Last month loss families around the world observed Pregnancy, Infant, and Child Loss Awareness Month, and in 2020, more people became aware of this thanks to Chrissy Teigan’s courageous decision to share the loss of her son Jack. News reports covered her story, influencers spoke about how her bravery inspired them, and loss parents shared their own stories, some of them for the very first time. For that, I am so grateful to Chrissy.
Her choice has helped millions of families around the world. It shouldn’t have been her cross to bear, but she did it bravely and beautifully, anyway. And on October 15th, as we marked Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day, people paid attention, asked questions, and showed an outpouring of support and love to the loss community as a whole. October 2020 represented a beautiful time of people coming together that was felt and appreciated by all.
And yet, on November 1st, Chrissy and her husband John Legend learned something that most of us already know: for loss families Pregnancy, Infant, and Child Loss Awareness continues throughout the year.
It continues in November as some celebrate Thanksgiving and we must work extra hard to count our blessings.
It is the day we return to work and none of our coworkers can look us in the eye anymore.
We feel it on December 25th as we note that there are fewer presents under the tree than we had hoped.
Or the day we turn off the T.V. because the advertisements for the hottest shoes and kid’s clothes of the season become too much to handle.
For us, it is January 1st, as we work through new resolutions and feel guilty over the fact that we want to try again.
Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day is any day we accidentally stroll past the baby aisle at our grocery store and our hearts skip a beat.
Or when the nurse at our new doctor’s office takes our medical history.
It is Valentine’s Day as we make love to our partners and secretly wonder if this was the day we conceive our rainbow baby.
It is the day we learn that our sister, best friend, coworker, or that lady who lives in the apartment next to us is pregnant.
It is at Easter as we listen to the pastor preach the Easter sermon and our mind involuntarily wander to your loved one in Heaven.
Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day is any day that we can calculate with extreme accuracy how old our baby would have been today.
It is the day we hear of a stranger’s loss and are triggered by memories of our own.
It is your birthday and wedding anniversary and of course, it is the anniversary of your loss.
We observe it the day we see Instagram pictures of another event our friends didn’t invite us too because we aren’t fun anymore.
It is the day we see those two pink lines on our pregnancy test and enter into a whole other reality.
Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day is the day we grow further along in our pregnancy than we ever were before or the days as we get closer to the date our baby was born sleeping.
It is checking into the hospital, terrified that this will not turn out the way we hoped.
It is holding our precious rainbow and being filled with gratitude and love but at the same time wishing that our babies could have met each other on earth.
Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day is watching our sweet rainbow baby hit every milestone without their sibling.
It is the day we hear our children talk about their sibling and smile because we remember what a privilege it was to carry our child for however briefly.
Many others have said it before me. Our experiences with loss do not end when October does.
We are so grateful to you for joining us during Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, truly we cannot do this alone. But please understand that families like Chrissy and John, like mine and many others, need you the other months of the year too. We need your prayers, friendship, encouragement, love, and support daily. We need your commitment to talking about child loss and interest in funding research and finding new technologies. We need you to stitch hats or make care packages. Wherever you are, whatever you do, we need you.