There’s a candle in the kitchen…

and a baby in my lap. The candle is lit, and the baby is sucking down milk faster than she can realistically handle. She’s been crying for the last 5 minutes, plays tug-of-war until I think my breasts will fall apart, and only slept for about 2 hours last night.

I’ve rarely been more grateful to be a mother.

It’s October 15th, a day that had little significance until I discovered that 3 years ago, 50 governors signed a bill making it a day of remembrance for infant and pregnancy loss. Interestingly enough, that would’ve been right after I experienced my second pregnancy loss.

The candle in the kitchen is lit in remembrance of a baby who, according to most people, never was. In approximately 15 minutes, the candle will be blown out. The light will be gone.

I have a lot of confusion when I think over the entire experience. For me, the pregnancy lasted 16 weeks. At that time, however, they discovered that the fetus hadn’t even survived two months. I still don’t care to go into the details. Suffice it to say, it hurt.

The conditions of my loss left me in a kind of no-man’s-land. Tell people I was 16 weeks along and I get awkward questions about whether I was able to see or hear the baby (how I wish I had!). Say it was 5, and I get a shrug of dismissal–Only a miscarriage. (What does that mean, anyway? It’s not “only” to the woman who lost; the pregnancy was a baby to her.)

I appreciate the anonymity of a day like today, knowing that there are other candles in other places, lit by women who know. It’s like a silent group hug–or a silent scream. Either way, it’s healing.

Loss leads to so many questions. So, just for tonight, it’s nice to know one answer: I lost. So did others.

And maybe–just maybe–we can crack the door a little on the pain so others don’t have to light candles alone.


About Carolynn the Dyer

If I've learned one thing by having three children in four years, it's that babies are not, in fact, the best birth control. ... Okay, just kidding. I've really learned that laughter is the only way to survive the wilds of parenthood, and life in general. Also, that it is indeed possible to do dishes, parent, and carry on a conversation at the same time. If that sounds like fun, or just impossible, then come join me on my blog--and join me in the jungle.
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