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A Candle to Light: Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day

I don’t remember what day it was, or the time of day. What I can tell you is the exact stall of the exact restroom I was in at work when I realized I was losing my first pregnancy. And then I walked back to my cubicle. What else was there to do but stay at work and try not to think while I waited to miscarry on my own?

Living with Miscarriage & Infertility series on Reno Moms Blog
October 15th is National Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day.

The next time it happened, I remember that Van Halen’s “Panama” was playing overhead in the patient room, when our doctor concluded he could no longer find a heartbeat.  And then my husband and I went to Target and bought some lunchbox items for our toddler. What else was there to do this time but keep my focus on my daughter and try not to think while I waited for surgery?

I could write volumes about the waves of grief that rolled toward me over time: my husband’s sorrow; the sadness of our moms, in particular; the excruciating amount of time it actually takes lose a pregnancy; my physical recovery; painful conversations sharing the news; and the point where the emotions can no longer be stuffed down.

Even when you are losing a life, it goes on everywhere else. You want it to stop for you and your pain, but it doesn’t. People who have lost family, friends, marriages, jobs, homes and pets know this. So it is with a pregnancy.

After the second one happened, a good friend asked me over lunch, “What are you doing to help yourself deal with this?” The answer is nothing. My husband and I live with the loss because, what else is there to do? “What about a support group?” she asked.

I know that Northern Nevada MISS (Miscarriage and Infant Loss and Stillborn Support) has meetings at The Nurturing Nest; haven’t been to a single one, though.   I just can’t. That’s like, the big leagues. People who have really suffered…and I’m just someone who can’t get over a couple of biological misfires. I hesitated even writing this blog post; I don’t want to be pegged as the “one who writes about miscarriage a lot” on this site.

As if the losses themselves weren’t enough, this is what the voice in my head sounds like about sharing my experiences…yes, still, after so many months.

October 15th is nationally recognized as Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day. From 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. in each time zone around the world, people all over the world will light a candle in remembrance of their losses. We need to know that this day isn’t only for the one million babies each year carried in their mothers’ hearts and not their arms. This day is for us, too – me, too. The wives, moms, daughters, sisters, aunts and friends who lost and lived. To remember publicly what is not often said out loud.

After so much has been said and done, it’s hard for me to believe that beings – babies – I never met have made such indelible marks on my marriage, my family, my friendships and my perspective on life and love. But that’s the truth: whether or not I share my experiences; whether or not anyone else validates that for for me; whether or not I light a candle tonight.

Your stories of pregnancy and infant loss are welcome here in the comments. Please share here as a way to encourage other moms who might be struggling.

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About Annie McFarland

Annie McFarland
Happily married to her former neighbor, Annie is mom to three kids age four and under. She (mostly) balances life at home with working full-time in brand and media licensing. Off the clock, you can find Annie on the couch with her nose in a book (or pressed up against the Kindle), thinking about maybe doing some scrapbooking, or listening to NPR podcasts (she's what you call "indoorsy"). If it's football season, she will faithfully support her Southern husband by cheering on the Auburn Tigers and Atlanta Falcons.

4 comments

  1. I have gone through a miscarriage this weekend. It’s been really tough. I’m looking for some closure. Especially for my husband. He wants to bury the baby. I don’t know what to do though. I’ve heard there are some organizations that have areas at cemeteries where you can bury your miscarried baby, but I can’t find any local information. Does anyone know of any programs or organizations locally that do this? Any advice is much appreciated.

    • Lynnette Bellin

      My resources have told me that Walton’s Funeral Home doesn’t charge for their services for infants. Greg at Walton’s Sparks handles a lot of them. I’m told you do have to purchase a casket but that it’s inexpensive. Mountain View Cemetery and Our Mother of Sorrows Cemetery both have plots available.

  2. Lynnette Bellin

    Kristen, I’m so sorry for your loss. The Solace Tree might be a good resource for you right now. http://www.solacetree.org/grief-programs/adults/

    This post may also help you know what to expect as you deal with your grief. http://renomomsblog.com/2015/07/30/stages-of-grief-after-miscarriage-in-real-time/

    Sending virtual hugs!

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