At sunset, the little soul that had come with the dawning went away, leaving heartbreak behind with it. – L.M. Montgomery
October is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. Every year at this time, I partake in raising awareness about the prevalence of early baby loss. In 2004, I miscarried my first child—Agnes Elizabeth. After awhile, though still mired in grief, I slowly began looking beyond my central experience toward reading, researching, and reaching out. Soon, the despair began to lift as, little by little, I realized I was not as alone as I originally felt or thought. In fact, I had joined a special subsection of the female population—a sisterhood marked by the scars of miscarriage, pregnancy loss, and stillbirth. Because words and stories have always been a balm to my woes, while suffering the long-term effects of miscarriage, I allowed books and conversation to soothe away the pain.
We talk about them, not because we’re stuck or because we haven’t moved on, but we talk about them because we are theirs, and they are ours, and no passage of time can change that. — Unknownhttps://www.romper.com/p/16-meaningful-quotes-for-national-pregnancy-infant-loss-remembrance-day-19212024
Until I experienced miscarriage myself, I did not know nor realize how common it is for a woman to suffer from early child loss. One in four pregnancies will end before reaching the second trimester. Recurrent miscarriage, as I’ve experienced, is less common. Yet, I’m acquainted with many women who share this type of devastating loss and compounded grief with me.
If I hadn’t found the courage to tell my story, I wouldn’t have been able to receive the support I needed to fully make it through each of my pregnancy losses. If I hadn’t fully processed what was taken from me and what remains in the shadow of miscarriage, I may not have been able to return the favors of care and compassion to dear friends while they suffered their own miscarriages and multiple losses. Sharing and showing up have been two of the most important pieces of the puzzle to my healing from the intricate traumas of child loss and acquiring the ability to move forward from the physical, mental, and emotional pain of miscarriage.
I felt like I was being carried over the threshold of a sisterhood of loss. I knew I was not walking alone, and that eventually I would bob back up to the surface of the deep, because the women around me showed me what healing looks like.
― Anna White, Mended: Thoughts on Life, Love, and Leaps of Faithhttps://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/miscarriage?page=3&utf8=%E2%9C%93
If you have miscarried or lost a child at any stage of pregnancy, or your child was stillborn, I am so incredibly sorry for your suffering and pain. I’m sorry your heart has been pierced in this way. Be assured of my empathy and prayers, and understand you are not alone. If you need support, or you know of someone having a difficult time with their child loss experience, there are many local, national, and international organizations available to help. I would recommend starting here:
- Share Pregnancy and Infant Loss Support http://nationalshare.org/
- March of Dimes https://www.marchofdimes.org/complications/loss-and-grief.aspx
- My updated resources page https://asadsongbetter.com/miscarriage-infertility-help-hope/
I held you every second of your life. — Stephanie Paige Cole, Still: A Collection of Honest Artwork and Writings from the Heart of a Grieving Mother