"When a child loses his parent, they are called an orphan. When a spouse loses their partner, they are called a widow. When a parent loses their child, there isn't a word to describe them."
- President Ronald Reagan
- President Ronald Reagan
Today is October 1.
A year ago today, I went to my OB/GYN for my annual appointment. We had started TTC (trying to conceive) two months prior. I let my doctor know that we were ready for baby and she said she had no doubt that she would see me back again soon. On November 12, I called to let her know she was correct and we made an appointment for an 8 week sonogram the week of our two year wedding anniversary.
In October 1988, President Ronald Reagan declared October to be National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. A year ago, when I sat in the doctor's office waiting room, my head was filled with hopeful dreams of the picture-perfect pregnancy and the life we would build as a little family. The person I was a year ago had no idea the road she would endure and that the month of October would mean something very different to her after another trip around the sun. That person sitting here today, typing at the computer, does painfully know. This October, I stand with others battling loss as the one in four women that will experience pregnancy or infant loss. I then become another statistic as the 5% that lost their baby in the third trimester. From there I am in the 2% that lost their child due to a cord accident. These are not just numbers and statistics anymore, it is me.
This is my plea:
Be extra kind. Be more aware. If you know someone that has lost their child to miscarriage, stillbirth, SIDS, birth defects or disease, love them a little harder this month. Ask them about their baby, they WANT to remember them and for others to as well. We may cry in front of you and that is okay. Sometimes the memories do that, our hearts are still so raw because the one we love is gone, but behind the tears is gratefulness that we get to say their name out loud and that you did too. You acknowledged their life, no matter how brief it may have been, it was very much a life. It was our child.
While the whole month is dedicated to this awareness, October 15 is the designated day to honor it. On that day, the Wave of Light movement takes place at 7 PM where anyone around the world is invited to light a candle and let it burn for one hour. It is a vigil that can be done on your own and shared via social media to spread awareness and advocate for those who have experienced this heartbreak and to honor these babies.
This month, in everything I do, I seek to honor our son, Hudson John Schlieve.
I will stand with the other One in Four as we remember the baby/babies who await us in Heaven. We will never forget the joy upon learning that we had created them, nor the intense sorrow that we felt when they were gone. Some of these women were already mothers, looking forward to adding to their family. Some of them were entering parenthood for the first time. Some have gone on to have their precious rainbow baby, receiving that atonement and promise of new life. Some are still waiting and searching for hope. One thing is always true, no matter how many more babies there are or how much time has passed, our hearts never stop hurting for the one who is gone.
Every mother counts.
Every father counts.
Every life counts.