October 15th is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Rememberance Day. It is a day for all of us who have lost a child through misscarriage, stillbirth, SIDS, or other infant death to remember our sweet babies. Do we need a special day to bring them to mind? Of course not. I feel that I can confidently speak for those of us who have experienced this type of loss, that there is nothing that can make you forget and almost anything can be an excuse to remember. So, while this special day isn't something that is needed for us to remember, to is a wonderful opportunity for our unique community to honor the babies we had to say goodbye to against our will. It is also an opportunity for those who have not been touched by a loss of this nature, to be made aware of the loss that so many of those around them have had to endure.
When I found out that I was pregnant with Raylen, one of my first thoughts were, "It's twins." It was a very random thought because during my pregnancy with Luke, I don't remember the thought ever really crossing my mind that I could be having twins. But the very evening I found out I was pregnant with Ray I almost immediately got a feeling that it was twins. What was even more alarming, was later that evening my parents came by to tell us congratulations, and one of the first things my mom said was, "Your dad thinks it's twins." My eyes got as big a saucers! My dad has a special intuition, when it comes to babies. Before the day of ultrasounds, he could guess with an eery accuracy a baby's gender before he or she was born. Pregnant women come to him to find out what gender he predicted. I'm sure at some point he has guessed wrong, but not in my recollection. So when he said twins, it confirmed that feeling that I had.
I had been seeing my OBGYN regularly trying to figure out if we had any fertility issues or not, so we were able to get in earlier than usual for my first prenatal appointment. I was between 7 and 8 weeks along, so it was too early to hear a heartbeat with the dopplar, so my doctor did an ultrasound just to make sure that things were progressing as they should. Little Ray looked great! Her heart was strong an she was developing right on schedule. What the ultrasound also showed, was what appreared to be Ray's twin. Unfortunately, that baby had stopped developing and did not have a heart beat. Talk about bittersweet. We had tried so hard to get pregnant with Ray, that it was glorious news to hear that the baby was devoloping well. There is nothing like getting to see your baby's heartbeat for the first time. On the other hand, we had that "just got punched in the stomach" feeling hearing about the other baby.
We had a follow up ultrasound several days later to see what was happening in there. At that point, baby B was just a shrinking sac. Apparently that was a good thing because it didn't look like there were going to be an negative repercussions to baby Ray. Ray's twin was what is called vanishing twin syndrome. If we would have had our first ultrasound at 12 weeks or so, there most likely would have been no trace of what was once a twin. God used this to help me learn to more fully trust my mama insticts.
Our next loss was Treyson. This blog was started during my pregnancy with him, so you can read all the details of when we walked that journey, if you so desire. The work that God in my life through Treyson is more than I could sum up in a novel.
Our most recent loss was less than a year ago. I got pregnant shortly after we started the process to adopt Danil. This pregnancy was kept underwraps for a plethora of reasons. I ended up miscarrying the week of Christmas. My selfish concerns of how I was going to manage having a newborn only a few months after bringing home a child with Down Syndrome from the Ukraine, suddenly felt like just that. Selfish. That baby would have been 2 months old now.
Each loss was different and was grieved in a different manner. Each loss brought something to my life that wasn't there before.
At 7pm tonight, our family will be participating in the "wave of light". We will be burning a candle for one hour, in rememberance of our lost little ones.
One this day of rememberance, if you feel comfortable sharing, I would love to hear of the little ones you may have lost. For those of you mothers who have lost a child through miscarriage, stillbirth, SIDS, of other infant loss, it would bless my heart if you would let me know so in a comment. This is not just for my benefit, but the for the benefit of others who have walked or are walking this path of loss themselves.
I pray for those of you who may be dealin with a recent loss. I want to encourage you by saying that even though the pain never fully goes away, it won't always be this raw and consuming. While it might not seem like it now, God can bring good out of even the darkest situations, if you allow him to do so.
Here is to all our sweet angels who are populating God's kingdom. You are gone, but never forgotten. Always loved and held dear in our hearts.