October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month



Happy Wednesday friends!

I had the privilege of meeting this sweet lady during my Alaska adventures. You can read all about her on her blog here: https://kristinsoult.com/. She’s just as lovely in person as she looks!

I walked with her on her journey through loss. And it was heartbreaking. This spring, I read her blog and my heart absolutely broke while reading her beautiful writing about the loss of their second baby.

I’ve talked about miscarriage and loss before. It’s so hard for everyone. There aren’t enough words. There aren’t the right words. As a midwife, I always feel like I’m trying to counsel you about the diagnosis and options while trying not to cry as I offer you pictures of your baby that you’ll never get to hold. And then trying to tell you it’s not how you did the laundry or the dishes that caused the baby to pass away or the miscarriage to start.

It’s terrible.

But there is a light. And that light is Jesus and heaven and the hope that if you have lost a baby and you believe in Christ Jesus, that you will get to meet those lost babies in heaven one day.

While on earth though, there is this beautiful poem. Kristin’s words are the truest description to the pain that women with loss feel that I’ve ever seen. There is deep sadness and equally deep rage. It’s hard to imagine if you haven’t walked the path or see those on the path.

As a disclaimed, I haven’t had a miscarriage or loss myself; but I have walked with hundreds of women who have.

Take some time to read her words and offer her words to anyone that has had an infant or pregnancy stolen away from them. They’re honest, raw and true. And they don’t hide the hurt that continues long after women leave the clinic.

Remember this month each year for those women that you know that have lost littles ones of their own. Here’s Kristin’s poem:


TO THE BABIES WE LOST

I’ll never forget the day we buried our child, right here in the mountains, right here in the wild.

Grief hits like a wave and sinks down to my bones, I continue to release all the moans and the groans.

I cry, “Abba, Father! Why do I keep bleeding? This isn’t fair and you’re the One we’ll be needing! It feels like you’re far, why aren’t you here?”

His voice like a whisper, “Come close, I am near…

I’m the Lion of Judah here to sit with you in the pain. I’ll bring you understanding to help break off these chains. 

From glory to glory each month you will see how I’ll carry you through in this desperate time of need.

I haven’t forgotten what you fervently asked for, the plan for your family is plenty & more.”

With anger & rage I shout back at Him and say, “Why did you have to take them away?”

His answer came fast like the waves of grief do, “I did not take them, that’s not true. Let go of the lies and the tricks and the fears. Let’s have a chat, sit down I am here.”

I listen in close, but then scream and yell, blaming everything on Him for what seems like hell.

He says to me softly, “I see that you’re sad, heavy and distraught, but I am who I am and the price has been bought. Sin & death don’t come from me, I long for my people to be set free.

Here & not now is a hard place to sit. You’ll see them one day, have hope and don’t quit. 

I know that it’s not fair to bury your babies, I know your mind is filled with doubts and maybes.

For now, remember that Selah taught you to rest, pausing in my presence was always the best. Remember Shalom and the word I gave you, my peace was all you had in the 12 weeks you felt blue.

Remember what I said when you saw baby on the screen, keep hope alive and choose me when you lean.”

As He finished speaking, I quietly looked up. With tears running down my face, I felt He’d filled my cup.

But, how do I move on from losing two babies in a row? How do I have peace when I don’t even know?

People keep saying, you’ll get your rainbow baby! At least you can get pregnant, stop questioning the maybes.

That hurts because I lost them, people don’t understand. I miss them, they’re real and I wish I could hold their hands.   

As I think this He says, “Take care of yourself, go on and don’t rush. Our culture is so fixed on keeping these things hushed.

You’ll need to take all the time that you need, healing will come and someday you’ll be freed. 

My body & mind are weary and weak, there’s really One person who I know to seek.

Still, grief hits like a wave and sinks down to my bones, I continue to release all the moans and the groans.


I know, her words keep echoing even after you stop reading them.

If you have a friend that has a lost a baby and you don’t know what to say, the Star Legacy foundation has put together an excellent list of how to help and how to find the words of support.

They also published these infographics to share across the month.


I just have a few more comments to share.

Miscarriage and stillbirth are part of midwifery care and part of a woman’s history. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and talk about prior losses and what happened. You might be the first person who actually asked questions and provided condolences.

If you have a friend who has a loss, don’t be afraid to talk to them. Reach out, offer warm hugs and ask what they need. Drop off some cookies or a basket of goodies for healing. Bring them a meal. Don’t miss the opportunity to love someone through their season of loss.

And if you are experiencing a loss, don’t be afraid to ask questions, talk about what’s going and ask for help if you need it. In almost every single community there are resources to offer you more help and love than you could imagine.

Lastly, I love a little history. According to the National Day Calendar, we have President Ronald Reagan to thank for bringing light to loss awareness in 1988:

On October 25, 1988, President Reagan designated the entire month of October 1988 as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. On that day he said: “When a child loses his parent, they are called an orphan. When a spouse loses her or his partner, they are called a widow or widower. When parents lose their child, there isn’t a word to describe them. This month recognizes the loss so many parents experience across the United States and around the world. It is also meant to inform and provide resources for parents who have lost children due to miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, molar pregnancy, stillbirths, birth defects, SIDS, and other causes. Now, therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the month of October as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. I call upon the people of the United States to observe this month with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities.”

Well done President Reagan. You’ve always been one of my favorite presidents.

Hugs,

Jamie


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