October 15th

Tomorrow is Pregnancy Loss Remembrance Day.  It seems to always catch me off guard even though I know every year that it’s coming.

Every year, we have had more loss and more heartache, and this year has helped me see that things can be so awful you want to quit, but you keep pushing because it is something you want more than you thought possible.

We have been trying to get and stay pregnant for 3 1/2 years, and have had six losses.  Each loss is so different, so fresh in its own way, but I find myself thinking more and more about the hardest loss we have had to go through.

On August 5, 2010, we lost our son at 13 weeks 5 days.  Sure, medical lore and knowledge would suggest you couldn’t know the sex of your baby that early, but we knew.  It was more than a feeling.  There really isn’t a way to describe it.

The last year has been so hard, and since tomorrow is a day to remember, I’m going to focus on the one bright star following his birth.

Three days after he was born, my milk came in.  I woke up angry and sad, I really had no idea that this could happen.  I was only a couple days shy of 14 weeks!  I knew ladies that had their milk come in with 18+ week losses, but I had no idea that I would need to prepare for this.

I asked so many of my friends how I could get rid of it as fast as possible.  I didn’t want the reminder that  my body could nourish a baby but not grow a baby.  One of my very dear friends suggested that I pump and donate to someone that truly needs it.

I’m still so incredibly thankful that she did this.  Everyone else was giving me ways to kill my milk supply, but she stood out and asked if something better could come from this.

I started pumping, and it just felt right.  It took about two weeks to get my supply up, but for those two weeks, I was strapped to my pump every 3 hours (except at night) and pumped for an hour to hour and a half each time.  I am lucky that I have an amazing supply, even without pumping at night.  At my peak, I was pumping 45 ounces a day.

I have amazing friends that donated money for a hospital grade pump and washable nursing pads, and so many amazing companies that sent me items for free so I wouldn’t have to do more than I was able.  Even just thinking now of the kindness of so many people is astounding to me.

In two months that I pumped, I was able to store a little over 1000 ounces, and it all went to three families.  I chose not to donate to a milk bank, and went directly to families that needed milk.

Pumping was one of the hardest yet rewarding things I have ever done in my entire life.  If I could go back and choose to keep going, I would.  In the end, the two months was all I needed to keep my mind off of the loss, and I knew that I didn’t need to push myself anymore.

His birth affected me in so many ways, but I am so grateful to my friend that suggested I pump.  His birth is now no longer a purely sad event.  Every day I do wish he was alive and well, but the gift he gave me and the families that needed breastmilk is more than I can ever repay.

October 15th we remember.  I remember my babies, the babies of my friends, and all the babies that have gone on.  I remember the sadness and the tears, and the hopes and joy that they can bring.

Tomorrow night, at 7pm (no matter your time zone), consider lighting a candle for one hour to remember the precious babies born too soon.  Just one hour, and it means so very much to all of those that have babies not on this world.  Even for one hour, our babies are remembered, and that is something that means the world.

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