There is no one way to lose a baby.
Some babies live and live and live and then suddenly and for seemingly no reason they die.
Some babies die before they get a chance to live.
Some babies attach in the wrong place and can't survive.
Some babies don't form and grow properly and will never be able to live.
The first thing I want to make absolutely clear, no matter what situation applies to you:
YOUR BODY DID NOT KILL YOUR BABY.
You may find out that there is some kind of genetic condition or predisposition you have that makes it difficult for your body to carry a baby. Maybe you hear things like "incompetent cervix" (as I did) that make you feel like your body is stupid and doesn't know that it's supposed to actually keep the baby in. Maybe you hear words that sound like you did something wrong to cause the miscarriage or preterm birth. Maybe you feel ashamed - you think you were too active, ate too much sugar, didn't drink enough water, dared to have a baby while you were overweight or diabetic. Maybe you hear these things and you think, "Oh dear God. Did I kill my baby?"
No. You did not.
I also want to make it clear to you that God did not kill your baby. You didn't lose your baby because you snuck out of the house your sophomore year in high school and got drunk under the bleachers, or because you stole something, or because you beat up a kid in elementary school, or because you had sex with too many people, or because you did whatever terrible horrible things you can remember to possibly explain why your baby died. This is not retribution.
It is, unfortunately, a part of life.
And the loss of a baby can happen for any number of reasons, most of which are pretty scientific and not at all mystical or religious.
This week we're going to be talking in some depth about several different types of loss. I want to do this because as a culture, we need to talk more about pregnancy and infant loss. So each day, in order to raise awareness, we'll take a look at a particular type of loss - what it is, statistics, maybe even some snippets of personal stories. I don't do this to dredge up the trauma you may have experienced in your own life but because there are people in the world who do not understand what the loss of a child is like or what it can do to the human psyche.
I will not be covering every conceivable type of loss under the sun, but the main situations we'll look at include miscarriage; stillbirth; premature birth resulting in death; SIDS and unexplained death of an infant; pregnancy termination for medical reasons; and abortion.
And yes, I am absolutely including abortion and medical termination in this discussion, because even if the loss of your baby was due to choice (and most medical terminations are choice, though it's more a choice of when to end the child's life, not whether it will end), there are a lot of emotions that can affect you that you may feel are not socially acceptable to feel. But this is a safe place, and I want every parent who is grieving the loss of their child for any reason to feel safe feeling all the things they feel.
We will dive deep. We will talk about emotional things. I just want you to know this before we start the week, because if you're following along, you may need to prepare your heart. So prepare your hearts, dear ones, and know that I'm praying for every single person who reads any of my posts this month. I know the strength and comfort and reassurance you need - even if it's been years and years since you lost your baby.
Peace and grace to you on this beautiful autumn day. Find a beautiful leaf that speaks to you, and preserve it between the pages of a book. Let it remind you of the beauty of the sunlight on the changing leaves, of the way the wind kissed your cheeks as you stood in it and let it tousle your hair. Remember these tiny, fleeting moments. Because sometimes it's the tiny, fleeting things that have the biggest impact on our lives.