gStories: National Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month
Words are hard to put together for when a parent loses a child. We just don’t know what to say. And more often than not, we say nothing. But this month, National Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month, we make space for parents to share their grief, their love, and their words. Below is gMum Jaimey’s story about her own loss:
October. The true beginning of falling leaves, crisp air, and all things pumpkin spice. Or it was until eight years ago. Now October is a lot more. Eight years ago, I delivered my sweet little angel baby, Jonathan. He was 26 weeks and 4 days’ gestation when he was born, due to a rare genetic birth defect called Anencephaly.
The months are still so vivid in my mind when we found out about his condition and leading up to his birth. I was such a mix of emotions trying to love him and being so angry that this was happening to our family and our baby. This doesn’t happen to us, or to people we know, right?
I started blogging, finding it cathartic to write and get some of those feelings out and not having to repeat the painful details in person. I had to tell his story, to leave his mark. I felt completely alone save for the people who read my blog and commented and few friends who came to hold me up.
October is now a month of reflection. Not only is it my angel baby’s birth month, but it is also National Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month. From the beginning we decided that while it was ok to be angry and sad, we wanted to celebrate him in every way we could.
He touched so many people in his almost 27 weeks in my belly, 3 hours’ earth side, and every day since. He taught my husband and I that we truly are a team. Things get hard, and they always will, but nothing is as hard as losing a child. We survived that and made that be the glue that keeps us together. He taught us to accept help and even ask for it. Jonathan taught me to give grace and love to everyone, even ourselves.
That was probably my biggest lesson. When I was at my most angry and most depressed, I focused on giving myself and my family the grace I would give a best friend who was going through the same situation. It is advice I give as often as I can. I think we all need a little grace and kindness.
This month I celebrate the life of Jonathan Mitchell, a moment in our arms, forever in our heart.
Thank you, Jaimey, for sharing your story. Through our words together, we honor the babies we’ve lost and help each other feel less alone.