10.15.2014

Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Day

Today, October 15th is National Day of Remembrance for Pregnancy and Infant loss.
This includes all babies who have died because of miscarriage, stillbirth, SIDS, or any other infant death.
I have shared my story of loss before and I will continue to share it every October 15th because it is a reminder to me (and hopefully others) about God's love & faithfulness.

It reminds me that
God has a plan for my life (and yours!) and that HIS plan is better than my plan - Always.

I had 2 miscarriages before I had Kate.
 
  Ectopic Pregnancy at 6 weeks on October 22, 2002 (due date June 23, 2003) 
Miscarriage at 10 weeks D&C on October 25, 2005 (due date May 26, 2006)  

 I still think about them & wonder.
Were they a boy or a girl?
I could have a 11.5 year old and an 8.5 year old.


But then I wouldn't have my Kate, Claire or Luke.

 God has a plan. His timing is perfect. Trust in Him.
This is what would remind myself during my saddest days.
In the process of having miscarriages & sharing about them, I have met many, many women who have lost their sons and daughters. I have friends, family & co workers who have had miscarriages. I have several friends who have lost their babies at full term, days & months after having them. I can't imagine the pain they have suffered.

The Lord has broken my heart for families who have to endured these types of losses. I don't fully know the pain these families have gone through, but I have felt a small fraction of it.
 
This is one of the reasons I felt called in 2008 to become a volunteer photographer for Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep 6 years ago. I cannot take away the pain of someone's loss, but I can give them something to remember their child by. You can read about my journey to become a volunteer with them HERE. 
  
For those of you who are new to my blog or haven't read it before,  here is my story of loss:
(I post this every October 15th)
 
Kevin and I got married on August 24, 2002. We wanted to wait 3-4 years to have kids. I was on the pill and took it religiously at the same time every day. Imagine my surprise when I found out I was pregnant 2 months after we got married. We had always wanted kids, just not so soon after getting married. I went to the doctor & they gave me a due date of June 23, 2003. I was FREAKING out & couldn't believe I was pregnant. This pregnancy was our "honeymoon baby". Apparently I got pregnant on our honeymoon.  
Unfortunately, a few days after I found out I was pregnant in October of 2002, I woke up to an intense pain on my left side & when I went to the bathroom I was massively bleeding & then I passed out. Kevin rushed in and woke me up & we rushed to my doctor & after some tests, he informed me that I was having an ectopic pregnancy & that I had to go immediately to the hospital for emergency surgery because the condition was life threatening for me. 
So, that Tuesday night in late October, I was rushed to the hospital for surgery. Luckily, I have one of the best doctors in the area & he was able to save my left fallopian tube (it was already starting to rupture). I am glad that I was unaware of how serious ectopic pregnancies can be. I didn't realize I could have died if my tube ruptured. Even though my doctor saved my fallopian tube (and my life!), I always wondered how this would effect my ability to get pregnant & have kids. One of my biggest dreams was to be a mommy & for the next few years I wondered if that would ever happen. 
  
  Fast forward to the summer of 2005.  

