Why the heck do we need a pregnancy and infant loss awareness month?

11:37:00 PM

Hello darlings,


In a post I wrote last year about 59+1 random things you didn’t know about me, I talked about how I shy away from posting personal things on the blog and the internet in general. That hasn’t changed despite the fact that I have since shared more personal stuff here. It never comes easy for me to open up on the internet and I think it never will. On that same post it was the first time I wrote about losing my daughter’s twin just before turning 12 weeks pregnant. I’ve never mentioned it since. Until now that is.





I am not sure how many of you know that October is pregnancy and infant loss awareness month. I didn’t know either till recently. When I first found out I didn’t understand why there was a need to have a month dedicated on such a matter to be honest with you. You could say I had conflicted feelings about it but the truth is I was actually really angry.


I mean who needs to be aware of pregnancy loss? Pregnant women? Do you really think they don’t know it? Do you really think there is a pregnant woman out there that doesn’t know that it is possible to loose a child before it is born, while giving birth or shortly after? Really? Every woman knows that! It’s every woman’s worst nightmare and it’s one of the reasons pregnant women don’t sleep well in my opinion.


Or maybe we need to have this month to remember our angel babies. Again, really? Is there a woman (or a man for that matter) out there who needs a reminder of that loss? Is there a woman out there who doesn’t think of the baby or babies she’s lost every freaking day? Do you really think that these little souls haven’t left a mark in ours? Do you really think that this mark doesn’t burn every freaking day? Or we should only remember them every time October comes around?


And who were those people who were urging me and other like me to talk about my loss? Don’t they know I am an introvert that deals with grief by herself and with the help of her loving husband? Why do they put the pressure on me to come forward and share my story?


That’s just some of my thoughts when I first learnt of this awareness month. To say I was frustrated is putting it mildly. I was livid! I was hurting and I couldn’t make sense of it all. So I did what I always do when I can’t make sense out of something. I read! I read and then read some more and I finally saw the light. I finally realized why there has to be a month (and October the 15th in particular) dedicated to this hurtful matter.

The reason is empathy.





Not everyone knows how to deal with pregnancy and infant loss. Not everyone has that happened to them (thankfully!), so not everyone knows the right thing to say to someone who has. Not all husbands know what they can do to help their wives (or significant other) deal with the loss. Not everyone is an introvert like me.


I remember when my doctor first told me I was pregnant. The joy, the tears, the stress, I remember it all. And I will never forget when he told me on a later appointment that there are actually two babies in there! It was the only visit to the doctor I went alone since Nick was abroad. I will never forget the joy, the tears, the stress and the excitement of learning we had two babies!


I would like to forget the day he told me that baby #2 is gone. Actually I would like for that day to never had happened but forgetting it would be ok too. But I will never forget every word that was said. He was almost as devastated as we were, my sweet doctor. You see I didn’t feel a thing. He (or she) passed away without a sign, without a pain, without a goodbye. One day he was fine and then he was gone. No blood, no pain, no nothing. We were 3 days away from the 12 week get out jail mark. It happens they say. Don’t worry about baby #1, they say. She will be fine, they say. My sweet doctor told me I had no right to grieve right now. I had another baby to look after and I should not stress myself in fear of losing the other baby too.


I never told my parents. I only told my sister the next day, on Christmas Eve when she came around our house with my nephew for the Christmas carols. I couldn’t say it at first but she knew about the doctor’s appointment and she asked about the babies. I said: “We are left with only one”. She was sad and very supportive and she told my parents for me. I think Nick told everyone else about it and how they were supposed to not say anything to me to avoid me getting over emotional and stressed out. And so baby #2 was never mentioned again. I talked about it with my husband but up until now I’ve never talked about it with anyone else.


So, it has become a taboo matter of shorts. Everyone knows about it but no one really talks about it. And those who have commented on it in passing never say the right thing. In my case what I’ve heard the most is: “At least you had two so you are left with one”. This is NOT the right thing to say. It’s like saying baby’s #2 life didn’t matter since you got to go home with baby #1. It’s like saying one out of two is a good score. What.A.Load.Of.Crap! That’s the worst thing to say!


The best thing was actually something Nick said. He said what a hero baby #2 was to sacrifice himself for his twin and in a way that didn’t harm baby #1 at all. See, after learning about his passing we were on high alert for any problems like bleeding or pain or any sign something was wrong with baby #1 too. Nothing ever happened. With time the dead fetus was absorbed by me and baby #1 and after a few months it was not even detectable in the ultrasound. In our minds he was truly a hero.  


And that’s why it’s ok to have a pregnancy and infant loss awareness month. Cause people will learn what the right thing to say is. (BTW a simple: "I am sorry" is more than fine). People will be more educated on how a family feels after such a loss. People will talk about their loss and maybe even heal through the process.


I still don’t want to talk about baby #2. I see his photo on the ultrasound and talk to him from time to time. I think I will talk about him with Natalia when she gets older. I would like her to know about her twin. I am sure baby #2 would like that too.


If you’ve been there I am sorry for your loss. I hope you have a supportive family and friends and I hope you get to grieve and be strong. If you’ve never been there, I hope you’ll never will.
If you need to learn more about this subject you can read more here.

