October 15th is national remembrance day for babies that were taken too soon. During this day, many in the loss community will light a candle to show that they have not forgotten their children. Some attend ceremonies or walks where they will say all of their babies’ names or write all of the names down.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention describes a stillbirth as” a stillbirth is the death or loss of a baby before or during delivery. Stillbirth affects about 1 in 100 pregnancies, and each year about 24,000 babies are stillborn in the United States.” The CDC also went on to explain that black women are more susceptible to loss than any other race. Sadly, a lot of stillbirths are unknown.
I found out that Troy had left us when I was 26 weeks pregnant. I had just taken that gross drink to see if I had gestational diabetes, and was in the back for the doctor to do a check-up. I tried to calm myself when the doctor appeared to be having trouble picking up on his heartbeat. I remember pleading to God as the doctor left the room to go get an ultrasound set up. Having to drive home and tell my husband that our baby boy was gone, and having to look at my ‘pregnant’ form was the hardest thing that I have ever done. We ended up going into the hospital that night because I had to be induced. I had to sit there knowing that at some point I was going to deliver my dead baby.
I was so numb. When the nurse put him in my arms, I didn’t know how to feel. He was so perfect. Nothing physically was wrong with him. He even had his dad’s angry brow. I could see that he was going to have black hair like me. He was just so perfect, but he didn’t have life.
The doctors ran some tests on me, and my husband and I turned down doing an autopsy. Everything came back normal. No one could explain why we had lost Troy. I had thought that delivering and holding him was the hardest thing ever, but really it was when I had to leave him behind. The hospital was renovating, so we had to leave our baby in an office, on a desk.
One thing you learn after going through something like this, is you find out who is really there for you. I have lost friends that just couldn’t comprehend why I didn’t want to be the referee for their marital problems. I had friends say they were going to come visit and never show. I’ve had family members ask me why did I give him a name. As if people don’t name their child the moment they discover if they are having a boy or girl. I’ve had family straight up ignore that I had Troy, and then act surprised that I don’t bring my rainbow, Silas, around.
So, today, I want everyone to acknowledge that Troy existed and he mattered. I don’t care if it makes people uncomfortable because we need to discuss loss babies. 1 in 4 women have had a loss, and some of these women suffer silently.
Below, is a preview of my seven day devotional. I wrote this as a way for healing for myself, and for others that have had to say goodbye too soon.