Sunday, October 1, 2017

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month 2017: Acceptance.

Today starts Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, and I, for the first time in a long time, don't have much to say about it.  

Eric I made the decision almost 2 years ago to permanently end our ability to have biological children when we were told in no uncertain terms that there was NO hope of my ever carrying another baby to term.  While that decision was emotional, to say the least, and took us more than a year to make, I hadn't learned yet that acceptance was the essential part of our journey that had been missing the whole entire time.  Without it, we would never have been able to heal even a little bit.
It wasn't until after we ended our ability to have children that we were forced to accept that no baby, no answers, and a heart full of hurt was our happy ending.  It didn't feel very happy.  I can't tell you that acceptance came easily, or that I didn't shake my fists in anger at the Universe, but slowly and patiently, as if it was a living thing who had been waiting for us all along, acceptance so generously brought us the peace we needed to confidently move forward.  There was NO doubt in the months following our decision that we had made the exact right decision.

Our journey was over!

So now, I am in a completely different head space than I have ever been before.  I am not struggling with the losses I've endured, and I am not desperately trying to get pregnant.  The pain I was feeling for so long gave me inspiration for my blog, and I found solace in pouring my heart out on here when I had no where else to pour it out to, but now, I don't feel like I need to do that anymore.  

I feel like all that I've wanted to say, I've said.

This doesn't mean that I won't continue to grieve.  It took a lot of healing for me to understand that grief won't magically go away any minute now.  Grief is a life long process, and I know now that only until I am standing before my Lord and Savior will my broken parts be put back together.  So until Jesus is ready to heal all of my parts, I will try my damnedest to carry them as gently as I can and not throw fits at the Universe when they get too stabby and heavy.

And this doesn't mean that I won't continue to blog about pregnancy loss and stillbirth, or stop advocating for a community that is suffocating under the weight of silence.  

I was reminded recently how suffocating silence can be when two people close to me, on separate occasions, gently encouraged me not to talk about my son so much; suggesting that it was time to let him rest in peace, or telling me about another person whose baby had died too but never talked about it, like that was the better way to handle it (maybe for that person it was, I will never know, but for me it's not).  
These were two different conversations in a long list of conversations I've had since my son died 15 years ago that should never have happened.  These separate conversations were coming from well-meaning but very misinformed people (most likely because of a generational difference), and are examples of why people suffer in silence.  

And those kinds of conversations happen all the time.  

So then I wondered, had I done that terrible of a job explaining the facets of stillbirth and pregnancy loss on this blog that two women who are close to me and read my blog feel that their advice, which is so opposite of everything I've ever talked about, is good advice?

What I had no intention of mentioning, let alone writing an entire blog post about, I now got myself started on and now there is no going back.  Because stupid comments and terrible advice are being given to hurting hearts every day, even to me, someone who has walked this path for a really long time, has had every shitty comment you can imagine said to her, and is still here.... being given terrible advice.  
Yeah soooo, what if my journey was painfully slow and haphazard-like, and maybe it took a whole lot of wine to get me to the spots where God asked me to walk through a specific challenge.  And okay, so maybe I had a few full-on tantrums when my broken parts were extra stabby and that particular challenge God needed me to go through sucked way worse than I expected.  But I did manage to claw my way to the finish line (hair flip) with a really awful murdering uterus, so please take it from me: never tell anyone to not talk about their child.  Ever.  There are families that are just starting out on their grief path and are not capable of finding the same kind of understanding, who risk being silenced for years because of one dumb comment.  They eventually will figure out that sort of understanding, but even when they do, telling them not to talk about their precious child is WRONG.  

Don't do that.  Just listen to them, that's all you have to do.  

I promise it really is that simple.

Anyway, all I'm saying is that I am in a better head space now than I ever have been before, so a little while ago I felt like I didn't have as much to say..... but then I started typing and look, I had something to say.  So who knows what this month will bring.  October is my favorite month, so the possibilities are endless... ;)

Let me leave you with a song that my daughter introduced me to a few weeks ago and has been on constant repeat ever since (anyone else do that?  Play a song until your ears bleed?).

As if I couldn't love Ed Sheeran anymore than I already do!  Swoon!


  1. I'm glad you're both finding a little bit of peace in such a devastating experience. You're a strong woman! I'm sorry you've had to deal with the stupid comments people make when they think they're helping....I've heard plenty of them myself. These babies were ours; with futures that we planned for them. They should never be forgotten or the memories of them (good or bad) silenced just because others are uncomfortable. I'm happy you've shared your experiences with us. I know it's helped you to deal with the pain AND it's helping others that have experienced that pain feel less alone....including me. Whatever you're willing to share about your babies, I'm happy to listen.

    1. Thank you SO much, Anne! And thank you for being my friend!