I suddenly realized last week that my due date was coming up. I’m referring to the baby I lost last March at 8 weeks gestation. I am currently 20 weeks pregnant with my third child. But when I was lying in bed I suddenly realized that this was the week my second baby would have been born. It was unsettling and profoundly sad for me. I had forgotten. I’ve been finding this to be one of the more troubling aspects of having a miscarriage. I don’t want to dwell on my loss every day but I feel guilty when I forget. For a while I got caught up in how busy life with my current pregnancy, my toddler, keeping our household together and all the other activities I’m involved in. I wouldn’t say that I forgot, but it got pushed so far into the back of my mind that I rarely thought about it anymore except to make brief reference to it in relevant conversation.
Now that I’ve realized this I find myself unsure of how to proceed. How do you commemorate something that didn’t happen? I don’t have a memorial or cemetery to visit. Part of me doesn’t want to mourn, because I believe my child is in a better place and that I will see him or her again. But I do still feel sad because I never had the chance to hold this child. I find myself wondering whether he knows how much I love him.
Apparently October 15 was National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day. I didn’t know that until my husband told me last week. I spent most of last Monday crying and talking to a few friends who have been through this. My husband brought me a Willow Tree figurine on his lunch hour. It’s a toddler holding a balloon that says Hope. A good friend and I took our children to the park. It was a beautiful day and some how just being with someone else who remembered my baby helped. I still wonder if I want to do something more concrete, but at least I feel like I’m doing something, even if only allowing myself the time and space to grieve.