Tomorrow is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day.
I have long had an uneasy relationship with this event.
On one hand I appreciate the acknowledgment and opportunity to raise awareness. Mostly so that women and families struggling with Loss may better find or be mindful that options for support and sharing exist.
On the other hand I feel exhausted, suffocated and ashamedly silenced. I am among the lucky ones. A survivor of recurrent pregnancy loss. I have two living children for the dozen or so embryos and babies – each one a dream waiting to come true – I never got to cuddle and raise.
I still experience sadness and loss viscerally. I still long for the daughter I lost and will never have. I grieve that loss.
Every. Single. Day.
But. Because I have two small children -alive and well – I feel disentitled to share that grief or the longing that keeps it alive. My voice has grown thin and inaudible for the most part.
I wanted a third (living) child. I looked into trying. I hoped the child would be a girl. But truth be told it was really about wanting one more child.
There is no more “next time” for me.
Another pregnancy is not an option – it’s just too dangerous. Too expensive. Too terrifying (the thought of orphaning my boys is more than I can bear). We can’t afford a surrogate. And it’s illegal to do that for money where I live anyway.
So here I am. On the eve of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day. Deeply and eternally grateful for my two amazing, exasperating, unspeakably beloved boys. Yet forlorn and feeling guilty even thinking about how the other part of my dream – sparked by the loss of my daughter, the baby whose loss spurred me to start this blog three years ago – will never come true.
Most days I accept that this is how things are and shall be. I never say “meant to be”. Oh how I loathe that demeaning, dismissive turn of phrase.
But the longing, the ache, the sadness over the babies and dreams we have lost, those things never really go away. That quiet ache never gets easier. It is never forgotten.
They are never forgotten.
Baby A has our first lost child’s given name as his middle name. We still talk about our daughter by the nickname we gave her. We have a name picked out for the daughter we will never have.
I don’t even know how to wrap my heart around this grief. It feels so vast when I gaze into it to pen this post. Most days I stuff it down and let it be washed away with phrases like “we couldn’t manage a third child” or “we couldn’t afford another kid”.
But there it is. There is no “lest we forget” with infant and pregnancy loss.
We never forget you, tiny beloveds. In our hearts you live on.