October is beautiful and it’s hard.
I love the fall weather, the changing leaves, and the cool nights that make you want to curl up with a blanket. I love that it’s the perfect weather for camping in Kentucky though I’ll always take any excuse for a campfire. There’s so much beauty to be found in fall in the Bluegrass.
But October also brings an in-your-face reminder of grief and loss. It’s both one of my favorite months of the year, and one I dread. I vacillate between an intense pull to run to the Gorge, to take in all that beauty, to be in nature where sometimes I feel the most whole….and also an intense urge to hide.
Because October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month.
As a recurrent loss mom, I don’t need a specific month to focus on the babies I’ve lost. I don’t need a day or a month to know that 1 in 4 pregnancies end in loss or that I personally have lost more babies than have made it here with me. I don’t need another reminder that there are little people missing from my house, that there are birthdays we won’t get to celebrate this month.
I don’t need a day or month to make me remember
-how it feels to hear silence when you’re expecting a heartbeat.
-the panic when the contractions start far too many weeks before they should.
-holding a tiny baby in my palm and knowing I couldn’t save him.
-telling my boys that the sibling they’re so excited about won’t actually be joining us.
I don’t need a day or a month to feel the ache in my soul. It’s there.
Every. Single. Day.
The grief and pain is never that far under the surface. It will never go away. I will never be fully healed or stop thinking of my babies and the impact their losses had on me. I am a different person because of my babies.
I don’t need this designated day to focus on loss….but the world does.
It’s a good thing that we have today, where the focus is on the pain so many people experience. It allows us to have conversations that are true, vulnerable, and raw about what it is really like to go through these experiences. It dedicates ONE day for people to pause and hold space for the families that spend a lifetime grieving.
The world needs the spotlight on loss until loss is no longer taboo….Until there is real support for families of loss. Until family, friends, and even healthcare providers stop diminishing the loss and realize the impact our babies have on our lives. We need compassionate, lasting care.
So while I don’t need today or this month to remember my babies…..I do need it to be more than this month’s hot topic.
I do need it to normalize pregnancy loss and the lasting impact it has on those who experience it. I need it to change the culture of support for these families. Because we KNOW how many families this touches and we can do a better job offering love and support to them…not just today, not just this month, but every day.
Maybe then I can find my way back to simply loving October.