At 3:30 this morning, I groggily woke up to the whimpers of a hungry baby. For just an instant, I thought it was a dream, and my heart broke just a bit. After a few seconds, my sleepy face cracked a grin and my heart burst with joy as I remembered the events of the last week. Mark was happy and healthy, and he needed his mom to feed him.
I am so incredibly thankful to be woken up multiple times during the night by that precious little cry. I think that parents who have lost a child and then go on to have another one appreciate the energy-draining nights that others might sometimes take for granted.
Much has changed since my post last year about Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. This year, getting to hold Mark has been a daily reminder of Isabelle’s brief life. However, Mark is also a light in a journey with many dark patches. He represents hope and also reminds us to appreciate each God-given moment.
Today, October 15, is a day that is set aside to remember and to raise awareness.
The pain of losing a child is something that I pray no one ever has to experience. Unfortunately, research tells us that approximately 1 in 4 pregnancies will end in miscarriage, stillbirth, or a neonatal loss. This translates to a very large number of parents who have experienced the loss of a child.
Our society is quite uncomfortable talking about the fact that not all babies survive. We like to think that each positive pregnancy test always results in a crying baby who will grow up to have kids of his/her own. Sadly, this is not always the case. October is a month set aside to raise awareness of pregnancy and infant loss. The goal is to help people realize exactly how common it is, and to also help other baby-loss parents know that they are not alone.
There are far too many parents who have been forced to internalize their grief and who struggle to move forward, simply because their loss makes other people uncomfortable. It is time that we start talking and help those who have experienced a loss of this nature to grieve and to grow.
This year, as I reflect on the brief life of my beautiful Isabelle, while holding Mark in my arms, I can’t help but wish that they were both here. My heart certainly aches at the thought of our family being split by the ugly reality of death. However, Mark has given us a new perspective on what it means to remember. He is a reminder of the importance of moving forward while still honoring the memory of those who have passed away. Isabelle’s memory will always be very much alive in our family.
Tonight at 7:00, we will again be participating in the Wave of Light. There will be two candles burning by Isabelle’s picture. One is in memory of our sweet daughter, and the other in memory of all babies lost by our friends and family. I challenge all of you to participate and help raise awareness.
On this day of remembrance, I pray that God brings peace to those whose hearts ache from the loss of a little one. I also pray that those who have not experienced a loss will appreciate the beautiful gift of their children and not be afraid to reach out to those whose hearts hurt just a bit more each October 15.
Thank you for your continued prayers and support throughout the last fifteen months. Your encouraging words help me to move forward each day.
For more information on the Wave of Light, click here.
The following websites can be wonderful resources if you have lost a child or just want more information:
Baby Loss Facebook Support Group (Closed group – must request membership)
Molly Bears (Isabelle’s Molly Bear is in the picture below)