Today, we remember the ones we've lost and show our support to parents who had to go through the unimaginable.
Millions of parents around the globe suffer from the tragic loss of their babies from and not limited to: miscarriage, stillbirth, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). On October 25, 1988, President Ronald Reagan has declared October as National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month and on October 15, 2002, a campaign started by Robyn Bear, Lisa Brown, and Tammy Novak were pursued to declare October 15 as the Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.
It is a time for families who had this experience to share their stories, to find support from a loving community, to raise awareness in educating other families, and to hopefully help advance the research on preventing such cases and funding for programs that provide care for the bereaved families.
In this video posted by Share Pregnancy & Infant Loss Support, Inc., parents DJ and Annie Horton shared the story of losing their third son, Isaiah, born prematurely at 21 weeks.
Annie became a part of Share after losing her son in November 2014.
She knew deep down early on that everything about her pregnancy was not okay, even if her doctor kept reassuring her that what she was going through was normal. One day, her husband brought her to the emergency room and was told that it was just kidney stones. It was the day after that when they decided to go to a specialist and they found out that she had a severe hole in her placenta and that part of her Isaiah's brain wasn't fully developed.
Annie gave birth to Isaiah at 21 weeks. She and her husband got to spend a few hours with him before he passed away.
"We had a lot of support from the hospital staff. They were really helpful but they did not give me a lot of support for what would happen afterward." Annie got in touch with Share through her ob-gyn and she said that she felt relieved to hear stories from other parents who were grieving like her and her husband.
"Sometimes, it's difficult to relate to the tragic loss of a baby that you experience in partnership with your wife, simply because of the role of being a father and not necessarily carrying the baby for that extent of time. Being involved with an organization like Share offered the opportunity to verbalize and process maybe some of the feelings that weren't immediately recognized that I didn't realize we're actually there," DJ added.
Parents, please know that you are not alone in this. There are support groups and organizations that tirelessly work on providing care and support for you and your family. Do not be afraid to share your story.
Friends who may know someone going through this tragic experience, reach out and help raise awareness by sharing it with other people. Share it with leaders and policymakers to help seek concrete support.
Here is a link to a directory of organizations that are involved with research in reducing/preventing pregnancy loss and/or providing support for bereaved families — https://www.pregnancylossdirectory.com/support-organizations