Tomorrow is October 15th and while this may sound like any other date to many, it is a very significant day for some of us.
October 15th is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.
It’s a big day for many of us women — the women who are in a special club that we never wanted to be a part of. Our club is an exclusive one. You don’t get an invite; you just have something really bad happen and it automatically enters you in the “we have lost a baby” club.
There was once a time in my life when I didn’t know there was any significance to October 15th. It wasn’t until we lost our son that I learned of the date. I’d love to share with you why this date means so much to so many of us.
When you have lost a baby — either through miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant loss — your baby is gone and you are left with very little. Sometimes there isn’t even an ultrasound picture. Sometimes ultrasound pictures are all you have. For those who lost an infant, their arms are so empty and all of the things they had ready for their little one are just staring back at them, drawing even more attention to their empty arms.
As moms, we would do anything to save our children. But for those of us who have experienced this type of loss, there is nothing that we can do for our babies.
Our babies didn’t live to celebrate their birthdays or develop those memories for us to look back on. Oftentimes moms will have a couple of dates that they remember: the day their baby died, their baby’s due date, their baby’s birth date. But when you were hoping and planning for a child, coming out with just one or two dates to remember, is just plain hard.
This is part of why October 15th means so much to us moms of loss.
It gives us something to do for our babies. It gives us a way to feel like we are doing something to remember them and celebrate their lives. It gives us another date where we have permission, and maybe some support from others, to share our loss with the world. And that means the world to us.
If you are someone who hasn’t lost a baby, take time on the 15th to reach out to someone who you know has. Let them know you’re thinking of them and let them know that you remember their baby. For many of us, our greatest fear is that our babies will be forgotten.
If you are someone who has lost a baby, we’d love to hear from you! I run a nonprofit for women who have lost a baby and we would love to add your baby’s name to our Remembrance Wall. If you’d like to add your baby, or just have someone to share your story with, email me at [email protected] — I would love to hear from you!
And if you’re in the Knoxville area on the 15th, come join us for a community ceremony of remembrance. This is the third year that our community is hosting an event just for those of us who have lost a baby. It will be a lovely time together of remembrance, community, and support.