I have spent the past month starting and stopping several posts. We hit a major mental milestone at 24 weeks and reaching viability, and now at 28 weeks I am not on bed rest like last pregnancy and haven’t even had to visit labor and delivery. Our Doppler ultrasounds have been great, she even weighs more now than Joey did when he was born. She is super active and strong and sometimes her kicks stop me in my tracks. It is such wonderful news because at this time last pregnancy I was beginning to have symptoms of HELLP, and had no idea that my body was trying to kill us.
I keep starting and stopping because October is Infant and Pregnancy Loss Awareness month with October 15 designated as Infant Loss Remembrance Day. I feel that it is important to break the silence, because one in four mothers have suffered from miscarriage, stillborn, and infant loss. It is important for these mothers to know they aren’t alone and that it is okay to talk about their loss and honor their child. With child loss being such a taboo subject, many mothers are alone in their pain and feel as if they can’t talk about it. However, as a mother who lost her son, I struggle to find the words I want to write when discussing the day of remembrance.
The reality is, I don’t need a special day to take time and remember my lost son. For me, everyday is infant loss remembrance. It is the grief that hits me out of no where when I am reminded of my son. It is the sad smile I give to a mother chasing after twins because I wish that could be me. It is the tears I cry at night as I remember my son’s last moments. It’s the blue tint that shadows my surviving son’s milestones because I can’t help but wonder if his brother would have been running right next to him, followed quickly by the guilt that I need to refocus on the miracle growing up in front of me. It is the guilt I have when I breathe a sigh of relief at every prenatal appointment for my rainbow baby, because had Connor survived, we probably would not have pursued fertility. My baby is always there in my heart, on my mind, engraved in my soul.
This past Wednesday was our bimonthly ultrasound and our monthly growth ultrasound. I left the MFM office smiling, relieved it went well, relieved that she was still growing, relieved that it looked as if we would easily surpass 29 weeks and have a third trimester. Then I literally ran smack into one of our twins NICU nurses. We both apologized and she didn’t recognize me as she smiled and moved on, but the shock and grief that hit me when I saw her face stunned me from being able to say anything. This was the nurse who was giving Connor CPR and keeping him alive so I could say goodbye. The nurse who reluctantly stopped when the doctor told her he wasn’t responding and nothing else could be done. I was surprised and unprepared for the grief that would overcome me as I hurried to me car afraid the tears were going to pour out before I made it. I didn’t understand why I reacted the way I did considering I saw her and talked to her many times in the six weeks that followed our son’s death as she took care of our surviving son. It is these moments that show the rawness of the pain that can never heal.
October 15 is not a day to remember our angel babies. It is a day for mothers who have endured the worst to stand together and know we are not alone. It is an instant kindred spirit that develops from the understanding of that pain that only other angel mothers know. There is no getting over it, and while we do move on, we can never be the person we were before our child’s death.
A fellow angel mom posted this article earlier today on her Facebook.. This mother’s strength and courage inspires me everyday and the article about Pink and her song spoke to me which is why I wish to share it here as well:
Everyday I wish I could hold him just one more time, see his face, kiss his forehead, tell him over and over how much I love and miss him.