This is when we decided to start "trying". We got lucky & I got pregnant the 2nd month after we started trying. I was due May 26, 2006. Kevin and I were thrilled. I couldn't wait to have a baby & be a mommy. I was relieved that the ectopic pregnancy didn't effect my ability to get pregnant. As soon as I found out I was pregnant, I went in for blood work to make sure my numbers were doubling. My dr called and told me my progesterone was low & I needed to be on progesterone suppositories 2 times a day. Let me tell, you , those are NOT fun. Nasty. 
My pregnancy was progressing, at 6 weeks the nausea hit big time & I was throwing up 2-3 times a day. I was miserable, but it was worth it. We had our first ultrasound at almost 6 weeks to make sure the baby was in my uterus and not my tube. The baby was in my uterus & I scheduled another appt at 8 weeks for the heartbeat check. The 8 week ultra sound was no so great. There was a heart beat, but it was very low & took my doctor a long time to find it. He said I needed to come back in a week for another heartbeat check. At that appointment, there was still a slow heartbeat, but the baby was not growing on track & was only measuring 7 weeks. My doctor warned us not to be too optimistic, but I still had really bad morning sickness and was getting sick a few times a day. I thought that was a good sign. I had to go in again at 10 weeks for another heartbeat & growth check. At the 10 week appointment, the heart had stopped beating. 
We had lost the baby & my doctor scheduled me in for a D&C that night. 
It was a Tuesday night in late October, just like 3 years before.  
As I walked into the hospital for surgery, I felt like I was on Groundhog Day. Another surgery to remove another baby from my body that didn't make it. After my D&C, I was going through the motions of life. We were told to wait 3 cycles before we could try again so that my body could heal. Those were 3 very long, hard & dark months for me. I was numb. My 2nd miscarriage hit me so much harder than my first one. I was mad at God for taking this baby from us. It took me about 6 months to process it.
 During that time, I had a lot of support from family & friends and for that, I am thankful.  
I am thankful to my awesome & supportive husband who would hold me as I cried many nights mourning our loss wondering if I would ever have a baby. I would cry myself to sleep whenever a friend told me they were pregnant. I was truly happy for them, but SO sad for me. It was just another reminder of what I didn't have. I am thankful to our pastor who helped me process some of my feelings & emotions during the months after our loss. 
  I am thankful to my mom who encouraged me during this time & gave me hope (she had 4 losses in between me & my younger sister including an ectopic & a placenta separation at 21 weeks).  
I am thankful for my best friend AK. She had 2 miscarriages around the same time I did. I was able to call her & cry with someone who was going through the same thing I was. She understood my pain. 
  I am thankful to my dear friend Lorie who had suffered 2 losses. She shared her prayer journal with me & held me up in prayer when I was too sad to pray for myself. After we good the go ahead to start trying again, it took us 3 months and we got pregnant in May of 2006. We found out on Kevin's 31st birthday, (a week before my "due date" with my 2nd miscarriage) We were excited, but I was really nervous about having another miscarriage. I was a stress case & paranoid my entire pregnancy. On January 23, 2007 , I gave birth to our beautiful Katelyn Grace.
It was a moment I will never forget & an emotion I can't put into words.
One of my favorite pictures EVER (30 seconds after Kate was born)

I was reminded again at the miracle of life when Claire was born 6 years ago and when Luke was born 2 years ago.
God has a plan. His timing is perfect. Trust in Him.

My kids are a reminder of that truth.

 
I never thought I would say this, but part of me is grateful I have been through miscarriages because it has given me compassion & a heart for those who have also suffered losses. My miscarriages caused me to cling to God & put my faith, hope & trust in HIM instead of myself. 
It drew me closer to Christ as I clung to Psalm 20:4: "May He give you the desires of your heart and make your plans succeed." 
God was faithful to me even though many times, I have been unfaithful to Him. 
  I am thankful to God who carried me through a dark time & showed me that He was there for me & He did have a plan for me & that HIS timing is better than my timing.
 Because of this, when I hear of others who have suffered a loss, I mourn with them. I pray for them, I listen, I cry with them. My heart breaks with them.I can't make them feel better or make their pain go away, but I can make it less lonely. 
 I have learned a compassion that only comes by walking in those shoes. 
I was reminded again & again that God has a purpose & a plan even when I don't understand.  
 What I have learned through my journey is that I was NOT alone during a time where I felt so alone and when it seemed like EVERYONE around me was pregnant, except me. God was there, carrying me through this tough time.
 
I discovered that intercessory prayer is powerful. 
To have people praying for you when you don't have the words to pray yourself is humbling.
If you have lost a baby through miscarriage or infant death, I want to pray for you on this day of remembrance.

So, if you are one of those women who needs prayer will you please leave a comment on this post and tell me your name so that I can be praying for you?


I have changed the comments so that you can comment Anonymously if you don't want to leave your name.

If you are someone struggling with infertility, I want to pray for you.

If you are waiting to adopt, you will also be lifted up in prayer.
If you want, you can include the nature of your loss, and the child's names so that we can pray for you. 

If you want to leave an anonymous comment, you can do that also.  
If you haven't lost a child, will you join me in praying for those who have?

20 comments:

  1. I look forward to this post every year. The baby I lost would be 7.5 right now. I can't wait until I get to Heaven and get to meet this child of mine. XO

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    1. I prayed for you today! I agree with you, I can't wait to get to heaven and meet my babies! xoxo.

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  2. Such a sweet post. I too have had 2 miscarriages and I'm waiting for hcg blood work on Friday. Praying and hoping for a positive pregnancy test. Xoxo.

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    1. Kristin - I read your comment and had to reply!! I'm so sorry for your losses, and CONGRATULATIONS on this pregnancy! Waiting for the HCG to come back is like, the absolute worst! Wow. I can remember all of those feelings! Will pause and pray for you right now.

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    2. Kristin, so sorry for your losses. I am lifting you up in prayer as you anticipate Friday's blood work. I know how hard the waiting & anxiety can be. Xoxo.

