This month is Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month.
“Today we remember all of the angels who earned their wings too soon, the babies born sleeping and those we carried but never had a chance to hold”
Any time someone asks me if I have any children, I can’t help but hesitate before offering them the answer that I know they really want to hear, instead of the truth as I know it to be.
I have 5 children, three of them are waiting for me in heaven.
I had a couple of miscarriages that have resulted in me only raising 2 children. Although I may never understand why this happened, I trust that the Lord does and I am thankful for the children I do have with me.
I gave birth to my daughter when I was only 16. It was a difficult pregnancy and birth that almost resulted in my death.
During the following 4 years, I suffered 2 miscarriages. One was during my first trimester and one was during the second trimester, although they both hurt the same.
I was carrying twins during the second miscarriage.
Then the Lord blessed me with my son, my rainbow baby, and I am SO very thankful for him!
I spent years keeping my miscarriages hidden, like some deep, dark secret.
I’m not exactly sure why.
I think I might have attached some shame to it as though there was something wrong with me or my body that would make me reject the pregnancies. And I realize now how awful my distorted thinking was during that part of my life.
I felt like I was alone and had no one to talk to about my feelings until several years ago when I first heard Angie Smith’s testimony at a blogger conference I attended.
Before she began to speak she asked the room of women if they had ever lost a child in any way to please stand up.
I was afraid to stand until I saw that the majority of the room was standing with me.
It still amazes me how strong Angie was in sharing her personal story which you can read here.
Miscarriage and infant loss affects 1 in every 4 pregnancies, and I am one of them.
It has been almost 21 years since I gave birth to my son.
I hear those around me talk about how glad they are to be done with that part of their lives, but I have to admit that I’ve never felt finished.
My arms still ache to hold any baby I see and I would be lying if I said I’m okay with knowing I will never have another child. In fact, my husband and I have hoped to be blessed with another baby for many years, when we made the decision that we were ready for at least one more.
Month after month we waited and trusted that God has a perfect plan for our life together, even if it didn’t include another baby.
Although that didn’t make the longing go away.
Last year I shared a status on Facebook about how I am part of the 1 in 4 and I was surprised by the response from all of you letting me know I am not alone. Somehow that really does offer me some comfort today.
So I am writing this post for those of you who are also part of the 1 in 4 in the hopes that I can offer you some of that same comfort of knowing you are not alone today.
We do not need to carry this hidden hurt in secret any longer.