Today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance day. Tonight, I lit three white candles:
Carlin (small champion), due 3.24.09
Luca (bringer of light), due 10.15.09
Nadia (hope), due 12.31.10
My daughter knows that I lost three pregnancies before her, and this year she asked to see the candles. I told her for whom I had lit each candle.
I’ve told my story over and over, and I want to do something a little differently this year. The fourth candle is in honor of the baby of someone who I deeply respect. She was stillborn in the last month. I cannot imagine the horror. I would take a hundred of my losses over theirs.
This person is a private person, and honestly I’m not even that close to them, but I care very much about the family and the trauma that they’re going through. Their story isn’t mine to share, so instead I will share a few charities that do excellent work for families who have lost an infant before or after birth:
Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep provides professional photography, at the hospital or home, for families of babies that have died or are close to death. The loss of a pregnancy or infant is the loss of one’s whole future, and the only memories people have in these cases are ultrasound pictures. The photographers are specially trained, and their work is beautiful.
The next two charities can be support through Amazon Smile:
Star Legacy Foundation funds stillbirth research and education, and they provide grief counseling by phone and via support groups for families experiencing this horror. They also provide gowns and hats for stillborn babies and care packages for their parents.
First Candle focuses on prevention of stillbirth, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, and Sudden Unexpected Infant Death Syndrome through education, as well as grief support for bereaved families.
I bought a blank card to send to the family I know who lost their baby. I’m going to keep it simple.
I lit a candle in honor of your baby girl
You are very much in my thoughts
It’s not fair