In 1988 Ronald Reagan declared October National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month (http://www.reagan.utexas.edu/archives/speeches/1988/102588b.htm)
The incredibly sad fact is that one out of every four women will experience some type of pregnancy or infant loss. For many years this has been a taboo subject that is not talked about. It gets pushed under the rug because people don’t want to talk about sad things. It makes people feel awkward and no one knows what to say.
A year ago I would not have known what to say. Not knowing what to say is OK. What isn’t OK is not talking about it because it is sad. Sad things happen. Life is full of wonderful moments, moments people celebrate because they are defining moments in ones life. Life is also full of really really sad, horrific, awful moments which become defining moments in ones life as well. Maybe even more so then the happy ones.
I lost my daughter Harper on July 17th 2013. She was born with tons of dark silky hair, her daddy’s lips and my nose. She was beautiful and perfect. Knowing her has been the single greatest privilege of my life. She passed away a few hours after I delivered.
I have been incredibly lucky to be surrounded by a partner who loves me and is here for me constantly and friends and family who have reminded us, continually, we are not alone in this journey. Throughout my quest to deal with my grief I have come to realize not everyone is as lucky as we have been.
I love talking about my daughter. Her name is Harper and although her time on earth was extremely short, she is and always will be my sweet baby girl. My child.
Throughout this month I plan to use this blog as a platform to help raise awareness. 1 in 4. 1 in 4 women will experience this type of heartache in their life. This is not an issue that affects someone else, this is your friend, your sister, your mother. Or maybe you. Someone you know is walking this journey and it is a journey no one should ever have to walk alone.
There are no words that will ever take away our grief. Nothing will ever make it ok, but talking about it helps. Knowing you are not alone, that is it ok to talk about it, it helps us heal.
I will be participating in a photo challenge throughout this month. It is called “Capture Your Grief” which originated here http://carlymarieprojectheal.com/ I will be sharing some of my photos here on the blog, and documenting my journey as well. I encourage anyone who has experienced this type of loss to go and check it out. If you feel you would like to share your photos please feel free to post a link back to where you are posting. Or, if it feels too personal just keep them for yourself. Whether or not you share the photos publicly I feel this photo challenge will be incredibly therapeutic to anyone who chooses to participate.