Monday, October 15, 2012

National Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day 2012

A Little Piece of Me

Today is National Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day.  The entire month of October is set aside to bring awareness to pregnancy and infant loss, but today we remember our losses.  This month, Salena {from A Little Piece of Me} and I have been sharing posts on a variety of topics concerning pregnancy and infant loss.

Today is different.

Today I want to share my stories of loss.

I never knew the significance of this important month until 2001 when our family lost our first child, Jeffrey.  We were living in Houston, TX at the time.  We belonged to a group called H.A.N.D {Houston's Aid in Neonatal Death} shortly after the loss of Jeffrey.  It was absolutely surreal that our family would have to even belong to such a group, but thank God that group was there!  It made us realize that, while our circumstances were tragic {and could have been deadly for me as well}, that we weren't alone by any means.  There were also circumstances which, in my view, were actually seemingly more tragic than ours.  Mothers and fathers alike were part of this group.  One of our leaders had a child who would then have been 8 years old and I remember thinking how amazing they were doing, but I couldn't even picture a world 8 years removed from the loss of our precious Jeffrey.  We're now over 11 years since our loss.

It took a long time to get pregnant again.  The longer it took, the more everyone else around me seemed to be having babies.  People, if you've experienced a loss, surely you can relate to how difficult that can be!  I truly wish now that I'd been where I am at today in my walk with Christ while all of this was going on.  How much better my life post-loss could have been.  However, everything happens according to God's plan and I trust now that there was a purpose for everything that happened between then and now.

We did get pregnant again in 2003.  In April of that year, my mom was visiting.  I was newly pregnant.  I was excited.  Tired.  Nervous.  One day, while shopping at a big outlet mall in west Houston, I stopped in the restroom.  I was absolutely shocked to discover I was having some bleeding.  I was stricken with fear.  My mouth went dry.  I cried.  I didn't know what was going on.  Mom and I left the mall.  I called Ron.  It wasn't horrible bleeding, but I knew that it shouldn't be happening.  When we got home, I called the doctor's office.  I crawled in bed.  And waited.  Scared.  Terrified.  Crying.  This could not be happening.  Surely what I feared most was not happening.  I agonized at the thoughts of what could be happening.  What probably was happening.  I did not want to lose another child!!  Late that evening, the bleeding got worse.  Ron and Mom took me to the ER.  I waited on a stretcher in my little curtained off area.  Scared.  I was just waiting for someone to come and see me.  I had to go to the bathroom.  That's when it happened.  That feeling of having to go to the bathroom was really the actual physical delivery of that tiny precious baby.  The miscarriage.  I had to pass the nurse's station in the ER on my way back to my gurney, so I handed over that precious silent little life.  Then someone saw me to examine me.

Once again, I wish I'd been at the place where I'm at now on my walk with Christ then because that experience, I believe, only made me distance myself further from Him.  Looking back, I can confidently say that at the time I anguished over how unfair my life was.  How it wasn't fair that everyone else got to have kids.  How it wasn't fair that all kinds of horrible stuff only ever happens to us.  Looking back, I made my life situation very much about me and not about God and what His plan might possibly have been.  I did not put God first.  I blamed God.  I was furious with Him.  I created a litany of horrible things that have happened throughout my entire life to justify why I was right in how I was thinking at that time.  Everyone else continued to get pregnant and have beautiful and healthy kids.  Not us.  I wanted to give up.  I hated my life.  I hated what we'd been handed.  I hated being 3 years into marriage and nearly having lost my own life twice and having  lost two children.  I hated everything.  

I don't know if our second baby was a boy who would wind up looking just like his older brother or if it was a girl.  I regret that our second baby has for 8 years been called "the second baby" or "the baby we lost".  I regret that that child has never been given a proper name.  I always had a feeling like we should name the baby a name that would work for either a boy or a girl.  

Oh how I wish I knew then what I know now!!

The good thing is that God grants us new mercies each day.

Lamentations 3:22-23 (NIV)
22 Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. 23 They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

God is merciful and compassionate.  He is a loving God.  I know now that He loved me through all of our trials we went through at that time.  I know He loves me through all of the trials I've endured since that time. I know that He loves all of my children with unfailing love - whether they are present on this Earth with me now or with Him in heaven.

In the time that has passed since my losses, I have been blessed with two daughters - Moira in 2004 and Peyton in 2006.  Moira can tell you all about her big brother.  We remember him every August 14th on his birthday {he was stillborn on that date in 2001}.  At Christmas, we always remember our babies in a special flower arrangement.  No matter where we happen to be spending Christmas - at our home or elsewhere - there is always a bouquet of roses on display.  There is no special treatment about the arrangement.  It is there.  We {and my family} know what it signifies.  It's just there.  The arrangement consists of 6 pink roses - one rose for each month I carried Jeffrey.  There are also yellow roses - one for every Christmas that has passed since he died.  This year, we will have a dozen yellow roses.  Since 2003, one white rose has been added each year.  That solitary white rose is for our second baby.  

Since I began seriously blogging over a year ago, I have come across so many stories of infant and child loss in the blogs that I follow.  My heart breaks for each and every one of you who have lost a child to stillbirth, miscarriage, illness, SIDS, and so on.  These children are a part of our families.  A part of us.  They are to be honored by us, particularly at this time during Infant Loss Awareness Month.  




1 Samuel 1:27-28 (NIV)
27 I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him. 28 So now I give him to the LORD. For his whole life he will be given over to the LORD.” And he worshiped the LORD there.

Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV)
28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Friends, Salena and I would love for you to share your stories if you are open and willing to share.  Your children are not forgotten and we want to remember and celebrate them with you today.  Their lives will always hold a special place in your hearts and they will always have meaning.  If you don't want to share your story, please feel free to remember your angel babies in the comments below.  Whether you comment as "Baby", "Baby Boy / Girl", or with the name you chose for them, along with their dates if you choose, they are remembered today.

Your precious babies are remembered, honored, and celebrated today.

Thank you so much for sharing such a personal piece of your story with us today.

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