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A Month to Remember: Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness

a blog by The Infertile Editors: Chris and Candace, October 8, 2013

What do you think of when hear the word ‘OCTOBER’. Perhaps pumpkins? Or how about being proactive and scheduling a will-be-needed dentist appointment after a wild yet spooky, candy binger? What most folks do not typically associate the month of October with is that it is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. It is shocking that there is not more news, advocacy, and avenues of support surrounded around this month since the statistics are quite staggering.

Want some statistics on why a whole month is dedicated to this extremely sensitive and heart-wrenching topic? How about this, nearly 90,000 children in the United States die before age 1 annually with nearly 2,500 of those due to SIDS. Worldwide, nearly 4.5 million babies are born stillborn, shocking statistic. More babies die as a result of stillbirth than all other causes of infant death combined. Finally, 15-20% of all clinically recognized pregnancies end in miscarriage. Yep, 1 in 5. Staggering to say the least. With this level of frequency, it is very likely that either you or someone close to you has experienced this traumatic event in their lives. October 15th is the day of remembrance for all of those babies that were lost to miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, still birth, etc.

Living in the world of infertility, we know all too well the delicate balance of life. We all know the fight to see those double lines. Personally, I also know so many that may have not had to grasp at straws to conceive, getting pregnant was the easy part. There are also many who have prayed for double lines through the lens of a petri dish. The point is however they got there, their ending was not what they expected or would want for anyone. They represent so many this month as we remember those small angels who were lost too soon.

What can you do to show your support this month? Glad you asked –electronically speaking of course.

  1. Help create a “Wave of Light”. At 7pm on October 15th whatever time zone you are in. Light a candle in remembrance for those who have suffered loss and those angels who left us too soon.
  2. Reach out and support a friend. Text, call, email, carrier pigeon, basically whatever method works best for you, let that couple know you are thinking of them.
  3. Sharing is caring. Speak out! We spend so much time sharing on Facebook or Twitter pictures of our dogs, Miley Cyrus, or even “selfies” of ourselves BUT what about advocacy? Break out the elephant in the womb and spread awareness for October 15th which is the National day of remembrance.
  4. Be there. Show up and show that couple that is close to you that you recognize that simply living is so difficult for them right now. Bring them dinner, mow their yard, clean their kitchen. Trust us, by doing something simple that you and I would take for granted, you will be aiding them immeasurably in their grieving process.

Every moment they spend from the second they lose their child ‘til the day they are lowered into their eternal slumber, some fraction of their conscious will be spent reflecting on their child they lost far too soon. So, anything we can do to let them know that there are hands they can fall back on, rely on, to get them through the next eye blink of time, will help them immeasurably. Let’s strive to enable them to shift their focus from one of loss, to one of remembrance, and maybe someday, one of honor for their child they will see again.

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