07 October 2010


October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month.

Yeah, yeah... I know.  Every day and every month is dedicated to something.

But this month is special to me.  Over the last year, I've learned a lot about infant loss.  You see, I have four nieces.  Lindsey, Kyah, Sunaura, and Rylie.  That's in order of their birth.  Except, Kyah is no longer with us.

I love Lindsey.

I love Sunaura.

And I love Rylie.

But Kyah?  She holds a special place in my heart.

I never got to hold her.  She never wrapped her finger around mine.  It was almost a year before I saw her ashes and her tiny little footprints the made in the hospital.

And when I did finally get to hold her ashes?  I never wanted to let go.

The day after Kyah was born I called funeral homes to see... well... to see what to do.  What do you do?

What do you say to the parents?

I was in the room when my brother and Kyah & Sunaura's mom were picking out names.  They were born almost 3 months early-- names hadn't been chosen quite yet.  And how to choose in such circumstances?

To be honest, I just went with anything they seemed to like.  It seemed like the right thing to do.


That's my story, and I'm just the aunt.  To even begin to imagine how the parents felt is beyond what I can comprehend.

Then I saw another dear friend go through a similar situation.

Both women were told what the probable outcome of their babies lives would be.  Both chose to keep on going.  To carry their baby/babies to term.


And when you begin to look for it, it's everywhere.  Who do you know who has been through this?  Who is going through this?

To be honest, it's tough.  You don't know whether to mention it or not.  But I've learned that you most definitely should mention it in most situations.  Let them know that you haven't forgotten their baby.

Trust me... they haven't.

My friend put together these to help the rest of us know what to do:

How to help a friend...

...who has lost a baby.

... who is pregnant with a terminally sick baby.


AnniePressley said...

At the beginning of last summer, one of my best friends had a miscarriage. It was early on, but it was still devastating to all of us. Yes, it was an unplanned pregnancy, but it still hurt her, none the less. I could tell how hard it was on her when she told me through a text message and I don't think she ever coped. :(

fowler said...

Thank you for your insight, Annie. I think it's something that's talked about so little that it makes it really hard to cope. It took me watching my friend go through everything and actually cope to be able to understand that I hadn't coped with losing Kyah.

It's also tough for others because (at least for me) I didn't want people to think that I wanted it to be all about me or anything. But truly, it was tough losing her. That's another reason why I wrote this post-- I want others to know that it's ok to miss a baby whether you've never touched it, held it in your arms, or even if it was an early miscarriage-- it still hurts.

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