This was the first year I participated in the October 15th event of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. I had to work that night and chose not to go downtown to participate in the community event, but I took the time to do this at home. I didn’t even realize a new miscarriage and infant loss group had started up again in my city. That group organized the event downtown for October 15th. A few years back I went to one of those meetings but I was only one of two people, shortly after I went I got a letter in the mail saying that group had ended. Maybe I’ll start going to the new group. The other reason I didn’t go downtown for the October 15th events is that I didn’t feel like sharing that moment of remembrance with strangers. I’m sure it could have been nice for some people, but I felt like this first year of doing it would be more meaningful if I did it at home.
Several things happened on the 15th that were really difficult, I’ll address those in a future post. But for this post, I wanted it to focus on Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. I wanted to light a candle for each of my pregnancy losses and remember each of them individually. I decided to take some photos to remember today. After nearly four years of infertility and six miscarriages, I finally decided to take part in my own way at home.
I used my Moroccan candle holder as the centerpiece, and put six tea light candles inside, each one representing one of my pregnancy losses. I lit each candle and took one minute between lighting each one to pause and remember each baby. I said a prayer for each one, each prayer slightly different than the last. There was something about this process that gave me a sense of peace and I could feel the heaviness in my heart lifting.
Lighting the candles one-by-one, saying a prayer for each of my babies.
I have a temporary keepsake box (good ol’ shoebox) of my letters, cards, ultrasound pictures, and this little stuffed elephant. Eventually I will get a nice keepsake box. I bought this elephant with my first baby and gave it to Kurtis when I first shared my pregnancy news with him. Someday this little elephant will be cuddled, drooled on, squished, and dragged around by my future baby. I put flowers around the candle holder to add some color and bring a delicate beauty to the centerpiece.
Overall I found the experience to be more emotional and meaningful than I had anticipated. Some women choose to honor their baby on the day they would have been born. Initially I had done something like that but after six losses I honestly cannot remember the dates. I think part of that is that I was emotionally blocking out that info. I plan on contacting my doctor in the future to find out this info so I can either buy or create a necklace with the birthstones for each one. I have a necklace with a birthstone for my first pregnancy loss but I haven’t added on to it. I believe it would have been too overwhelming for me to honor each of my babies at six different times throughout the year on their would-be birthday. So the idea of doing it once a year on October 15th is easier on me emotionally. I think it’s important to remember our babies and the hope that they brought to our lives. Just as when someone comes to the end of their life it’s important to remember the good moments. I remember the good moments of announcing the pregnancy news to Kurtis, family, and friends. I remember seeing strong heartbeats on the ultrasound that I never imagined possible, I saw this two times. Those heartbeats were a sign of hope.
It’s important to take care of yourself emotionally. I think participating in Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day is a way to stay connected to our past and not forget how strong each of us really are. If you’ve experienced this kind of loss just know that you are not alone and there are so many others out there going through the exact thing you are.
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