October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. Did you know that over 30,000 babies are stillborn in the US every year?
Did you know that stillbirth is 10 times more frequent than S.I.D.S.? Did you know that 90,000 children die annually in the US before
their first birthday? I didn’t know either, but when my dear friend Heather tragically lost her son at 20 weeks gestation last year, I suddenly
found out first hand how little I knew about infant loss. As I spent the ensuing months talking to Heather and hearing her recount
the details of her precious son Greyson’s short life and as I watched her deal with the most searing loss a mother can ever experience,
I realized that there must be so many mammas out there who have gone through pregnancy or infant loss and feel like they can’t
talk about it. To be honest, until it hit so close to home, I never gave much thought to infant loss or the long-lasting effect it
has on mothers and families. Now that I know, I feel so much better equipped to be able to comfort and connect with mothers and
families who have gone through such a devastating loss.
In the months following Greyson’s death, I watched as Heather grieved and as she found the strength to have joy through the storm. When she
called me in March and told me that they were pregnant again, I was absolutely elated!! I had never heard of the term “Rainbow Baby,” but it refers to
the joy of a pregnancy after an infant or child loss – the rainbow after the storm, so to speak. We did a really fun pregnancy announcement photo shoot
in May and thought it would be fitting to carry the paint and rainbow theme into this photo session as well.
Heather, I am so blessed to call you a friend. You have shown me what it looks like to go through the deepest darkest valley and to somehow
manage to still be a light even when dark shadows seem to be all around. I wish that I had gotten to meet Greyson and see his perfect tiny
features, but I know that one day I am going to meet that sweet guy in heaven and I’m going to rejoice with you when you are reunited with
your son. It has been such a gift that you have allowed me to walk beside you in this season. I am so excited for you and your family
as you await the grand entrance of baby #4. I know he or she is going to be absolutely and utterly loved on by a lot of people – especially
by his…or her…awesome big sisters. Thank you for being such an honest, transparent, and wonderful friend; love you, mamma!!