And just like that, my world was forever changed.
From there it was a whirlwind. There were lots of tears, we discussed our options, and less than four hours later I was on an operating table having the “products of conception” removed from my womb. It was quick and relatively painless, but I returned home sad, broken, and empty.
That was three months ago, and the memories of that day still cut like a knife.
While he never made it to his “birthday,” we decided to name our baby and celebrate the short life he had. We chose Griffin, like the mythological creature that symbolizes courage and boldness, and whose image is often used to denote strength, courage and leadership. Griffins also are known for guarding treasure and priceless possessions. Knowing that he is watching over our family and protecting his brothers, it fits perfectly.
There are a lot of statistics out there, but it’s safe to say that nearly 1 in 4 pregnancies ends in miscarriage. That’s alarming. I’m sure I have many friends who have gone through something similar whose suffering I am oblivious to, just like many people who read this will have no idea that I, too, experienced a loss. We all wait until after the first trimester to announce our pregnancies because, let’s face it, telling someone you lost a child is difficult and gut wrenching. I’m glad that in the deepest depths of my pain I didn’t have to explain what had happened to anyone outside of my family and some close friends.
That’s not to say the pain has gone away. I still have my bad days. And then there are the moments where everything is fine, and then a simple trigger – seeing two kids close in age playing together, a pregnancy announcement on Facebook, or something else completely random – and it takes my breath away like a massive punch to the gut. In those moments, all I can do is try my best to remember that God has a plan for our family. If there are two major life lessons I have been reminded of throughout this ordeal, it’s 1.) How amazingly precious ALL life is, and 2.) All plans are God’s plans.
While privacy helps in some aspects of grief, there is also an additional layer of pain that comes from suffering in silence and not sharing something that is now a core part of who you are. I realize now how sad I am that so many people in my life know nothing about my child who was gone far too soon. A child who, though I never got to hold in my arms, I hold in my heart and think about every single day.
I was not planning on sharing this chapter of my life so soon, but as we recognize Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month in October and Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day today, I have been inspired by other women who have so courageously shared their stories and helped me feel less alone in my pain and sorrow. Our family also participated in the Anna’s Grace Foundation’s Sunset Walk to Remember in honor of our baby boy last week. Celebrating and remembering him openly and in a public way was really great for my heart.
So I decided to share with you today that not only am I a stepmom to Cameron and a mother to Grant, but I am also Mommy to a beautiful angel named Griffin. And though he isn’t here with me today, I pray to him every day to watch over our family, especially his brothers.
My heart goes out to every mother and father who has experienced the loss of a child at any point in pregnancy. It’s a pain you can’t possibly comprehend until it personally touches your heart. Know that you are in my thoughts and prayers, and I hope you are able to have the family you have longed for.
And to my special angel, my precious Griffin, please know how much your Mommy, Daddy and brothers love you. You may not have joined us here on this Earth, but you are with us, in our hearts and in our thoughts, every day.