It’s October. Tis the season of overrated pumpkin spice lattes and other foods pumpkin spice has no bid-ness of ever being in. Tis the season where I had every intention of decorating our front porch, but our free loading stray black cat will have to do. Tis the season (or month) where pregnancy and infant loss awareness is spread.
I’ve watched from the sidelines, reading many heart felt posts from mothers who have loved and lost. I’ve been mostly silent, which didn’t feel right seeing as though I have lost more babies than I have kept. Each loss changed my life in some way. So much so, that I can’t even imagine who I would be today without them, but I didn’t know what I wanted to say, what I wanted people to know about this subject, that is thankfully not considered totally taboo anymore.
But I often feel hesitant to talk about my miscarriages for fear of comparison. For someone who has lost late into pregnancy or lost an infant, my losses of 5 and 6-½, and 7 weeks may seem so small and so insignificant to them, yet I was deeply heartbroken.
I’m ashamed to admit I have done the comparison dance, too. I would think things like, “but she didn’t have to go through IVF to get pregnant,” “but it only happened once,” “But she already has children.” Had I not been so consumed with my own sadness, I could’ve taken a step back and realized that in all these situations, there is a loss of a unique life. One that never existed before, and will never exist again, at least not on earth.
Pain is often relative to what you have experienced thus far, emotional or physical. It’s why people who have endured a lot of physical pain in their lifetime may go to the hospital and rate their broken pinky as a “5” whereas someone who hasn’t experienced much physical pain may be shouting that it’s a definitely a 10 and that they are dying a slow painful death.
If you’ve had a stillborn or lost an infant, your measure of grief is probably so insanely deep, that you might wonder how anyone could be so heartbroken over an early pregnancy loss. It might feel like a drop in the ocean of grief for you. But an early loss can also feel like an ocean too, for someone else.
One of the things I love about scripture, is that God will meet us in our suffering, pain and heartache, whether they be great or small. He won’t cast us away because our pain isn’t as deep as someone else’s. David writes in the Psalms that He keeps track of all our sorrows, He collects each tear and bottles them up. All of them are recorded.
So what I want people to know for pregnancy/infant loss awareness, is to meet the person going through it in their sorrow, like one of my friends did for me. She herself had gone through unimaginable grief when she suddenly lost her one year old daughter. When I confided in her after my third miscarriage, she never downplayed my hurt. She never said my pain was nothing compared to what she had gone through, though I know that our pain had to be worlds apart.
So whether you have just one bottle of tears collected, a shelf, or a room full, I am thankful God’s promise that to those who love him, there will be a day that, “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning, or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.” (Rev 21:14)