Lots of love






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32 comments

  1. Thank you very much for sharing a piece of yourself! I cant imagine how hard it is to lose a child!
    Just yesterday on a mum facebook group someone posted a video of dolls that look incredible like a real baby that are mean for those who mums who have lost their babies for a way for them to heal and live in peace. Most of the mums on the group wrote that its creepy, disgusting ect. But someone wrote that if we havent been in the same situation as these ladies we cant not judge! We cant tell how we will do, act or feel in this situation and if these dolls help these ladies let them as long they dont hurt anybody.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for taking the time to read my story. I am glad you haven't been in my shoes and wish you'll never be. As for the story you shared, I agree with you. Don't judge people, especially parents and even more grieving ones! They don't deserve it.

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  2. This is so needed, there are so many such incidents happening every year. We must raise awareness about this.

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  3. Really very hard questions you have thrown up, no mother can forget the baby she lost any day and yes every to be mom is aware as to the baby loss which can happen. Need to ask ourselves and ponder upon.

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  4. Though I can't relate to the topic, all I can do is keep annopen mind andbtry to understand the situation, and broaden the empathy. Keep on supporting.

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  5. I can understand how difficult it must've been for you to share such a personal thing! But, I'm on the same page as you! We all need to be aware about it as a community instead of just being in campaigns for one month. :)

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  6. It can be difficult when you are reminded every month through an awareness of your pan you are trying to put behind. you are a strong person to even blog about it and share it with the world. I think awareness should be made everyday though to raise attention than it being specified to just once in a year.

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  7. Words cannot express what I am feeling for you right now, Nick's words really resonate with me about baby #2 sacrificing himself. That is an incredible sentiment. My heart goes out to you, congratulations on your strength in writing this post x

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  8. There is such a need for awareness about this. So many moms just suffer in silence and that is not ok!

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  9. A helpful post for me. My sister are pregnant so this imformation will help her so much.

    Thanks for sharing!

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  10. I have to admit I am often conflicted by these awareness months, part of me thinks it is a good thing, then one comes up and brings to the surface painful feelings and I want it to go away.

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  11. I love that you are talking to the other mothers who have suffered through loss in the same way. That's great that your brother was able to say the right thing at the right time.

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  12. I think we do need to raise awareness about many aspect of (women's life most of the time) life that are often kept silent because it can help a lot of people.

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  13. I commend you for allowing yourself to be vulnerable. I am now a mother to three but before them I lost my first two pregnancies. You are so right most people do not know what to say so months like this definitely help to spread awareness. Going through a loss can be a very lonely experience.

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  14. I think this is an important thing to discuss. I have had a miscarriage before, and it's a tough thing to go through.

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  15. This is such an important topic and I thank you for providing a space to share about it with others. Sending you much love and empathy.

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  16. The loss of pregnancy, infant or child is always a sad moment. It is OK if you don't want to talk too much about it, most people that have never experienced this might not understand, while some just lack proper empathy. I am glad you have healed overtime, I pray you don't experience such again.

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  17. This story is really touching.I can understand the feeling of a miscarriage.Most moms suffer with such pains and losing of their infants.Glad you brought this topic for awareness!

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  18. I've always wondered the same about certain things. It can help those who have been through the pain to help others who are going through it.

    I recently found out a family member lost her baby during her early pregnancy and I was very upset to hear the news didn't come from her, but from a person who heard it from someone else and shared it with me. I've always believed things like this shouldn't be spread around unless the person who is going through the pain decides to share it with you.

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  19. You are an amazing vessel, thank you for choosing to be transparent. After reading your journey I fully agree awareness should be the focus. I myself didn't realize so many mothers are suffering in silence.

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  20. Thank you for sharing your personal take on it. It's a very delicate topic and I have to agree on some of the points above.

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  21. I definitely think that there needs to be an infant loss awareness week as I have many friends who had miscarriages or stillbirths and its important that we show empathy. It helps those who have not gone through it to understand how they can support their friends and family x

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  22. I’m sorry for your loss and applaud you for talking about it. I miscarried at 10 weeks and it was one of the absolute worst things I’ve had to deal with. I loved your take on raising awareness and why. xo

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  23. It's never easy having to share personal information with people. I applaud your courage and how that every other person who has suffered a miscarriage will have the strength to bear the loss and most importantly that such losses never happen to anyone.

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  24. I don't think anyone really needs the reminder if they have experienced this loss. I really agree with you that it is for other people so that they can empathize.

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  25. I am so sorry for your loss, I can't imagine what it was like having to go through that. I agree a lot with what you said about what this month represents more for other people to sympathize than a reminder. Thank you so much for sharing!

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  26. This is heartbreaking. It must be very difficult for both moms and dads who experienced this.

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  27. This is especially true. I've had things happen to close ones even when they were super careful. So more awareness is needed!

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  28. Thank you for sharing your story and I am so sorry for your loss. I am glad there is a month to bring awareness to such a tough time for many, many people.

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  29. A friend of mine lost three children,and loves to attend several infant loss awareness events around town. It reminds her that she isn't alone.

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  30. I never lost a pregnancy but couldn't get pregnant a second time. "Oh you can adopt" was a common phrase. Most don't understand the trials of that either. Or, having a failed adoption is losing a child also.

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  31. Wow...I love the way you bring out the element of empathy, Akamatra. Thank you for this one.

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