Way back in 1988, President Reagan proclaimed October as National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month. Now…if you can’t tell from the tone in previous posts, I’m not one for heavy thoughts. Laughter is the way I prefer to get through life and I try not to dwell in intensity for more than a few moments at a time…kinda like a buoy. I prefer to float along and not get bogged down. But if we stick with this barely adequate metaphor, I do need to something to keep me from floating away. So there are a few periods in my life I do not treat lightly. This is one of them. Why? Let me paint a picture. I was pregnant when I married Sir Smiley. Sir Smiley and I will have been married 9 years in March. My oldest….Sasquatch…is not quite 5 years old. If you do the math you will realize I wasn’t pregnant with her. I was carrying twin boys at that time. A month after we were married, while I was about 22 weeks pregnant, I went into labor. I didn’t realize it at the time. I just kept feeling super uncomfortable and thought I needed to go to the bathroom. When I did make it to a restroom at a friend’s house,an umbilical cord came out. Sir Smiley rushed me to the hospital. The whole situation was a rush of images. Screaming for Sir Smiley from the bathroom. Sir Smiley speeding down the road going at least 90 since my contractions (now that I knew that’s what they were) were only about 2 minutes apart. Our Best Man was with us and parked the car. I remember a nurse walking in skeptical and then suddenly the room filling with people as she realized what was happening. The doctor trying to find the heartbeats and only finding one. I don’t remember the delivery of our first born son. He had died already…my water broke the week before but I mistook it for an accident (with two large boys it happens). I do remember the panic on the doctor’s face as he tried to hold the second boy in. The contractions were coming harder and faster and he finally broke the sac and the contractions stopped. He then delivered our second boy. He was alive but his lungs weren’t developed. At some point after that, my parents and Sir Smiley’s parents showed up, as well as my sister and our Pastor and his wife. We all got a chance to hold this precious little boy. We prayed over him and sang together. It was the saddest and most beautiful memory I have. The hospital took pictures for us so I can remember them always. He lived for about an hour before he died. Why do I share this? Because others are going through this. There is comfort in knowing you’re not alone…that others went through this and survived. There is hope.
I am not a big fan of awareness months. Mainly because the things we should be aware of on these months are things that should be a part of life. Breast Cancer, Racism, etc. It’s like dieting vs a life style change. With one the problems come back once the diet (or month) is done. I digress…kind of. But I do think there is something helpful about having a month set aside for the loss of a child…born or unborn. Why? Because this is an issue mothers and fathers do not like to share or talk abut. So it has the appearance of being rare or isolated when really it is very common. Someone going through this needs to know they are not alone. Add this to the fact that talking about loss helps healing. It’s not an easy subject to bring up and even harder to actually get through. But not talking about it leads to a feeling of shame, that somehow if it’s hard to talk about it…it must be something shameful. Not exactly logical, but it happens. Also, when I do talk about my sons, they become part of my family. I love that.
For those of you who have recently gone through this loss, it will get easier. There will be struggles. Planning a funeral. My milk came in and brought fresh pain. Every time I donate blood, they ask how many times I’ve been pregnant. When I was pregnant with King Toot people kept warning me that since I had two girls I was less likely to have a boy…my two beautiful boys weren’t there to change those odds. You will always wonder what life would be like with them. But, as usual, I don’t like to be sad for long. I praise God for the hour I had with one and the eternity I will have with both. Tomorrow a group has asked everyone light a candle in remembrance at 7 pm. I’m not big on mushy things, but I like the symbolism in this. Here’s the sight for more info: October 15th
The very next day after i had the twins, they sang this song at church and it has been a comfort to me ever since. I still struggle to make it through the bridge without crying.
Blessed Be Your Name
I promise a less intense post tomorrow. Like I said, I can only handle so much intensity.