October 15th is Infant and Pregnancy Loss Awareness Day.
I apologize. I’ve been avoiding you.
Or, sort of, anyway.
I just didn’t have the words this week. I had a few, enough for a tweet here or there, but not enough to put together a coherent post. I had to get them sorted out for myself first, and I think I’ve finally had enough time to do that.
You see, this was a week of loss for us. On Wednesday, we were told to say goodbye to what would have been the newest little member of our family. The little one we didn’t even know yet, but had come to care so much about.
And so I revisit the reluctant sisterhood of mothers who have experienced pregnancy loss. Mothers who wonder “Why me?” and “Why this baby? This baby who is so badly wanted, so incredibly loved?” Mothers who get so invested so quickly, even though we all know the deal we sign when we get pregnant has fine print stating:
I join the timeless lineage of mothers who then remember that there is no real answer to the question “Why?” other than the knowledge that this is all part of the journey.
This baby simply wasn’t strong enough to come join us. I know that, and I’m OK. My heart is broken, and my spirit is trying to heal, but I know deep down inside that I am carried in the hearts of so many generations of women before me–women from every time and every place, joined by a common thread–and my experience will, undoubtedly, help me in guiding the important young women in my life through their losses someday.
It may sound a little odd to some, but for me, embracing my loss is really the only way through it.
So, this Thanksgiving, I am thankful. I’m thankful for the joy I felt when I found out we were expecting. I’m thankful I got to carry our little bean for 8 weeks, and I’m thankful for the support I received while adjusting to the news that the new future we were envisioning wasn’t meant to be…yet.
But most of all, I’m thankful that for one brief, fleeting moment, as my husband, my son and I peered at that little screen watching the flicker of a heartbeat, we were a family of 4.