Today is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. Even if you've never suffered a loss yourself, I'm sure that you know someone who has, and it is devastating.
Just before I conceived Jacob, I had what doctors believe was a Chemical Pregnancy. To recap, basically my body thought it was pregnant and exhibited all of the signs and hormones needed to house a fetus. When I started bleeding just before my scheduled OB appointment, I freaked out. And when I took a test at the doctor and got called in to sit down with my OB, I already knew the news she would give me. At the time, being childless and yearning for a baby, worried that this was the start of a long, drawn-out fertility battle, this felt almost harder to me than a real miscarriage.
There were no answers, and nothing even really to mourn. How could I explain to people when they asked me that I felt like I lost a child even though there was likely never a child there to lose?
Of course, I now know how much more difficult it is to have a miscarriage. I can console myself with the fact that I did not lose an actual baby, and that if that had been a child I would have never had Jacob roughly 10 1/2 months after sitting in that doctors office and mourning the loss of a pregnancy.
And I know that because I have had friends and family members that have suffered the loss of a child through miscarriage, stillbirth, SIDS, and other afflictions.
So today I do not remember my own loss, but I do remember the loss of my niece. It is not my story to tell, so the only detail I will share is that her gestational age was 21 weeks, and although I never got to meet her, I will always remember her. And tonight, I will light a candle in her memory, and the memory of so many others.