October 1st marks the beginning of pregnancy and infant loss awareness month. Along with it came the above picture. My heart breaks for Chrissy Teigen and her family. Never has a picture spoken so deeply to me. Never have I felt a picture so intensely. Those tears, the heartache, the heartbreak, the life changing moment, the empty womb, the grief, the socks, the hospital gown, the sterile and quiet environment, the only sound being the sobs of the mother, leaving the hospital without a baby, figuring out how to live on, all of it. This picture describes it all. A pain so deep, those who have not experienced can never even imagine. My heart drips tears and feels this picture on a level so profound.
This year I wasn't going to write a lot about pregnancy and infant loss. It's been 10 years since Ty died, 9 years since Jacob died and 3 years since baby unknown died. I'm found peace in my life after the storm. Then, I saw this picture and felt the need to write. I'm incredibly thankful they are choosing to share their story and these gut wrenching pictures with the world because this is reality. It's a reality many don't talk about.
There weren't pictures like these when Ty died. There wasn't the known discussion of pregnancy and infant loss when Jacob died. It has only been in recent years that people are starting to step up and speak out about how devastating it is. The reason I started this blog many moons ago was because I remember and still feel the depth of loneliness I felt after Ty died. I felt so alone, in a world where I was so far gone from everyone else and their experience because no one talked about it. I wanted to write and reach out to anyone going through what I went through. I wanted other women to know that they weren't alone and that you still aren't alone.
No one wants to join this "club" as some people call it. The reality is, so many of us are in it and we don't know because we aren't having the discussions. We need to. We need to know, we need to talk, we need to act. We need to surround women experiencing loss with nothing but love and light.
7 years ago I was given the opportunity to share my story nation wide. For those who are new followers, I had the chance to be flown out to Hollywood and share my story on The Doctor's TV show. It was my platform, I raised my voice and I've refused to shut up since. I will continue to talk about pregnancy and infant loss and maybe instead of avoiding it, maybe I am now the wisdom others seek. Maybe I am the story they need to hear. Maybe I am the reminder that this is the shittiest thing you can ever go through, to bury a child you loved, wanted and carried. A child you birthed into the world, sometimes silent. Maybe I need to remind you your grief will be messy and all over the place and that's okay.
Maybe I need to remind you that even after all these years, I still cry for my babies gone too soon. I still visit their graves. I may not have elaborate celebrations on their birthdays anymore but they are very much a part of my life in their own way. Maybe I need you to see that your world has been forever changed. The old you is no more, It can't be. Maybe I need you to see that it is okay. It is okay to cry as much as you need to, to comfort that hurting soul of yours. To let you see that you will define your own grief and your own new path.
Maybe I need to remind you that there a thousands of us out there who know that pain, mama you are not alone. Maybe I need to let you know that one of the only ways I survived was counseling, years of therapy and an intense EMDR sessions. Pregnancy and infant loss can cause PTSD. Maybe I need to let you know that if you hear a song and you cry so hard you have to pull over, it's okay, I've been there. Maybe I need to let you know that you may not want to celebrate any holidays in the first year. It's okay, I've been there. Maybe I need to let you know you may want to push people away and recede into your own little world, it's okay, I've been there. Maybe I need to let you know there will be triggers everywhere, some expected, many will catch you off-guard (even 10 years later), it's okay, I'm still there.
Maybe I need to let you know that people will say some really stupid and offensive things to you, some because they are idiots but others because they are uncomfortable and don't know what to say. Maybe I need to let you know that you will lose other people in your life. Friends will fade away because your story makes them too uncomfortable but you will meet a team of warriors waiting in the wings to pick you back up and show you or even join your journey on living after loss. Maybe I need to let you know that it's okay to laugh. Maybe I need to let you know that there is life after loss. Maybe I need to let you know that life will be messy and complicated and full of heartache and what if's and the unknowns. Maybe I need to let you know that your view of the world will change. Maybe I need to let you know that you will find beauty in places you didn't see before. Maybe I need to let you know, you may profoundly change who you are at the core and that's okay.
I didn't want to write about pregnancy and infant loss this year but maybe this was my sign that I still need to. That there are hurting hearts and empty wombs out there who are seeking solace in a dark time. I always have loved the quote, be the light in someones darkness and maybe for the month of October I will focus my posts on pregnancy and infant loss. My current life, dating, divorce and all the other messy but beautiful pieces can wait, for this month I can take the time to soften the blow, to let others know how hard it is and how messy it is and how somedays you won't get out of bed and that's okay.
I will leave you with one bit of advice I was given after Ty died. Find something every single day you can do for yourself, no matter where you are or who you are with. Take that time to ground yourself in the day because you will most likely be living hour by hour, especially in the first few months after loss. Find one thing a day to do for yourself. I chose taking a shower every morning. It is still something I am doing 10 years later. It got me up and out of bed and if it's the only thing I did in a day, I still did it. Find your shower.
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All Of My Children
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