October: Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month
I woke this morning to the sound of my one-year-old giggling while his older brother tickled him in my bed. The sun was slowly starting to cascade through the windows. I rolled over to check the time....6:45 am. I sighed and smiled wishing for another 15 minutes of rest, but knew that wouldn't happen. I got up to make breakfast and start our day. Between the eggs sizzling in a pan and reminding my four-year-old to be gentle with his brother for the 10th time this morning, my mind wanders to someone else.
You see, before I had my boys, I had a daughter. Peyton Grace. Peyton made me a mother.
I found out I was pregnant with her on Mother's Day 2011 and since that day I've had a mother's heart. 31 short weeks later (at 35 weeks pregnant) I gave birth, but her soul had already left this Earth. Few things in life can shock you to the core and change your life in only a moment. Giving birth to my stillborn daughter was that moment for me.
As I sip my coffee on our back porch and watch the boys play, a light breeze blows past me. I feel her. I know she's with us. I see her in the butterfly that flutters passes by us and in the bright blue sky. Not a day goes by that I don't think about how differently my life would be if my daughter had lived. I wonder what she would be like as a now almost-six-year-old. What would her favorite toy be? What music would she like? What would she be learning in school? What would she enjoy eating for breakfast?
My day continues. Dishes, laundry, cooking, reading to my older son, nursing my younger son. Busy as always. Most days I feel strong, I can do this. But some days all I want to do is curl up in a ball under my covers and have a good cry.
I miss my daughter.
My grief journey has continuously changed over the years, but at first it consumed my every thought. The pain was numbing. My body physically ached for my baby. Over time, the aching pain in my heart became softer, but these thoughts have always been a part of me. I don't think they'll ever completely stop, and I'm pretty sure this is true for all loss parents.
Because we didn't just lose a child, we lost their future too. We lost all those hopes and dreams we once had for them, and it truly breaks my heart that anyone, ever, has had to experience that same pain.
October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month. If you have lost a child from miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant loss, I stand with you.
You are not alone in your grief.
If you feel lead, please share with us your babies name so we can join together in honoring our precious children who left this Earth too soon.
Written by: Allie McFadin