Not Just Pink

Beyond the pink ribbons and breast cancer awareness activities that tend to pop up in abundance at this time of the year, October has another significance that is discussed far less often: Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness month.

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One in four pregnancies end in miscarriage. That isn’t just a statistic, it’s your sister, your grandmother, your cousin, your college roommate, your high school friend, your co-worker.

If someone you know has opened up to you about their experience with a miscarriage, stillbirth, or the loss of their infant, do not say…

“At least you know you can get pregnant.”

“Don’t worry, you’ll be pregnant again soon.” (One pregnancy does not replace another. Each pregnancy lost is a specific child who will not be born.)

“Oh, but that is so common. It happens to a lot of people.”

“Be grateful for what you have already.”

“Everything happens for a reason.”

Although they may be well-intended, these are not acceptable things to say to someone who is grieving the loss of their child. It can be very hard to learn of someone else’s pain and not know what you can say to make it better. If you’re in this position, tell that person how sorry you are for their loss and remind them that you are there for them. The best thing you can give someone else is your love and support. Listen to them if they want to talk, sit in silence with them if they don’t. Be available if they need something. Grieve with them. Don’t expect them to feel better right away; everyone experiences grief differently and should be allowed to take the necessary time to heal. Remember that there will also be days in the future that are more likely to be painful, especially holidays, Mother’s Day & Father’s Day, birthdays, pregnancy milestones or due dates, and the anniversaries of the loss.

You don’t have to fix it. It can’t be fixed. It just is.

As part of a wonderful blog community, I have come in contact with countless women who have experienced loss. And yet, this is not just something that occurs among a small group of individuals brought together online by their circumstances. Miscarriage affects a significant number of those around us but is often dealt with privately, so you may not even know whom among your own family and friends has suffered through this devastating experience. Unless we break the silence surrounding this issue, how can we provide the necessary support to those who desperately need it?

Help to spread awareness and speak up about pregnancy and infant loss. If you have experienced one or more losses, please consider sharing your story to remind others that they are not alone in their pain.

I’d also like to ask that you keep the following friends in your thoughts and prayers:

  • A friend who experienced a loss in July at 8 weeks following IVF. Her little one was affectionately nicknamed PB for “Pizza Baby,” and she will be undergoing another IVF cycle in a few weeks.
  • A friend who experienced the loss of her little Ellie at 12 weeks in July following IVF. She will be undergoing another IVF cycle this month.
  • A friend who experienced a terrifying ordeal with an ectopic pregnancy last month following IVF. She is currently healing and plans to attempt another round of IVF closer to Christmas.

And for some non-blog friends as well:

  • A friend who experienced a loss at 9 weeks several months ago and is now pregnant again. Although they are excited for this new life, they are still wrestling with the overwhelming fear of losing another pregnancy.
  • A friend who experienced a loss at 6 weeks in April and has been pursuing fertility treatments over the last few months.
  • A friend who is experiencing a loss at 8 weeks after a long battle with infertility and treatment. This is very recent. Please pray for their peace and comfort right now.

And there are so, so many more.

For the six little ones I mentioned above, and the one I believe was lost on my 25th birthday, August 11, 2012. The only one who ever found its way to my womb.
For the six little ones I mentioned above, and the one I believe was lost on my 25th birthday, August 11, 2012. The only one who ever found its way to my womb.

Resources

For those facing loss:

compassionatefriends.org
throughtheheart.org
nationalshare.org
stillbirthday.com
firstcandle.org

For men facing loss:

grievingdads.com

For those who want to help a loved one through loss:

americanpregnancy.org
miscarriagesupport.org

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7 thoughts on “Not Just Pink

    1. Thank you. ❤ Although we just met, I want you to know that I did think of you while writing this post, but I didn't know how you would feel about being included and wasn't as familiar yet with your story. I do want you to know, though, that you and the little ones you've lost have not been forgotten and won't be. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  1. You are so right and it is so sad how this can affect anyone close to us and yet happens silently.

    I missed the wave of light as we were out camping in the desert (we did light a gas burner though, not quite the same- but believe me, the thoughts were there) 😦 sending you a big hug for your loss X

    A lovely post Ashley, thank you my dear for putting it down in words so well – it’s amazing you are sharing and spreading awareness like this X

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    1. Thanks, Dani. I hope you had a fantastic time just getting away and enjoying a different part of the country. I have been meaning to check in with you as I wanted you to know I received your note– so cool that it is Chris’ photography! The monarch butterfly was the perfect choice too; my dad taught us to raise them as children. We would find them as tiny little eggs and release them as butterflies. I can even tell the difference between male and female monarchs based on their wing pattern and I still have the urge to look for their eggs every time I see a milkweed plant. They are a happy childhood memory. 🙂

      I hope you are doing well and I think of you often. xx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That is spooky! Chris is obsessed with taking their photos….he has been learning about monarchs (and other butterflies as he takes their photos) he got caught out once when he showed one of his photos and he couldn’t say what type it was! That’s very sweet that your dad taught you to raise them as children 😊
        I’m doing awesome thank you, today I found out that my beta is back down to 2. It’s kind of weird to celebrate, but that is honestly what I feel like doing right now!
        X

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      2. Well, I am pretty much an expert if he ever needs to learn anything. 😉 I even published a book on them while still a child! Actually… it was one of those where you draw the pictures and write the story and then send it away to be bound. Still a book though! I like to remind my family that I am published, haha.

        So glad to hear that your beta level has dropped. Celebrate if you feel like it! It is a huge relief to know that the danger has passed; this has been a very long and difficult ordeal for you guys. Sending love & hugs ❤

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  2. I am so thankful for the freedom and encouragement to not only acknowledge the loss of a child through miscarriage or infant loss, but to remember and honor the loss.

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