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Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day: Our Story…

Posted by on October 15, 2013

On July 16th, while we were visiting family in Virginia as we do every summer, we got some exciting news…

Our Exciting News! A Positive Pregnancy Test

We’re Pregnant!

We were thrilled! It was such a blessing to have something so wonderful happen to us after what’d been a pretty rough year. To find out while we were on “vacation” was even more fun! Our trip couldn’t have gotten any better.

Of course, we still experienced all of those typical new pregnancy thoughts… how are we going to afford this… what will we do without insurance… and on and on. But in the midst of those anxieties, we were fully prepared to rest in our knowledge that the Lord had great plans for us through this. We were prepared to see His work completed in our circumstances. Turning our anxieties over to Him, we rejoiced in the celebration of this new blessing…

In light of the fact that we did not have medical insurance, we began to plan on attempting a Birth Center birth with a midwife. The cost of this comes in at less than half the cost of a hospital birth. I scheduled my first prenatal appointment for the 9 week mark and I settled into the idea that I would soon be holding my fifth beautiful baby…

Only, that wasn’t how this pregnancy would end this time around.

I experienced something throughout the weeks following our positive pregnancy test that I had never experienced before with any of my four prior pregnancies: bleeding.

On Sunday, August 18th though, it just didn’t seem right. It seemed to be too consistent, but I pushed the concern over it out of my mind so I could focus on having Ellie a little family party that night, in celebration of her fourth birthday on August 19th.

Ellie's Birthday

But on the morning of the 19th, I woke up feeling very unwell. The bleeding that was worrisome was now completely disconcerting.

Danny phoned the Birth Center and although they tried to be optimistic and reassuring, they agreed to see us that afternoon.

It was a long drive… both in actual time & distance… and in that surreal slow-motion sense. I knew the answer in my head… there was just too much blood… but my heart would not budge.

After we arrived and were checked in, it didn’t take more than just a minute to get our answer on the ultrasound monitor: Our pregnancy was no longer viable. I was 8 weeks, 5 days along.

Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day

The days that followed were hard. By the evening of the 20th, it was all over. The pregnancy that had brought us such joy just a month before, was over. Just like that.

Our friends were a great comfort to us… those with whom we’d already shared the exciting news were the first to wrap us up in their arms. Friends strewn throughout the social media-sphere poured out an unfathomable volume of support and encouragement. In fact, I had a hard time keeping up with properly replying to all those who reached out.

I learned that in this experience, I’d joined vast group of women, that are often seldom spoken of, who’ve lost a baby. So many beautiful souls shared their stories with me… many that I did not even realize had been through this.

1 in every 4 pregnancies ends in a loss.

Now, I am 1 in 4.

 

It’s almost like another family, this community of women and men, too. These mothers and fathers…. Living life here on earth, while loving one already gone on to Heaven.

And the reason that I decided to share our story today, is in support of Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month, designated as the month of October by President Ronald Regan in 1988 and specifically for today… October 15th… which was designated as Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day, in 2006.

ForQuin

For a while, we struggled a bit with what to do for our baby… how to acknowledge that he or she existed and mattered to us… {In case you were wondering, there’s no “Handbook” on how to do this sort of thing…}

I thought a name was appropriate, but at the same time it was hard because we did not know if our baby was a boy or a girl. But what we did know was that he or she would have been our fifth child and not long after sharing our pregnancy news with my friend Audrey, she began throwing out the name “Quincy” because its meaning is essentially, “the fifth born.” And although I initially wrinkled my nose at the name because all I could think of was the President, John Quincy Adams, as the days of the pregnancy went on, it really grew on me. I had even thought about how cute the nickname “Quin” would be…

Quin.

Now, especially considering the name’s specific meaning, I knew it was the perfect name for our fifth baby.

Origami Owl Angel Wing

Danny also purchased this tiny angel wing charm, to join the birthstones of our living children in my Origami Owl Living Locket that I wear daily.

And tonight, we will join the International Wave of Light, by lighting a candle in remembrance of the joy that this little one brought to us, in just a few weeks’ time.

Candlelight_by_yangandyin

These small tokens of remembrance… the incredible support from our family and friends… and the unmatched grace of Our Lord have been the things to bring us peace. We look forward to meeting this sweet child one day. ♥

~   ~   ~

In the meantime, we will share our story with others to help build awareness… but perhaps even more importantly, we will act. We will do our best to support others who share this journey… And if you too would like to act, in light of your new awareness, these are some very helpful wesites:

 

In closing, I’d like to share this beautiful song written & performed by Father Peter Jon Gillquist, about the loss of his baby, Zoe…


Zoe from Fr. Peter Jon Gillquist on Myspace

7 Responses to Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day: Our Story…

  1. Dolores LaPrade

    Sherri, once again your words are so comforting and beautiful. Now I remember why God to me to keep my faith strong and that you came to mind. You faith is an inspiration for the rest of us. God Bless your words of comfort and sharing your story. I too, appreciate them.

    • Sherri

      Wow Dolores… you are too kind. My faith wavers like everyone’s… but He has been so good to me, how can I not praise Him? Thank you so much for always being so supportive!

  2. Nicole Barth

    Brings me to tears! We love you and will always love baby Quin. My beautiful niece or nephew.

  3. Kristen

    Sherri – you have such a way with words. This is such a beautiful tribute……thanks for sharing.

    • Sherri

      Thank you Kristen… it was hard but at the same time, it’s the kind of thing that it feels good to share. I appreciate those who’ve taken the time to read it.

  4. Michelle M

    How beautiful! I have also lost babies, three little ones all in the first trimester. I am the co-facilitator for our local chapte of Share and it has been such a blessing to be a part of this group.

    I’m so glad you found my prayer book so that I was able to find your blog. I look forward to reading more!!

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