Remembering Babies, Gone Too Soon

Capture Your Grief Day 1: Sunrise Blessing

In 1988, then-President Ronald Reagan declared October Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, saying “When a child loses his parent, they are called an orphan. When a spouse loses her or his partner, they are called a widow or widower. When parents lose their child, there isn’t a word to describe them. This month recognizes the loss so many parents experience across the United States and around the world. It is also meant to inform and provide resources for parents who have lost children due to miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, molar pregnancy, stillbirths, birth defects, SIDS, and other causes.”

Like other awareness campaigns (think “pink” for breast cancer, “purple” for Alzheimer’s and “red” for HIV/AIDS), the PAIL community uses a blue and pink ribbon as a symbol to heighten awareness. Pregnancy and Infant Loss Day (October 15th) is recognized in the U.S., as well as five additional countries.

In his speech, Reagan highlighted 3 goals: recognition of baby loss, information for parents, and resources for parents. However, something vital is missing: raising awareness to the public. Before I was a statistic I was only peripherally aware of PAIL Month. Sure, I’d seen blue and pink ribbons on Facebook profiles, but I didn’t truly understand. Now I am that parent. I frequently remind others in the loss community that “people are uncomfortable with death, but they are exponentially uncomfortable with dead babies.”  The death of a baby is shocking and unanticipated–babies are not supposed to die.

If you are someone who has experienced the loss of a baby, I challenge you to speak up in a way that feels right to you. This could be using a Facebook profile frame for PAIL month, writing a note to a friend, speaking up during a conversation about loss, or commenting on a Facebook post. And if you haven’t personally experienced the loss of a baby, you know someone who has, even if you don’t (yet) know who in your life that person is. So if they bring it up, be ready.

On October 14th, I will be walking in the 2017 Empty Arms Remembrance Walk for my Baby C and all babies gone too soon. I would encourage everyone to check this site to find a local event to offer your support.

If nobody speaks up, then nobody knows.

Before your loss, how aware were you of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month/Day. How, if at all, will you commemorate your baby this month?

5 thoughts on “Remembering Babies, Gone Too Soon”

  1. I was not aware of the month. I near of child loss, but did not realize the was a day let alone a month to raise awareness. After the passing of my daughter I could not forget. For a while I did not really do anything, but for the past two years I have tried to complete the #captureyourgrief project. But every year I give up because it even begins. Last year my aunt helped to get our company to post it up for the month of October on our workplace newsletter. This year I will complete the Capture Your Grief Project.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by. I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of your daughter. I’m so happy to know that you are going to do the Capture Your Grief project. One thing I just love about Carly Marie is the emphasis on self-care in the midst of our grief. Lots of hugs. 💕

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t know when I first heard of October as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month, but I had known about it for a few years. I had some friends who lost their pregnancies in late first trimester or early second trimester, and I would think of them when I saw something related to this. During my pregnancy, I was followed by midwives as opposed to a OB/GYN and they had a Facebook page. I saw a post about a walk to remember babies on October 15th, 2016, as I was waiting for my son to be born. There was something on that post that said something about “stillborn babies” and I thought, oh my goodness, how awful. Then my son was stillborn on October 15th. I still can’t believe that this month and that date are so personally meaningful to me now, in such a sad, sad way.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for stopping by. It’s surreal, isn’t it. Nobody ever thinks it will be them. Sending big hugs always, but especially now as your baby’s approaches. 💕


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