As I'm sure many of you know, this past Tuesday, October 15th, was Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. I knew that too but I didn't actually realize it until after 10pm that evening and even then I didn't come to that realization on my own. I happened to be reading a book with the local evening news on and bam! there was mention of pregnancy and infant loss remembrance. It got my attention immediately and just as quickly I felt like a schmutz. Here the whole day had passed and I did nothing.
It's okay, judge me. I know what an important day this is to the community of us who have lost pregnancies and/or infants. I never dreamed it would be possible to forget this day. While wondering how this could have happened, I realized that for me it is a signal that I've healed - some. I no longer want or need to announce my loss to the world which was a big part of my participation in October 15th in years past. I wanted everyone and anyone to know how much I had suffered. I needed to have some kind of explanation out there for how freakish I felt inside. As the days, months and years have passed I have assimilated that suffering into myself and at some point unknown to me it just became a non-defining part of me. I no longer define myself as bereaving mother though I know I will be one until the day I die. It is another hat that I wear underneath all of my others. It's a hat that I can't take off but one that I also don't show off. It's something I hold close to my heart like the other weekend when I ran my first 10k and woke up to a day of snow mixed with rain and 40mph+ wind gusts and instead of seeking refuge in my warm, comfortable home I went to that race and I ran it because I knew no matter how difficult it would be physically that I have suffered so much worse in my life and I would absolutely make it through. And I did.
I do so much for my boys now without even giving it conscious thought. They are my rock and keep me grounded when everything else is in the air. I just keep telling myself that I've suffered so much worse and I can get through whatever is dragging me down. I no longer need my pink and blue ribbon but I know exactly where it is. I'm sorry October 15th, I'm sorry that you didn't get the attention you deserve from me this year. I'm also incredibly grateful for those of you who gave it more attention that most, for those who make sure it is declared a day of remembrance, for those who place beautiful white roses and poems on all of the baby graves in my cemetery, for whoever got it on the local news that evening. Because October 15th is about more than me, Wyatt, or Eli - it's for recognition of the pain those of us who have lost little ones carry, it's about letting others know how and why they can help us bear that pain, and it's about letting anyone who has carried that pain know that it's okay to recognize the pain and that it's never too late. So I may be late, but to all those who have lost pregnancies or infants, God bless you, your families and your little ones.