It has been almost six years since I lost my first pregnancy. The grief sent me wheeling into a depression that I still feel the effects of today. Yet, there are very few people who know (until now, I suppose) what I was going through. You don’t get bereavement days at work for pregnancy loss. It doesn’t come up in normal conversation (“oh hey, glad you got your car fixed, by the way I just had a miscarriage”). Then, if it does come out, people say stupid things like, “you are so young, you’ll have more.” As if more children magically make the pain go away. They don’t.
As I lit candles tonight for the Wave of Light, I was thankful for the first time for the loss and pain. I know that it sounds weird to be thankful for loss, but I realized that without knowing the pain of losing a child, I wouldn’t be the parent I am today. When I am up in the middle of the night with my kids, when they are constantly pulling me in 18 directions at once, when they won’t give me a moment’s rest…I think about how fragile life is. How they made it through complicated pregnancies and are healthy and whole and wonderful. How I am alive to share moments with them, good and otherwise. How I am blessed beyond measure to have two little people who love me and look up to me. I think that my perspective has made me a more relaxed, thoughtful mother than I would otherwise have been. You can’t sweat the small stuff when you know what the big stuff is. My heart goes out to all the families who know all too well what I am talking about.