Today (Oct 15th) is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day, as many of you may be aware. I was conflicted about whether or not to talk about this, since I am fortunate enough to never have personally experienced that kind of loss, but I wanted to acknowledge the day.
I’ve had dear friends lose pregnancies, newborns, and almost-toddlers. My sister had a devastating loss at 20w, which even now, 2 healthy preschoolers of hers later, we don’t discuss. Playful Lucas was 15m old when he gave up his valiant fight against liver failure, and proved that losses which you know are coming are just as hard to bear. Sweet Ava was less than a day old when she was lost to complications from suspected ARPKD, although now the cause isn’t as clear, and the ongoing uncertainty about what exactly happened weighs heavily on her family. My heart breaks for my friends, and for all of the parents in NICUs and PICUs around the world who are mourning their babies.
I will never forget the conversation I had with the proud mama whose 23 weeker was in the incubator next to D when he was born. She told me about her little girl, the fighter – born vaginally and cried right away before being whisked off to get treatments. We would share the progress of our LOs for those few days we had together, with D’s first “neighbor.” I only knew something was wrong later that week when they called in the hospital pastor to pray with them. When the sweet little girl was gone the next day, I had no way of contacting the mother to send my love and sympathy, but I will never forget her. In the 2nd, larger NICU, they had a whole closet full of donated clothes to be used for memorial pictures. It saddens me that such a thing has to exist, but I’m glad the tiniest relief is there for the families who are grieving.
I’ll be lighting a candle tonight at 7pm for specifically for the losses of my friends and family. There are no appropriate words to say to honor them, or to acknowledge the loss of their mamas and papas and sisters and brothers – but I think the most important thing is to remember them, and tell their stories so that others may come to know them as well.
If you are mourning today, I wish you peace and love. If you aren’t, I hope you take some time today to reach out to friends who have experienced loss, and let them know that you haven’t forgotten their tiny loved ones.