“In October 1988, President Ronald Reagan Proclaimed October as National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. “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, their 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”.

-Excerpt from the website: http://www.october15th.com/origination.htm

In recognition of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day which is Friday October 15th, I wanted to blog about how important it is to talk about baby loss. While to many people, I may sound like a broken record, or like I’m not “moving on” because I talk about this topic a great deal, I do it because I want people to be aware. Before we lost Jack, I never knew that babies die as often as they do. I thought, like many people do, that in this day and age it was some kind of a rare occurence. That with the technology we have available, doctor’s can do so much. I didn’t know that 1 in 4 families every day leave the hospital without their baby in their arms. I didn’t know that Dustin and I would be that 1 out of 4.  My hope is that you who are reading this don’t ever have to draw that number.

Families who go through this tragedy, should not have to suffer in silence because it makes people uncomfortable to hear them talk about their grief. Families should be provided the option of whether or not they want to share their baby with the world without feeling judged. It is bad enough to lose your child, but to also lose your place in society just adds to the grief. There are no shades of gray to me when you have a baby. Having a baby makes you a parent, regardless of whether or not your baby came home. 

In our effort to be good parents to Jack, to honor him and to make even more people aware of baby loss, we released special balloons on his due date (August 31st). These balloons each had a small card attached to them with a photo of Jack, a brief description of his life, why he died and where he was from. I also added that if someone found this card, to please email me so we could track where it travelled. Yesterday, I got our first email.

It was from a woman named Laurie in Wauseon OH. To give you an idea of how far the balloon travelled to get to Laurie, that is approximately 75 miles away from our launch point.  She said that she found the card hanging in one of her pine trees in the back of her property. To me, the balloon launch was sort of like a message in a bottle. We had no idea if even one of them would be found, let alone responded to. So to say the least, this far exceeded our expectations. And the best part is, is that one more person knows Jack’s story and they know that babies like Jack exist. I think that is what raising awareness is all about. Making sure our babies are never forgotten.

So as this Friday approaches, I hope you will join us in lighting a candle  in memory of all babies gone to soon.

Thank you.