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.