For the Lives Your Absence Touches -Carrie Roark
The other day at dinner, I was playing a game with my two children called Two Truths and a Lie. You tell two things about you that are true and one thing that sounds true but isn’t. Then everyone tries to guess which one is the lie. When it was my turn to go, I told a truth that would sound like a lie to my kids. I said that I had been pregnant four times. They counted two kids at the table and decided that was the lie. Ah, but it was a truth. I got them! It’s fun to trick your children! Obviously, that led to a question. What happened to the other two babies?I told them of the two miscarriages I had, one before either was born and another between them. My 7-year old, the youngest, was especially interested in this news. He hasn’t stopped talking about them. Just today he was jealous his older sister was going to a party. “If I had my other siblings, I bet they would play with me...at least one anyway,” he said. Awww, it made me sad for him.
October is Pregnancy Loss Awareness Month. It may seem that I have a family of four, but really, we are a family of six. It is just that we lost two children before they were born. The loss of those babies was extremenly hard on me and my husband, especially the first one because it was my first pregnancy after 11 years of trying! It was traumatic too since I nearly died from a burst fallopian tube and internal bleeding. In the 14 years since that terrible experience, I have suffered another lost pregnancy and gave birth to two healthy children. (Ok, I have to giggle a little here because when I first wrote the previous sentence, it said, “I have suffered another lost pregnancy and two healthy children.” I decided I better rephrase that since it sounds like I suffered my two healthy kids! Freud would have a field day with that slip. lol) Kidding aside, I still feel the loss of those babies from time to time, though not as much as I used to. But I never thought about it in terms of a loss for my kids too. They never knew those siblings or even that they existed until now.
Our youngest child, however, is acutely aware that our family is incomplete. He loves to imagine what our family would look like with two more kids around. He wondered what kind of car the oldest would drive. And when I told him they were in heaven waiting for us, it brought up questions about heaven for him. For instance, how will we recognize them in heaven since we don’t know what they look like? And he wondered how we will “spawn” in heaven when we get there. #videogamekid. I love his tender heart and join him in remembering them.
Pregnancy loss is family loss. It is much more than merely a lost pregnancy. It is a lost child, a lost sibling, a lost grand-child, etc. So, here’s to honoring the losses so many of us endure and to the lives those unborn babies touch by their absence. We love you and will never forget you.