Thursday, October 13, 2011

Remembering our Babies

I can still remember the sounds, the lighting, and the buzz of the place.  But I remember it as though it is an out of body experience, like I am looking at myself from across the room and not believing it was really me or that it really happened.

I was sobbing.  Hiding my face in my hands, elbows on my lap, wondering what I was doing and how I had gotten there.  Trying not to look up and see the happy families around me.  I was embarrassed, ashamed, devastated, and confused.  I felt invisible and alone in the huge void of that hospital waiting room.

But someone saw me.  A perfect stranger walked over to me, took my hand and placed a small note, and then walked away before I could even look up.  I never saw her face.  I'll never know who she was. 

You are beautiful.

It's obvious you are hurting.  I'll be praying for you.
And remember, God always has the last word.

Four years later, I still have this scrap of paper.  Four years later, I still remember the kind words from the perfect stranger.

Four years ago today my husband and I got the news that no parent ever wants to get.  Our first baby, a much wanted, loved, and anticipated baby, no longer had a heartbeat.  I was in that waiting room to get a higher resolution ultrasound to confirm what we already know - our baby had died.  And along with it all of the dreams and anticipation and hopes for that baby had died with it.

Miscarriage is extremely lonely.  If you haven't been there, you just simply don't understand.  It has been called the silent sorrow because even wonderful, well intentioned husbands, friends, and family members cannot grasp the level of sorrow that women have when they lose a child.  It doesn't matter if the woman has been pregnant for 6 weeks or 36 - the pain resonates deep in their soul and just simply does not go away.  Four years later I still miss that baby and wonder about what could have been.  I have had two healthy babies (and one more loss) since then, and I still feel the gravity of the loss.

October 15th is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day.  If you have lost a baby - I am so sorry.  If you know someone who has lost a baby - a sister, friend, or co-worker - acknowledge her loss. 

I learned an important lesson the day the sweet stranger placed that note in my hand.  I learned that kind words matter.  Compassion matters.  It costs no money and takes very little effort but you can truly lift someones spirit with a simple kind gesture.  If you are ever see someone in need of compassion, don't be afraid to say something.  Or write something.  Chances are high that your actions will be treasured and remembered long after you forget.


sanctimomious said...

Beautifully written, Jill. Even more this week, I am thinking of all the babies that were taken too soon from my family and friends. Thinking of

Sarah said...

Wow, thanks for sharing. I'm so sorry about the losses you've experienced. I can't imagine. What a beautiful, simple act of kindness that stranger did to share kind words with you when you were hurting.

Megan said...

I'm so sorry about your losses, Jill, I had no idea.

Lori said...

Sweet friend.... All my love. Your compassion was and is priceless to me. xoxo

Ally said...

Beautifully written. You truly capture the immense loss it is. Thinking about you xoxo

Blogger said...

Sprinter - DarKz (170BPM)

Hi, I'm Jill!

Hi, I'm Jill!
Extrovert. Mom of two. Wife of a cute Naval Aviator. Lover of wine. When I'm not chasing my two kids around town you will find me writing, taking too many photos, and researching the ten future areas the Navy could potentially (but probably won't) PCS us. We are fish out of water, landlocked at 7,000 feet. For now.

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