Last October I had many things on my mind. I was going to be super organised. I had got through September with my eldest daughter starting school, but now it was October I needed to get organised for Christmas! I wanted to make sure all the presents were bought and wrapped, and everything was ready by the end of November. I wanted to allow us a restful December ahead of Lexi’s Boxing day due date.
In the middle of October, I paused from my nesting fuelled Christmas preparations and lit a candle. A Facebook post had reminded me to light a candle for a wave of light. I paused and lit my candle. I thought about how lucky I was to have two children already and be nearly at the end of a third healthy pregnancy. I spent a few minutes staring at the candle light and then went back to scrolling through the pages of the ToysRus website. As I blew out that candle an hour later I felt truly blessed to not be the 1 in 4.
Baby and pregnancy loss awareness month starts tomorrow. I didn’t realise in previous years a whole month was dedicated to it. I had only heard before about the wave of light. Now surrounded by baby loss on all my social media applications I am seeing lots of posts. Posts reminding people to change their profile picture, different ways they can get involved and links to support. For many Baby Loss Awareness Week, running from 9th – 15th October, is the main focus of the month.
I went for a run today for the first time in years (I’d run out of excuses for starting my training for the half marathon I am running in March) and as I ran it kept churning over in my head. Why do we want to encourage people to be aware of baby and pregnancy loss? I am beginning to realise that I don’t need people to understand, nor do I want them to. Not completely. Because I don’t want anyone else to feel the pain inside my chest. The daydream that catches me off guard and flings me back to reality with a heartbreaking thump. I don’t want to allow people to even glimpse that agony because losing my baby has broken me. So why a month of reminding those around us of the loss we have experienced?
Those promoting and encourage others to join in baby and pregnancy loss awareness aren’t doing it because they want others to feel the pain or share the agony. They want people to understand how devastating it is for several reasons. Taken directly from Baby Loss Awareness website they say;
“Now in its 16th year, Baby Loss Awareness Week calls for tangible improvements in research, care and policy around bereavement support and highlights bereavement support and services available for anyone affected by the death of a baby at any stage.
A collaboration between more than 60 charities across the UK, Baby Loss Awareness Week is held from 9 to 15 October to raise awareness about the key issues affecting those who have experienced pregnancy loss or baby death in the UK.
Throughout the week bereaved parents, their families and friends, unite with each other and others across the world to commemorate the lives of babies who died during pregnancy, at or soon after birth and in infancy.”
And whilst I know that for many it will just be a moment to pause in their busy lives, like it was for me last year, I hope to help achieve greater awareness for those around me by taking part in Baby loss awareness week and sharing my own experience.