Today is October 1.
How many of you know that October is Breast Cancer Awareness month? Unless you live under a rock, pretty much everyone knows. Most people think, “How can you not know?” After all there’s several events such as the Race for the Cure and all kinds of cute little antics on Facebook to bring awareness. October is the month that women (and men) can wear “I love boobies” attire or post it on their Facebook without too much negative response.
Pink ribbons are everywhere along with “I love boobies” or “Feel your boobs” bracelets and shirts. You know what? That’s a great thing. We should all be aware that breast cancer exists…and there should be a cure. That goes for all kinds of cancer.
Did you know that October is also Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month? Chances are if you do know, you’ve experienced this type of loss or have a loved one closed to you that has suffered this loss.
I was almost 19 years old before I knew a woman who’d suffered from a miscarriage and was open enough to talk about it. When I miscarried Lucy (Rachel Lucille Anne) shortly after my 21st birthday all of these women that I knew stepped up to say they’d miscarried before too. When I miscarried Jamie, I started hearing from more people that had miscarried. After miscarrying the third time (I found out I was pregnant when I started miscarrying so this sweet baby doesn’t have a name other than the name God gave him/her) and the fourth time (Bailey) I was introduced to the world of women experiencing unexplained repeat pregnancy loss.
I have two beautiful children, Josiah, who came before the four babies we lost, and Samuel, who was our miracle after so many losses. Having two children here with me does not take away the small holes in my heart that were left when my four babies died and went to be with Jesus. The fact that I never got to cradle them in my arms before they died or never got to see them on an ultrasound machine doesn’t make the loss any less painful or any less real.
When a child tragically dies in an accident, that parent doesn’t have to worry about sharing their loss or hiding their grief. Many women who miscarry, because of society’s past taboo on miscarriage, feel like they can’t share their grief or properly mourn because today many says babies aren’t real until they are born. Their life isn’t worth anything until they’ve breathed outside of the womb. Science labels a baby in the womb as a cluster of cells or as an embryo because it makes people forget that the life inside has a soul and was created in the image of God. That baby was created to do something great, no matter how short of time they were here.
All but one of my children has a name. Some women choose to give their babies a name when they miscarry and some don’t. If you’ve lost a child and you want to give that baby a name to keep their memory alive, do it. Use the name. Tell your living children about it. Don’t feel like you have to hide the losses or do anything different than what you want because it makes people feel uncomfortable.
To the family, friends, acquaintances, and random people on the street: Validate their feelings. If you know someone who has lost a baby, let them mourn. Let them talk about it if that’s what they need to do.
Some people are just private. Some people don’t want to talk about it. And that’s OK. My goal is to bring awareness. I want everyone to know that babies are not only dying because of the horrors of abortion. I want them to know that sometimes bad things happen and babies die. Any child lost is a tragedy. Any parent who loses a child deserves to mourn and move on in the best way they know how. It doesn’t matter if the baby lost was 6 weeks gestation, 10 weeks gestation, 20 weeks gestation, a month old, a year old, 10, 20, or 30 years old.
Miscarriage is common. One in 4 women will suffer at least one miscarriage. I am the 1 in 4. Four of my six children are not here with me, but in heaven. I will see them again. They are not flukes meant to be forgotten, but members of my family that deserve to be remembered. And no matter if everyone else forgets, I will remember.