October is national infant loss awareness month, and as most of you know, my husband and I lost our firstborn, Troy. I had no intention of being sad this month. Instead I wanted to honor Troy by spending more time with family, and just being happy that he is my son. Unfortunately things didn’t pan out how I envisioned.
Between the disconnect with my mom, pressures from my employer, and pressures from my business, my soul was left vulnerable. Typically I am able to cope with the loss stories, but this month was hard. I kept hearing that I was going to birth this, deliver that, or I would see my rainbow’s name in the same sentence as death, and honestly it got to me.
This week, I needed to take a step back. I had to recharge myself and seek God more heavily. I had to remind myself to put on my armor every single day. I needed to get back to just sitting in silence.
This weekend, if you have been dealing with some burnout, I encourage you to go back to basics. Turn your phone off for a couple of hours, and just be still. Seek God, journal, or even play video games. The point is to recharge your battery.
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.
My sibling in Christ, I wish I could bring you in closer, and tell you that everything will be okay. I know right now that you are not ready to hear that. How can everything be okay if you just lost your baby? How is everything going to be okay when moving on seems like a betrayal? I know to an extent of how you are feeling, for I too have lost. My firstborn, Troy, was born still at 26 weeks. We had just put together his crib when we learned that he went back home. So, I do know of the pain, but every grief is unique, so I will not say that I know exactly how you feel.
It won’t happen tomorrow or even next month, but eventually the grief will begin to lift little by little. You won’t feel like every moment is suffocating. You won’t feel like giving up. Most importantly you won’t blame yourself.
Today, I ask You, Lord, to take some of the pain away. I ask You to help lift their burdens. I pray that they will turn towards You, Lord, and that they will find comfort in Your embrace. I pray that they will find ways to honor their precious babies, and that they will not dwell in their grief. I truly believe that all of our children would want us to be happy and celebrate them. So, Lord, I ask that You will be with them today as they navigate the day.
October is national pregnancy and infant loss awareness month. If you have been following this blog, then you know that in February of 2018, my son Troy was stillborn. My husband and I do not know why we lost him and unfortunately, that is the case for a lot of infant deaths. At the beginning of my grief, I blamed myself because I carried him, and my body failed him. It took a lot for me to not blame myself, work, or God.
Yes, God. I was very angry with Him because I did not understand why He would allow something like this to happen to my family. Why would He allow a child that was so loved to die without any cause? Once I admitted out loud to Him just how angry I was, I suddenly began to heal. I began reading my Bible more, trying to understand more about this God that I was taught to believe in. I realized that He was grieving with me and that He too knew the pain of losing a child.
I look at Silas sometimes and wonder if Troy would have been as happy and boisterous as him. I do not dwell on these thoughts for long, and instead, I tell myself how lucky Silas is to have an older brother that is always watching over him.
In honor of Troy, I will not be spending this month sad. I will instead make the conscious decision to uplift others in his name, serve others, and give thanks. You can choose to dwell in your remorse if that is your desire, but as for myself and my family, we are choosing to bless others and to show one another how much we love and appreciate each other.
If you do not want to honor your child’s memory with sadness, then join me in uplifting others. Send a loved one a simple text message about how grateful you are for them. Volunteer in your community or spend the afternoon going on a family hike. Whatever it is that you choose to do, do so in a way that you feel your child would love. And if it is okay with you, I would like to pray for you.
Dear Heavenly Father, Please watch over your children Lord. This is a difficult month for many Lord, and I just ask that You help to relieve them of some of their pain. Lord, I ask that You watch over those rainbow babies and I ask that You bless those that are scared to try again. Lord, I declare that this month will be one of healing and not one of sadness. I declare that these precious mamas will know that it is okay to celebrate their angel baby. That while they may not have had the opportunity to raise them here on earth, they will be with them again. That no matter what some may say, that they are parents, and no one can take that away from them. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
If you would like to support me, I wrote a seven day devotional specifically for us loss mamas. I know for me reading loss books and joining Facebook groups, helped me in my journey of healing.