It’s October, which many of us now know as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. In my case, it’s the fourth time I’ve lit a candle on October 15 as part of the Wave of Light that circles the world in remembrance of our babies. Of course, we loss mamas know what this journey requires each day of each month. I gather baby loss resources year-round. I do my part in joining the chorus of those sharing experiences of pregnancy loss—despite silence, despite stigma. Honestly, I didn’t think I could be any more “aware.” But this month, thanks to several moving new initiatives, I have an even deeper appreciation of those traveling this path, gathering strength, remembering, missing, and—even in their grief—helping others.
• Once again, Dr. Jessica Zucker is using her platform to reach a wide, general audience with the personal yet common story of miscarriage. On October 11, the four-year anniversary of her own 16-week miscarriage, she launched the next chapter of her #IHadAMiscarriage campaign with “Rainbow Mama” and “Rainbow Baby” tees and totes as a way to further her mission of breaking the silence and promoting connection. “I am dedicating this year to shining a light on pregnancy after pregnancy loss and encouraging intergenerational conversations about these losses,” Zucker explains. “These items work against the shame and instead show a sense of pride for our histories/journeys.” They are available in her shop.
• Loss and parenting after loss mom Meagan Schultz has launched “An Invitation to Grieve,” a 21-day online course that grants grief the processing it deserves via thoughtful reflection, writing prompts, creative activities, and ways to share your story with others (though sharing is not a requirement). Schultz, who has experienced nine miscarriages of her own for various reasons, explains her inspiration in her warm welcome video: “I wanted to create this course so that other women could understand that they’re not alone, that this grief is allowed and OK, and to allow it to just be.” Hers is a voice that is gentle, trustworthy, and real. Schultz is offering the course at half price for the remainder of the month.
• As I’ve seen on PALS’ Instagram feed this month, I’ve also been participating in CarlyMarie Dudley’s 2016 Capture Your Grief project geared toward showing the rest of the world just what it’s like to walk in our shoes, day by day. I’ve been sharing amongst my grief group; we welcomed this project as a way to document where we are now, many years in on this journey. I so admire all the posts I’ve seen on social media, giving solidarity to those who need it and gently informing those for whom loss is not a personal experience.
• Finally, I had the great honor of participating in Justine Brooks Froelker’s Footprints Blog Tour dedicated to Share’s Walk of Remembrance. She enlisted 14 “fellow warriors” who are writing about infertility as well as pregnancy and infant loss. “Our community is better together, stronger together,” Froelker says. “And, I think the healthy messages are shared more when we do this journey together rather than from scarcity and comparison.” I appreciated this opportunity to contribute my story, but the true reward was in taking the tour as a reader. I learned about layers of the struggle that differ from my own, and will be a better advocate because of it. And stay tuned as Froelker plans to launch similar tours next April for National Infertility Awareness and again next October. Interested bloggers may email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I hope you’ll find added solace in these resources, as I did. In gathering them, it strikes me that behind each one is a woman—a mama as she has defined the term—doing her part to prove that we as a collective are helping the culture at large truly become more aware.