On October 25th, 1988, when I was just four years and five months old, President Ronald Reagan declared the month of October, Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month.
He so eloquently stated;
"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.”
For those of us who have lost a child, a pregnancy, a hope, we don’t need a designated month on the calendar to remember what we’ve lost. We remember daily. I will always mourn March 17th, 2016 and May 25th, 2017.
Just as a widower catches a glimpse of a memory and recalls their spouse, I have similar flashes of moments that take my breath away. Now, I don’t know the round faces of my children, or the softness of their pudgy hands, or the way they smell when you pull them tightly to snuggle. But I remember holding an ultrasound picture in my hand. I remember the hug my mother-in-law gave me when I handed her a wrapped onesie. And I remember the bitter taste of that peach cobbler she delivered when she had no words to comfort our loss.
I can’t escape pregnancy and joyous new life. My social media feed is compounded with pregnancy announcements and growing baby bumps. Sweet text messages from friends bring a smile to my face and tears to my eyes. Even my favorite network shows are filled with glowing pregnant woman. Bernadette on The Big Bang Theory is ridiculously fertile with a growing baby boy just 9 months after the birth of her daughter. And even though her first pregnancy was announced on the show in May while I was battling my second loss, I stuck with them. And crazed Queen of the Seven Kingdoms and Proctor of the Realm, Cersei Lannister from Game of Thrones is pregnant by her twin brother Jamie! Come on HBO, at least give me a Daenerys Targaryen, John Snow baby!
I really love that phrase “season of life.” It says “hey, don’t worry. This too shall pass, will fade away, will one day end.” And at the same time is juxtaposed with the idea of new life, new growth, and my favorite, new adventure.
Just like the weather in Georgia in the month of October, right now I’m in several seasons all at one.
I’m in a new season with a career that I’m loving, learning, and growing.
I’m in a season of marriage where Jason and I have this balance of independence and partnership.
I’m in a season of waiting (the utter worst!) praying through my reactionary “I-need-to-be-doing” reflexes versus God’s perfect will and timing.
But unfortunately, I’m also in a season of avoidance.
Not only am I avoiding action (as much as I feel called to do). I’m avoiding community.
I’m avoiding more fertility treatments because I’m terrified of the same outcome. (I think one miscarriage a year is my emotional limit.)
I’m avoiding close community because I feel so incredibly out of touch with everyone else’s “season of life” that I have nothing to contribute.
For an extravert, this is so incredibly hard. I want to see people. Have conversation. Laugh. Tell stories. Share hearts. But the insecurity within urges me to hold my tongue, avoid these encounters, keep to myself. Better to be safely tucked away than vulnerable and heartbroken. Better to be at home than with those who don’t and can’t relate.
The Big Bang Theory, Series 03 Episode 23 – The Lunar Excitation