Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Hope & Loss

Yesterday was October 15, or as it is known in the infertility and loss communities- Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. Each year on this day for quite a few years now, I have stopped to honor each of the parents that have faced the heartbreak of saying goodbye too soon. All over the world, fellow miscarriage, ectopic and infant loss sufferers send messages of support, light candles and remember the babies that live on in our hearts, despite us being unable to hold them in our arms. We say their names out loud, we share our stories with others, we mourn the lives we'll never know. It is simultaneously, a difficult and uplifting day. Every year, I am saddened by how many new members have joined the wretched & hellish world of loss but I am also awed and inspired by how many new supporters I discover. Each year there is a little bit less stigma, a tad less awkwardness and lot more love. It is amazing to witness in real time the growth that happens within society as a whole the more we talk about the realities of loss. And the reality is that it can and does happen to anyone. With an estimated 1 in 4 pregnancies ending is miscarriage or other loss, it is crucial that we are able to speak about these losses and the feelings that come with them. 

It has been three years since my first miscarriage when Chad and I said goodbye to the dreams we had for our Sprout. My heart still can't help but wonder sometimes what life would have been like if that pregnancy hadn't ended in heartbreak. And now that my "Big Fat Maybe" is officially a Big Fat Chemical Pregnancy, I am already wondering what could have been if that embryo had continued growing instead of resulting in an early miscarriage. I probably will always wonder a bit about both of those pregnancies, about what could have been and I will always have cracks in my heart as result. 

Those few hours of blissful hope after my positive home pregnancy test last month and then the devastation I felt once I learned the pregnancy wouldn't last, opened my eyes to how deeply I actually do want a second child. I have spent nearly three years shielding my heart and mind from believing it mattered to me as much it actually does. And seeing how much it also matters to Chad and Eliana, I can't help but dive back in, despite my earlier fears that I would need a much longer break before trying again. Granted, the actual transfer is still a little ways away, so there's still time to change my mind (and I have definitely already considered it) but for now I am moving forward to FET #3 with hope that this cycle will result in a much happier outcome.

And although October 15 is just one day and that day has come and gone this year, I will continue to honor the memories of all the little ones gone far too soon. The names of so many precious children are etched in my heart and I will carry them with me always. Ayla, Juliet, Thomas, Bayli, Rudyard, Desmond, Oscar, Audrey, Logan, Brody, Wyatt, Sophia, Caydence, TT and all the others we have lost- you are cherished, remembered and missed.