International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month
An Auntie’s story
I still remember vividly the day my life was changed, my innocence lost.
Until this day I was immune, immune to the heartache of pregnancy loss, I had seen one of my parents friends go through the loss of their daughter at 38 weeks, as a teenager, however I felt removed from the situation, until I received the phone call from my sister one lunchtime.
She told me – please pray for me, for my baby, the ultrasound technician has found something wrong, we are heading to hospital to get further ultrasounds.
My husband walked in the door about ten minutes later and I calmly told him what she had said, and then I said I am going for a walk, and then I ran, I ran to a lake not too far away that I used to walk around, and I walked, I prayed, I cried. I prayed that the technician was wrong, I prayed for peace, I prayed for my sister and her husband for their unborn first child.
I continued until she rang me back with the news, it looked like her child, my niece had a condition that made her incompatible with life. She would not survive the pregnancy.
I cannot remember exactly how long it was between her amniocentesis and the day my niece passed away, I am sure as a parent my sister does though.
What I do know is that my niece is precious, so very precious. I know that as I cuddled her forever sleeping body that day, so tiny, so precious that I loved her, that I love her as much as I love my other nine nieces, and four nephews. I know that as an Auntie not a day goes by that I don’t think of her. If I could tell my niece one thing, it would be how precious she is, and although she may have never taken a breath on this earth, she is as precious to me, and valued as much as all my other nieces and nephews.
I know now that there are a lot more babies “Born sleeping” than I ever realised we just don’t talk about it. Only 14 months later as I was heavily pregnant with my own daughter I watched two friends lose their bubs both at full term just days away from their birth. Since then I have heard many more stories, watched friends grieve.
But not talking about it doesn’t make the grief any less, doesn’t make the reality any easier to get through.
These beautiful babies need to be remembered, their parents loved and cared for.
So this month I not only recognise the one in four people who are directly affected by this heartbreaking loss. I recognise the Grandparents who grieve for lost grandchildren, children that grieve for their siblings, Uncles and Aunties like me that grieve for their lost Nieces and nephews.