Blog · October 2, 2020

Why Pregnancy Loss Awareness is so Important

Just yesterday Model/Author Chrissy Teigen posted something on her Instagram account that blew me away. Her loss. Her Pregnancy Loss.
The pictures were so devastating to look at, not because of the images per se, but for the memories they brought back in my mind from my loss, long ago.

I don’t think celebrities really know how important it is to share their grief with all of us. Grief sucks. To lose a baby sucks. We, as humans, have a need to not feel alone. I noticed that in the past 24 hours since Chrissy’s loss, a few celebrities have came forward, such as Kate Beckinsale, and shared their loss as well. I have never been so proud and so touched.

There was a point that I started sobbing so hard, I felt compelled to thank Chrissy for posting about her loss because when I lost Alex in March 1995, I felt utterly alone. I felt like a freak, a failure, a loser.

So, I posted the following:

The interesting thing is that October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, which is the perfect time to speak of this “unspeakable loss” that nobody wants to hear about. How many moms have been shamed into silence? It’s a sad reality of our society nowadays.

But… for a moment, try to imagine the baby you have spent many months in constant company with, the baby you always wanted, the one you have felt grow, move, is suddenly gone. It’s an enormous shock.
Sure, we all know miscarriage can happen, but this thing called “stillbirth” I never did. I didn’t even know the word until my son was stillborn.
I hugged and kissed my baby’s body, even though I knew the soul was gone. It was heart wrenching. But that was after I had to give “birth” to him. Knowing I had to give “birth” to a dead baby seems an oxymoron, but that’s what happens. The body does not just disappear because the heart has ceased to beat.

Then after hours of hard labor your little angel is placed in your arms, silent. Wrapped in a cute blanket. The sweetest face I ever saw. I wanted to see the 10 little fingers and 10 little toes. He was adorable. They took his handprints, footprints and a lock of hair for keepsakes. The name I always wanted to give to my first baby boy is recorded for the stillbirth “birth” certificate, the death certificate, the stone at the cemetery. A name that anytime I hear, even today, pierces my heart with an ache that takes my breath away. I attended his funeral with engorged breast and aching arms. Yes, my body healed, but my soul never will.

We tried again and finally had a pregnancy test come back positive in late August, nearly 6 months later, which we approached with worry and happiness, but after the miscarriage at nearly 8 weeks, I was left physically devastated and it eliminated any optimism I’d felt. Seeing women and children walking happily at the mall or on the street I’d feel a painful longing followed by a sense of failure that only a new baby could fix.

White I was happy that if I was going to lose this baby anyway, losing it early was best, it was still a loss I had to get over before trying again. Not that you ever get “over” per se, but one needs to find a perspective on things before moving forward. So, we waited a little while until I was ready.

I found out I was pregnant again, this time with Nicky, in April 1996. I would lie if I said that that pregnancy was easy. I was worried the whole time. When you lose two pregnancies, just because you’re pregnant, that doesn’t mean you’re going to have a baby. It was never a foregone conclusion. When Nicky was born in late November of that year and was diagnosed with EB, his Doctor told us he wouldn’t live to see his first birthday. We were devastated. I loved this little “live” bundle of joy so much, EB or not EB, that I was determined to love this amazing little creature as much as I possibly could for as long as he lived. Of course, he lived well beyond his 1st birthday, as he’ll turn 24 in November. He’s truly my angel on earth.

Once you have a child with a disability, and had a miscarriage and a stillbirth, you can never take another pregnancy for granted. When I was pregnant with Connor in 2003, I was not exactly living in fear, but I was aware… I was very well aware… When he was born healthy I almost could not believe it. What other moms take for granted was to me an absolute MIRACLE.

When people ask me how many “children” I have, I normally say I have 1 in heaven and 2 on earth, although, to pay homage to the little girl I miscarried, I ought to say 2 in heaven and 2 on earth. It just depends on the mood and occasion, I suppose. But one thing remains. My babies in heaven are always thought of and will never be forgotten.

Love & Light,