October marks Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month. Over the course of this month, I’ll feature a series of posts dedicated to this month. It’s a bittersweet month for me. Sweet because it’s my birthday month, bitter because I’m reminded of my lost babies (not that I ever forget them).
Pregnancy and infant loss is a taboo subject because let’s face it, no one likes to talk or think about dead babies. No one wants to see a picture of one. No one wants to know someone who’s lost one. Often times, parents who has suffered from pregnancy and infant loss are often isolated and left alone. We lose friendships. People we were once close to, are no longer a factor. Our world is now completely different than it was before.
It’s always the fall that I get a little uncomfortable. I used to look forward to the fall. My birthday is in October, my husband’s in November. Thanksgiving and Christmas follow right behind. For me, fall always symbolized a new beginning and a fresh start, kinda like a school year.
Now, come early September, I get a little anxious. It gets a little worse in October and November, and then full-blown depression in December.
You see, my mind constantly goes back to 2011, where I was youngish and naive. I was pregnant with Ethan. It was my rainbow baby after a devastating miscarriage that April. I prayed every day and even listened to gospel music because I was so thankful for this baby. And then…I wasn’t pregnant anymore. I haven’t listened to gospel music since and my praying habits are few and far in between now.
I hate it when people feel because you have a living child, everything’s OK now. Why should I still be in mourning when I have an active toddler? Why haven’t I ‘gotten over it?’ Well, everything’s better now, right? Those questions and the like really make me angry. You don’t get over losing a child like you would losing a job. You don’t get over burying a child like you would a goldfish.
Picking out an outfit to bury your son in? Choosing the perfect song for the pianist to play during the service? Writing an eulogy to say at your son’s funeral? Yeah, THAT FUCKING SUCKS.
It does get easier over time. It doesn’t hurt as much as it used to. The first few months are brutal and it’s really hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel when you’re surrounded in darkness. But the pain will always be there.
For those who have never lost a pregnancy or infant, please be sympathetic to those who have/had. They’re going through something unimaginable and only a few people truly know what it’s like. The next post will tackle on what NOT to say to a bereaved parent.