Thursday, October 14, 2010
October 15th is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. The official website of PAIL encourages everyone to light a candle at 7 PM tonight (whatever your time zone may be) and burn it for an hour, creating a wave of light across the world in memory of the littlest angels and their families.
I won't be home at 7 tonight, or even in the following hour, to light my candle. (Well, my Scentsy warmer...I don't do candles any more.) But I'll have it going before and after, and even if I didn't, my thoughts and prayers would be with all of the families that this day represents.
Including my own.
Studies have shown that 10-25% of all clinically recognized pregnancies will end in miscarriage. 25%...that's up to one out of every four. I never realized what a common occurrence it was until it happened to me.
I was one of the "lucky" ones who endured a loss before I ever saw my baby on a screen during an ultrasound, felt her kick, held her in my arms. (I use a generic "her" since I tend to create females.) Experiencing a loss so early did not make it any less devastating at the time. I still clearly remember that pain, although it was four years ago this month. I didn't want anything but my baby back...I wanted the chance to know a gender, to choose a name, to see a little face. In retrospect, my heart breaks for the mothers who did all of those things, only to have it taken away.
Very few people knew about my loss. Very few people still know. No one ever mentions it, and I wonder if anyone remembers. But I do.
And I still grieve. That would-have-been due date is still difficult. But I am thankful for the realization that God had a plan for my life that did not include that child. As much as it hurt...I know now that my Amelia could not be here today if things had not happened as they did. Hearing that "it wasn't meant to be" sounded like such a terrible cliche at the time.
I'm confident that I'll get my answers someday. I'll know whether my little angel was a boy or a girl, and I'll see that sweet little face. Here on earth, I'm widely recognized as a mother of two - but in Heaven, I'll have one more.
To all of those who have lost a child - whether in pregnancy, during birth, or in infancy - my prayers are with you today.