October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. If we are friends on Facebook, you’ve probably seen me sharing a lot of things from loss pages that I follow, but other than that, I’ve been pretty quiet about it. Last year I completed a series of “Capture Your Grief” posts during the month of October. October was, and always will be, a rough month for a few reasons, and that pain is kind of amplified because of PAIL Awareness. I’m already missing Carter so much, and seeing so many posts make me hurt a little more.
I didn’t want to immerse myself in PAIL Awareness as much this year as I did last year, because I don’t want to fall too deeply into my grief. I will always honor my grief, but having Hudson here requires me to keep myself in a brighter place than I may have previously allowed. Last year when October rolled around, we were two months past our third loss. I felt so hopeless. I didn’t know if we should keep trying to get pregnant, or if it would work out even if we did. The further we got into the month, the harder it got. Trying to plan the first birthday of a child that was buried in the cemetery was not something I had ever imagined myself doing. Not only that, but we should have been having a baby just nine days before Carter’s birthday.
On October 18th, the day we should have been delivering little bean, we left for our trip to Vermont. We ate so much ice cream and other sweets on that trip. Not that it was different than our time at home. I gained a few pounds in the month leading up to Carter’s birthday because I was eating my way through my grief, and that didn’t stop just because we were on vacation. It might have actually been worse considering we were five miles away from the Ben & Jerry’s factory. We tried and tried to avoid our grief on the trip until it hit us in the face on our last day, when we saw “Keep Moving Forward” spray painted on a path next to the beach.
Avoiding grief is not something that works for me, but it’s something that I feel like I’ve had to do these past four months. Right after we brought Hudson home, there were many mornings that I spent time crying in the shower, angry that we didn’t have Carter here to love on his little brother. But I couldn’t let the grief outside of the shower, because I had other responsibilities.
Today, as we light three candles, one for each of the three babies we’ve lost, I’m going to allow myself to grieve a little more. It’s not realistic that we could have Carter, little bean, and Hudson all at home, but it’s something I will wish for every single day. Today I will let myself cry. And then, twelve days from now, I will allow myself to be grateful for the beautiful things our first-born son has brought into our lives.
If you’d like to participate in the Wave of Light, and honor a baby that you or someone you love has lost, join us in lighting a candle at 7:00 pm local time.
Even though the losses leave us in the dark sometimes, our babies are a shining light that help us to keep going.