Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Pregnancy & Infant Loss - A Loss Is A Loss

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Pregnancy and infant loss.

There are many ways one might find themselves on the journey of grief after suffering the loss of a pregnancy or infant.  You might have had an ectopic pregnancy, a miscarriage, a stillbirth, or your infant may have passed away suddenly from SIDS.  There are so many other forms of pregnancy and infant loss.  I am not a medical professional so cannot speak to these issues directly except for my own personal experiences in the area of miscarriage and stillbirth.  What I can say for all of these is that it doesn't matter how it happened - a loss is a loss.

My first pregnancy resulted in the stillbirth of our son, Jeffrey 12 years ago.  I was deathly ill.  I could have lost my own life as well, but instead it was only him.  I delivered him stillborn at 22 weeks, going through the same labor pains any mom would feel when about to give birth to their healthy living child.  Yet my husband and I knew he was already gone.  We would never hear a cry from him.  I held that precious 1 lb 3/4 oz baby boy for hours and I wept. I took in his features and saw what he looked like.  Who he looked like.  The loss was tangible and fierce.  Twelve years later, I still miss my son with all my heart.

I recovered from serious health issues surrounding that pregnancy and new ones which arose shortly thereafter.  I knew that any future pregnancy would be considered high risk. It was a risk we were willing to take.  We longed for a family together here on Earth.

My second pregnancy was in 2003.  We were "cautiously optimistic" as it began and altogether devastated when I miscarried at 8 weeks.  I'd heard a heartbeat.  The baby was there.  Then it wasn't.  I did not have to endure the trauma of a surgery to remove anything.  The baby {and everything associated with it} simply passed on its own.  That day, I knew something was wrong.  It would be several hours before I headed to the ER.  I don't know if this baby was a boy or a girl.  I do not know what or who this child looked like.  I do know it was a precious life which was taken too soon.  It is a different type of loss than what I went through with Jeffrey, but it is still a loss.

I don't know what your circumstances of loss are.  I just want to support you and let you know that you aren't alone in your grieving.  It doesn't matter if it was an early miscarriage or stillbirth {or later}.  I firmly believe that life begins at conception, so a child lost in any way after that is a death to be mourned.  I can tell you from my experience that not all the community around me felt like my second loss was much to grieve over.  The comments you receive from well-meaning people can be astounding.  But the fact of the matter is, I went through two losses.  Not just one.

I have also been grieving the loss of my 6 year old daughter since May.  That is a whole other loss and set of experiences, but it is not a pregnancy or infant loss.  However, when I think of my family picture as it stands today, Ron and I should be surrounded by four children.

I think time has lessened the pain of those first two losses.  There are still moments, however, when I am taken back to those times and I am sad once again for the loss of those two precious lives.  At the time of those losses, I did not have God in my life.  Not really.  Certainly not the way I do now.  There was no scripture to comfort me during those times.  God was not a good God to me - or so I felt at the time.  God was judging me and somehow paying back something I must have done horribly wrong.  I know now that that is simply not the case.  He wouldn't do that.  God is not like that.  

Psalm 147:3 says "He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds."

That is the God that I know today.  That is the God who I find comfort and healing in.  He is the source of comfort, peace, and healing for me - and He can be for you as well, if you haven't already let Him in to your life.

A loss is a loss - no matter where you were on the journey when it happened.  May you find comfort as you mourn the loss of your precious little one{s}.


Throughout October, I would like to post on various topics surrounding pregnancy and infant loss.  If there is any topic you'd like to see covered, please share in the comments or click on the link on my sidebar to email me.  I'd love to know what you'd like to hear about!  On October 15th, which is the National Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day, I would love for you to come back and link up your stories about what you have experienced.  I realize that this is deeply personal and perhaps you aren't ready to go there yet.  If you are, however, just know that your story may be such an encouragement to someone who is grieving their own loss right now.

Please feel free to grab the button below to put on your blog to help spread the word about the link up on the 15th.

Remembering Our Babies 2013

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