I became a mother the second that I found out I was pregnant. I remember taking the pregnancy test and seeing the lines turn, one at a time. I was terrified and excited at the same time. I felt overjoyed at the thought of growing our family, and also so overwhelmed by the thought of how much my life, our lives, would change in adding a baby.
Within a matter of days, the dualities of these joys & worries were complicated by bleeding. After going to the doctor, he confirmed what my gut already knew- I was miscarrying. This experience would happen two more times before we became parents to our rainbow baby, Kinley (now 4 years old!). I remember walking out of his waiting room, passing pregnant mamas with beautiful bellies, and sitting down in my car sobbing.
The grief I experienced with each loss was so complicated. Trying to explain why I was sad, why I was not myself, while not “looking” pregnant- like something is wrong felt impossible. It felt like an invisible pain I carried- that nobody knew how to tend to, what to say, or how to support. I remember trying to ignore the pregnancy symptoms each time I was pregnant- trying to put it in the back of my mind. I tried so hard to not connect. I felt like every time I found out I was pregnant I held my breath during the first trimester, waiting for the other shoe to drop, waiting for the bleeding to start. Waiting for my heart to break all over again. It felt impossible to distract myself enough to not think about being pregnant, I had longed for this baby, how could I not get excited and attached?
I recall the doctor telling me something that day that I found so much comfort in- that our babies blood flows through our blood. We are changed, internally, cell by cell, by each child. They can test their DNA and tell us what gender our baby is by taking a sample of the mothers blood and pulling out the baby’s DNA. These babies lived in me, flowed through me, and I provided them with a safe home for the time they were here. While they may not be living with me, they have lived in me and changed me- from the inside out.
My wish for these sweet babies who are not earth side is as follows:
May I live a life for them that they would be proud of and admire
May I give voice to their lives where they were not able to have a voice
May I ensure that no parent has to walk alone in this grief
May I advocate to providers and caregivers to find compassionate ways to share loss information to parents
May I remember each day the life that I was given, the lives that I have created, and deeply know the sacredness of each breath.
October 15th is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. It is a day to honor and celebrate the lives of our babies- the ones that we carried and the ones that are not here with us. If you are wanting to celebrate the lives of your babies, I encourage you to look into events that you can join. The nonprofit I founded, The Rooted Bridge, will be hosting an event as well, information is below in case it is helpful or supportive for you to attend. All are welcome. We celebrate you and your sweet babies.