By: Amy Lied
Prior to 2016, I never knew that October was Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month. I never saw it on my social media. I never knew anyone who lost a pregnancy and openly shared their experience.
But then in May of 2016, I had a missed miscarriage.
I had started my blog about our struggle with infertility only two months prior. I had shared my experience up until that point and knew I had to share our miscarriage there as well. Once I did, women came out of the woodwork sharing their losses with me. I had no idea so many women I was connected with knew this pain. They didn’t talk about it.
After our miscarriage the loss community was opened up to me and I learned about this month.
What I said three years ago, 4 months after my miscarriage and pregnant with my son who would go on to be stillborn 4 months later, is still true.
“Loss is loss. You can’t criticize someone for celebrating their rainbow baby after a miscarriage. What difference does it make if she miscarried at 5 weeks or 9 weeks, like me? Either way, she was pregnant and then she wasn’t. Either way it is still an incredibly happy moment that ends in loss. There are all kinds of loss, some obviously more tragic than others, but it is still loss.”
What I said one year later, 8 months after my child was stillborn, is still true.
“We are approaching the end of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month. … Child loss is not uncommon. It’s not something to just turn a blind eye to and pretend it doesn’t happen. It is something that needs to be acknowledged. Our children need to be acknowledged, not just this month but every day, because they existed. They matter.”
This month was established back in 1988 by President Ronald Reagan. He did this to recognize the grief of bereaved parents and to bring them support. This month was started 31 years ago and yet I only learned of it 3 years ago when I joined the club of bereaved parents.
Everyone knows that October is Breast Cancer Awareness month but what about Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness?
It appears that the only way one is aware of this month is by becoming a member of this horrible club.
This needs to change.
We need to speak up and share our experiences. This is the only way we will receive the support we need. We are NOT uncommon and our losses, our children, cannot be ignored.
We need to teach others that we WANT to hear our child’s name come from their mouths.
We WANT them to remember their birthdays.
We WANT them to listen without getting uncomfortable when we bring up our children.
We WANT our children and our role as their parents acknowledged.
Our children existed and we want to talk about them. This is our month to shout it from the rooftops. Let’s do exactly that!
About Amy Lied
Amy Lied is a wife and a mother. Her son, Asher, was inexplicably born still on February 19th, 2017. Before losing Asher, she suffered a miscarriage and struggled with unexplained infertility. After losing Asher and struggling to conceive again, she went back to treatment where she became pregnant with her twin daughters; Harper and Scarlett.
She has documented her journey from the beginning of her infertility struggles on her blog, Doggie Bags Not Diaper Bags.She is also a co-founder of The Lucky Anchor Project, an online resource for loss families that houses an Etsy store whose profits are donated to loss family non-profit organizations. Sharing her journey has helped her cope and she hopes it also helps others who are walking on this road of life after loss.