It’s October! Where on Earth did September go?! Well, out with the old and in with the new. With October comes a need for awareness. October is National Down Syndrome Awareness Month, and also Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. Whew! That’s kind of a big deal! So over the course of the next month, I will be sharing information about both. I will still post family updates as well. So first off, a little information about how Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month was started. Here is a word from our former president Ronald Reagan:
Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month
Each year, approximately a million pregnancies in the U.S. end in miscarriage, stillbirth or the death of the newborn child. National observance of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month offers us the opportunity to increase our understanding of the great tragedy involved in the deaths of unborn and newborn babies. It also enables us to consider how, as individuals and communities, we can meet the needs of bereaved parents and family members on work to prevent causes of these problems.
Health care professionals recognize that trends of recent years, such as smaller family size and postponement of childbearing, adds another dimension of poignancy to the grief of parents who have lost infants. More than 700 local, national and international support groups are supplying programs and strategies designed to help parents cope with their loss. Parents who have suffered their own losses, health care professionals and specially trained hospital staff members are helping newly bereaved parents deal constructively with loss…
The Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution 314, has designated the month of October, as “Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month” and authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this month.
NOW, THEREFORE, I RONALD REAGAN, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the month of October as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. I call upon the people of the United States to observe this month with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-fifth day of October in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-eight and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirteenth.
United States of America
(information found at http://www.pregnancylossribbons.com/informationsupport.htm)
Thank you Ronald Reagan for recognizing this need and helping to bring awareness to it. Our family has experienced the pain of miscarriage. Just before we conceived Judah we lost a baby, whom we named Emory. And again, just a couple months before conceiving Kaisa (whom I’m still pregnant with, she is due January 2nd), we had another loss. We named that baby Shiloh because it means “peace”. Ironically, Shiloh’s due date would have been this October 25th. So Pregnancy and Infant Awareness Month this year is timely for us. We have grieved for the loss of our children that we never got to meet, but rejoice in the comforting knowledge that they are awaiting us in Heaven, enjoying the love of our Savior, who we know cares deeply for the little children.
Matthew 19:14 (ESV)
14 but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.”
So the tears we have wept were not for Emory or Shiloh. They were for ourselves, for having missed out on the opportunity to know them in this life. But there will come a time for embracing them.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (ESV)
1For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
2 a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
3 a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5 a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6 a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7 a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8 a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.
A time for peace…
And since it is also the beginning of Down Syndrome Awareness Month, I leave you with this:
(image credit to Google)