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  3. This post touches me every year. <3 We've lost 3 babies...a couple at 7 weeks, and one, a baby girl, a 14 weeks. We named her Josie Hope. I blogged about her somewhere...I'll find the link. It's a bittersweet loss, to think about the fact that we wouldn't have our current kids had those pregnancies continued.

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    1. Thank you for sharing and I am so sorry for your losses. Twins and then another one at 14 weeks, that is rough. You are strong, Anna! Praying for you as you remember the twins and Josie Hope...what a beautiful name!

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  5. Beautiful post. I have had 2 miscarriages myself and just cried and nodded my head the entire time I was reading this. Praying for the commenter (Kristin) above too. Waiting for the numbers is the worst!

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    1. Meg, I am so sorry for your 2 miscarriages. Thank you for sharing & for the prayers. Lifting you up as well!

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  6. Wow!! How powerful your words are! I have suffered 4 miscarriages. Two of which were ectopic, the first one requiring surgery from a ruptured tube that was able to be saved, the second we were able to take care of since I knew the symptoms. One was not viable and a "real" miscarriage, while the last one needed medication to assist in the loss.

    http://atparsons.blogspot.com/2014/10/speak-up-pregnancy-infant-loss.html

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    1. Oh my goodness...I didn't know you had 4 miscarriages and that 2 of them were ectopic pregnancies. So scary. Praying for you Ashley! Thank you for sharing.

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  7. Please pray for my Step daughter who is currently trying to get pregenant. She has also had a etopic pregnancy and lost one of her tubes. She wants desperatly to have a child of her own. Thank you. Her name is Joanna or JoJo as we call her.

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    1. Thank you for sharing about your step daughter. I am so sorry for her ectopic and for the loss of her tube. That must have been so scary. I will be praying for JoJo. May God hear the desires of her heart.

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  8. Thank you so much for posting this! I too had two miscarriages at the end of last year and going back to read your words was so helpful to me. Even though it's hard to trust when you're in the middle of all that pain God's timing is perfect. We're now 3 weeks out from meeting our sweet baby girl! I had soo many people praying for me when I couldn't find the words and continue to do the same for others.

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    1. I am so sorry for your miscarriages last year. Praying for you! And, congratulations on your current pregnancy! Praying that these last few weeks of pregnancy go well and that you have a smooth labor & delivery. Congrats on having a baby girl, that is so exciting! Best wishes!

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  9. I have had 4 miscarriages, resulting in the loss of 6 sweet angels. One was ectopic and my tube did rupture during surgery. I was told the day before, as I had been experiencing pains in the top of my leg, that they wanted to do an ultrasound. Then I learned I had the ectopic and needed surgery. As I was waiting for surgery, a nurse came and told me I had one in my tube, and 1 in my uterus. I was happy yet sad. I did not know what that meant. However, it did result in the loss of both babies. What was suppose to be a 45 min surgery turned into 4 hrs of surgery and 6 weeks of absolute awful pain.I was told when I woke up, that they almost lost me. I also lost my job during all of this. I will say, I then thought Id never be a Mommy. But, God had different plans. My 1st miscarriage was on Oct 18, 1991. My ectopic in April 1997. I finally had a daughter in June of 1999, and then another daughter in Feb 2002. I cherish my children. They are truly special gifts from God. Praying for those of you who are still waiting for your children. You are in my heart.

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  10. Thank you for volunteering with NILMDTS - I am a NICU nurse so I have seen many photography sessions where these will be the last pictures families will ever have of their little angels. What an amazing gift for families going through such a tragic loss.

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  11. what a sweet post. you just don't know how many of us have gone through this, grateful for a month to recognize the losses. i had a miscarriage this april, also at 10 weeks - we had seen the heartbeat at 8 weeks but i'd had some spotting so went back in. i'll never forget the ultrasound tech's words to mike & me, "i'm sorry, i don't see the heartbeat." i took meds & had the full miscarriage 24 hours later. i was due this november, and often wonder how big my belly would be right now at almost 36 weeks!!! grateful for my experience though, in many ways, and the ability to connect to other mamas who have suffered similar losses. i'm so sorry for yours too. xo

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  12. also - read this quote in another blog today...i wish there was a word for us mamas.

    In October 1988, President Ronald Reagan declared October as National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month saying, "When a child loses his parent, they are called an orphan. When a spouse loses her or his partner, they are called a widow or widower. When parents lose their child, there isn’t a word to describe them." (from casey weigand's blog)

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