 years who had shared their heartbreak with me. I remember thinking of my beautiful friends who lost their precious baby the February before and feeling guilty that I was pregnant and wondered if I had done enough for them.
It was in that October that we ‘publicly’ announced our third pregnancy, waiting until we had our morphology scan thinking that would surely mean we were in a safe zone. It was also in that October that we suddenly became one of the statistics, joining a club no parent wants to be in. It was on the last day of that October, the last day of Pregnancy and Infant Loss awareness month, that we held our baby’s funeral.
The timing was not lost on me.
As the Facebook posts about loss stopped and a new month started, we came home with empty arms, broken hearts and shattered dreams. Just like that, life was supposed to go on as normal.
But it didn’t.
And it never will.
Because there is nothing that will ever feel normal about having your baby die.
Over the last 2 years we have been finding our new and different kind of normal. We have learnt to laugh and live again. We have a beautiful fulfilling love filled life with so much joy and many blessings I’m eternally grateful for. But it will always be a life without our son. That’s not me ‘being negative’ or ‘choosing to not focus on what we do have’. It’s simply the facts of our reality.
The reality of a life that will forever be lived with a hole in our hearts. Always loving him, always missing him, always wanting him, always grieving him.
You see, it’s not just in October we remember our baby.
It’s not just in October we want him acknowledged and recognised as being a loved part of our family.
Its not just in October we are impacted by his loss.
It’s not just in October our hearts call out to the universe hoping our love finds him.
It’s not just in October we yearn to hold him just one last time and wish desperately things were different.
It’s not just in October that we grieve for him and think about him.
Its not just in October that we love him.
It’s every day of every month because it’s every day of every month he is our loved son, our beautiful baby.
Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month allows so many to use their voices collectively to spread understanding. It allows so many to find that extra bit of safety to share their story or their baby. It allows so many to find comfort in knowing they are not alone. It brings beautiful memorial and remembrance events and the Wave of Light (at 7pm on October 15) where people all over the world light a candle in honour of little ones held in hearts.
But it’s not just in October that pregnancy and infant loss needs to be acknowledged and allowed to be talked about. It’s everyday because every single day it happens. It’s everyday because the taboo and silence that exists around it is stifling and compounds grief. It’s everyday because the lack of understanding and awareness is damaging and leaves thousands of parents isolated without the support they want, need and deserve.
October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss awareness month but its every single month that so many parents live with a missing piece in the unique shape of their babies.