Saturday, October 15, 2011

national pregnancy & infant loss remembrance day

today is October 15th: National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.
each year, somewhere around one million pregnancies in America alone end all too soon: in miscarriage, stillbirth or the death of a newborn child.


October was designated, over 20 years ago, as National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. this day, the middle of the month, was finally designated 3 years ago as a remembrance day to bring comfort, healing and unity to parents (and their family & friends) who have suffered a pregnancy or infant loss. many observe it by lighting a candle from 7:00-8:00pm during their local time, knowing that many around the world are doing so and feeling less alone in their grief.

the point of October 15th is that it allows parents to openly remember their loss, and to have their loss recognised, without any shame or apology. too often, they aren't even comfortable identifying themselves as "parents" if they have no living children. however, they have experienced the love and hope for a child just the same, even if it was for too short a time, and the lives of those children are just as significant and meaningful than if they had been born.

pregnancy loss is so often kept as a tragic secret, because society is not only uncomfortable with grief, but also confused as to how to reach out and offer support. many are hesitant to acknowledge the loss because they're afraid they might cause more pain by doing so. on the contrary, a parent who's lost a child probably thinks of them often, and any remembrance of that child is appreciated and treasured, especially because they only live on in memory. when you are courageous enough to come alongside someone who is grieving and put your arm around them -- literally or figuratively -- you are giving them invaluable gifts: knowledge that they're not doing this alone, empathy in their pain, and hope for the future.

so today, if you or someone you love has experienced miscarriage, stillbirth, or newborn death, please don't be afraid to remember and recognize the loss, and offer comfort and unity to those whose hearts need healing.
thanks.

3 comments:

Jenni / Jennifer Saake a.k.a. InfertilityMom said...

If you would like to publicly share the names of your sweet babies, I have a thread posted at http://hannahshopebook.blogspot.com/2011/10/write-their-names.html for anyone to do so. {group-hug}

Dana Trentini said...

I will be lighting a candle at 7:00PM on Monday October 15th in memory of the baby I lost at 12 weeks pregnancy in early 2009 to hypothyroidism. I trusted my doctors as the experts and never doubted they would know everything there was to know about an underactive thyroid during pregnancy. This was the greatest regret of my life. The Thyroid Federation International estimates there are up to 300 million people, mainly women, worldwide suffering from thyroid dysfunction, yet over half are unaware of their condition. The scientific research clearly links hypothyroidism to miscarriage and still birth, yet the lack of awareness is pervasive. The day I miscarried my baby I vowed to research everything there was to know about this disease and warn other women. I fulfilled my vow on Monday October 1st when I launched my blog Hypothyroid Mom intentionally on the first day of Miscarriage Awareness Month in memory of the child I lost to hypothyroidism and in dedication to my 2 boys who beat the odds and made it to the world.

hadashi said...

Dana, i am so sorry about the loss of your precious baby. good for you in launching your blog -- my hope is that it will help other parents & parents-to-be to avoid needless grief. thanks for commenting here.