Did you know that October is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Month? Or that specifically the 15th of October is a day of National Remembrance of Pregnancy and Infant Loss?
I had no idea, although this is all new for me. I learned these dates at a recent support group organized by the hospital where Millie was delivered.
I began typing this post last week after the meeting only to finish it now, and in my research I came across some curated quotes from Romper.com for October 15.
I scrolled through them, nodding at a few, then skimming past others. The poem that made me stop, made my heart pound, and made me cry is below, found online at the website Infants Remembered In Silence.
it was all for the best,
that something was probably wrong.
it was meant to be,
same miserable song.
”You can have another!”
As if that would make it alright.
”It was not a real child.”
Somebody’s not very bright.
Somebody thinks it is helpful
to say when grieving should end.
Somebody shows their true colors.
Somebody isn’t a friend.
But somebody said, “I’m sorry.”
And sat quietly by my side.
And somebody shared my sorrow
and held my hand when I cried.
And somebody always listened
and called my lost baby by name.
And somebody understood
that I’d never again be the same.Gwen Flowers
This poem spoke to me on so many levels…I am the one who said to Chouchou in the delivery room, “Everything happens for a reason,” while fighting back tears and hoping it was all a nightmare. Aside from me telling myself clichés that didn’t help, thankfully no one has passed off any of the other ones as advice or commentary (yet).
What really got me though was the last part…I had a colleague and good friend, who was expecting at the same time as me. We both had non-eventful, healthy pregnancies, and were looking forward to play dates together after our girls made their entrance.
When I first told her, over the phone, she said, “I am so sorry.” She asked if she could call or text later to check in – I told her of course she could. We got off the phone and over the course of the next few weeks, she would occasionally text just to say hi or she missed me at lunch.
We finally met up about a month later at the library for story time. She confessed to me that she had no idea what to do after I shared the news of our loss with her, so she looked it up on the internet. I thought that was so thoughtful that she took the time to find out and then followed up on it. She would mention Millie by name and she would listen to me. What she did for me was exactly what I needed.
I can’t tell you how many people have kept silent about it. Another blog post is coming soon that will delve deeper – check back…