Saturday, October 15, 2011
I Am the Face
Today, October 15th, is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day. I am the face of miscarriage, and I am the 1 in 4 women who will experience the loss of a baby at some point in their lives. Hearing that statistic makes me cringe because it's way too common of an occurrence. I know that it's true, though, because it's happened to more of my friends and family members than I can count. The silver lining is that the taboo around this subject is disappearing, and there are many of us out there available to talk to if you need it.
I think the important things to remember are that miscarriages and stillbirths are predominantly NOT caused by a lack of prenatal care, or something else the mother did or didn't do during pregnancy. They are not your fault, and there's probably no way they could've been prevented. (www.iamtheface.org) The startling truth is that 25-50% of pregnancies end in miscarriage (pregnancy.org), 1 in 160 pregnancies ends in a stillbirth (March of Dimes), and about 20,000 babies each year die in their first month of life (March of Dimes). These statistics aren't meant to scare you, instead they are meant to reassure you that you're not alone, and there are resources available if you need support. Someone somewhere, probably even nearby, has gone through what you've been through.
This day is a bittersweet day for me. I am happy to carry the torch for this cause, because we need voices, and we need solidarity and strength. But, I can't help but think about how my original due date was just two short weeks from now. Back in February and March of this year, I thought I'd be welcoming a baby into the world right about now. It wasn't in the cards, and that's okay. I've accepted that, and my sorrow has turned into joy at thinking about the boy I will be bringing into the world in February.