On the 15th of October we silently "celebrated" Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day. I lit candles and I wore my loss jewlery. I also shared a few stories online. My loss, though early (and I have no idea why I have to justify it), still pains me, every single day. Watching friends continue through their pregnancy while I'm still at this standstill with infertilty is heartwrenching. I literally feel like my whole being is being ripped a part some days.
So I do what I know best, I share. I share my most inner thoughts, my feelings, and I try and raise awareness with links and stories posted to my fb wall. I TALK about what happened (both my infertility and my loss). I open my heart and let others take a look inside. I want to share my heart to heal myself. I want other woman and families to know that their hurt is okay and they aren't alone in all of it. I felt so alone in mine and I wouldn't want another woman to feel the same way I do.
The thing about sharing though, is that so many people will have opinions. They will have opinions that hurt and dig deeper holes. They downgrade loss, they downgrade depression. Both things that can be detrimental to your well being and your life. Some of the comments said by OTHER woman (even woman who have had a loss or even PPD) astonishes me. I read a comment that said something on the lines of, "I hate when people post that crap, it makes me uncomfortable," or "losing a baby is such a personal thing it shouldn't be shared." It is truly unbelievable how unsympathetic other woman can be towards other woman. I have a hard time knowing why it is OK to share the grief of loosing a spouse, a brother, mother, father, grand parent, an animal... why is the loss of a baby (no matter how old or far along in pregnancy) more private than those. One in four of ALL pregnancies end in miscarriage. That's 25% people. Somebody you know is suffering in silence because the mass majority belittles their hurt. They don't believe it should exist and that they should "Just get over it."
This particular part of the speech given by congress member, Phil Gingrey during the 2006 approval of October 15th, becoming a remembrance day, touches my heart (http://www.october15th.com/transcription.htm).
Mr. Speaker, I think the importance of this resolution is to let people know that when couples have a miscarriage, it is a child. It might be for some people, well, it is just a miscarriage. They were only 6 weeks or they were only 9 weeks, and they did not even know whether it was a boy or girl. But in the minds of that couple in many instances it is their very first pregnancy, and they are already thinking about that little boy or the little girl and what the name is going to be and the clothes that they are going to pick out and the joys they are going to have sending that child to school and raising it and seeing it play sports and become an adult some day and contribute to our great society. We tend to forget that. And this was brought home to me pretty vividly recently when my daughter-in-law, pregnant with their first child, found out at10 weeks that the baby did not have a heartbeat. And so that baby was lost. And she went on, of course, and miscarried. And that loss will be with them forever. And so I think it is just so important for us all to realize that when somebody, when you hear about somebody having a miscarriage, do not think, well, it was just a miscarriage, it is not like losing a child or an older child, which of course I do not know that anything compares to that. But this is a significant loss. And that is why this resolution today is so important. I thank the gentleman for yielding. I thank Congressman LATHAM for bringing it forward and Congressman DAVIS as well.A loss is a loss. I don't particularly like the comparison of a living child loss and a miscarriage because I think grief is grief and there isn't a way to compare them. But basically people forget that the couple is not only loosing the pregnancy, but they are loosing a future that they dreamed about.
Sure, people probably find my continued stories or "whines" about hurting annoying. But I share them anyways.
This is twice now that I have gotten a private "THANK YOU" from woman I know. The first touched my heart when she told me she was seeking help for postpartum depression because she had read my story. She read about my symptoms and most importantly she read how WITH HELP, I got better. I did that. I changed a life all because I talked about something that nobody wants to talk about.
Today, I got a text message from a friend. She has also experienced a loss, a twin. She lives with the pain daily as she watches the surviving twin grown and flourish. A daily reminder. How incredibly hard. But in this text message she told me that she is starting to feel more comfortable sharing her loss with other people. So much so that she even bought small white bracelets that say "Mother to an Angel." This is all because of me. Because I share my story and because I post things on Facebook. Sure they might be annoying or "crap" and sure, they probably make somebody uncomfortable, but I know that in doing so, I reaching somebody that needs it.
My friend is also giving me one of those bracelets. I am touched. My heart is warmed in knowing that I'm helping another person heal by speaking out. From my own experiences I know that pushing the hurt and hoping that it just goes away with time does no good. Time does heal, the hurt does get less, but it will always be there.
It's things like this that keeps me coming back to this blog. It is what makes me not feel BAD about posting links on fb. It confirms that what I am doing is the right thing, because I'm helping someone.