Today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day. I rarely know what the date is anymore, so it took me by surprise when I saw the Wave of Light and other remembrance notes start pouring in on my Twitter and Instagram feeds before bed last night.
I double checked the calendar, and, sure enough, it’s October 15.
It’s been four years since my first loss and three and a half years since my second loss. We were told we’d lost Callista, and while that declaration was miraculously wrong, it was the most painful and confusing of my loss experiences. In the time that’s passed, I’ve had plenty of other pregnancy- and baby-related trauma that hasn’t exactly eclipsed the devastation I felt with my two losses, but compartmentalizing has allowed me to stow a lot of those feelings under lock and key.
I carry the experience with me always, but I only find myself accessing my memories when I truly need them – when I pray for babies struggling to live, when someone I know experiences a loss, when I fill out medical forms that ask for my number of pregnancies and births, when it’s October 15.
Time has given me some mental clarity, and I’m partially grateful for what I went through. I can’t say how I would hope things went if I had a do-over, but I can say that I’m happy with how things have turned out. I am a better mother. My cords of my marriage got stronger. I am a better friend. I dread going back to those days in my mind. I’m happy to have them buried under new memories. But, Lord. I’m thankful to remember those pregnancies and the hopes, dreams and definitions that bloomed the three days I learned I was pregnant.