There’s a candle holder with a small candle that sits on a shelf on a bookcase in our great room. That particular shelf sits closer to the floor and every now and then our daughter will play with it and I’ll find the candle under the loveseat or dining room table. Then, I’ll place the candle back in it’s spot and straighten the holder itself on the shelf next to a family photo from a wedding.
There’s a devotional on my side table next to my reading chair in my room. It’s a devotional I don’t pick up anymore. It’s a devotional I only completed one third of the way. It’s stacked on a shelf with a Harry Potter book, empty journal, scribbled in journal and another devotional I regularly read. Some days when our daughter wanders into our room she’ll pull those books onto the floor and sit among them and flip through the pages. There’s a copy of an image in that devotional (that I never finished) and she’s never been intrigued with it.
The candle has a quote on it about being “not forgotten” and the image is of a baby who stayed frozen in time at 9 weeks. And, our daughter has no idea what any of it means – much like everything else in her world right now. But, one day she will read my letters to her and hear stories about the times I was pregnant before her. She may gloss over those moments in time or maybe she’ll pause on them and want to learn more and I’ll have the chance to share our story with her. When that times comes, I don’t know what I’ll say. Right now, even with her in my arms, those other babies are on my mind nearly every day and words fail me when I think of what I will tell her should she ask.
You see, the road of pregnancy loss is one that we have walked through several times. It’s a path that countless others have experienced and will continue to experience simply because our bodies are not perfect and that’s simply what happens in life. It sounds so mean and simple to say that about something that can cause a yearning in your body that is unbearable and a sadness in your soul that is inconsolable, but to those who have experienced it you may know what I mean.
Yet, when you need to explain that you have experienced a miscarriage, the words sometimes trickle out of your mouth before the emotions hit your mind. For a split second or minute or even an afternoon, you are able to speak that truth and not shed a tear or feel that stifling heartbreak. But, later, you quietly think about that baby (or babies). Later you think about how you found out and how you told your partner (if you even did tell your partner) or how it’s been three Christmases since you’ve heard their heartbeat. Later, you feel so alone and as if the world should stop spinning because you have lost a precious one and everyone should know that and pay their respects.
And, you’re right.
Not about being alone (I promise you, sister, that you are far from alone), but about the idea that the world should stop spinning. The world should recognize this precious life that was gone before the sun kissed their cheeks. The world should pause for a moment to acknowledge that we have a child that only we ever knew. The world should shout from the mountain tops that they see us.
But, it won’t happen.
The world will keep spinning and no one will feel your pain greater than you and their father. The world will simply look at you with sad eyes and move on with their day.
But, then, there will another world – a world of parents with angel babies. Parents who know your pain and see you through the forced smiles and lies about how it’s okay now. Parents who are parents without a birth certificate or hand print in a baby book. Parents who know.
I promise, you are seen and your pain is felt and you are not alone. Whether it was 20 days or 20 years ago, you and your child are seen. Your children will be remembered every month of every year – we just have an extra special reason to share our stories a bit more in October.