By Hannah Stone
As a three time survivor of pregnancy loss, I know all too well that the words "moving forward" do not equal "letting go."
Nearly 17 years after my first loss, I still feel the pain and grief. It's not quite as raw as it was all of those years ago but it's still there. I think about the son or daughter I never got to hold and I never had the opportunity to know. What would he or she look like? Would it be my green eyes that would stare back at me or would they be the brown eyes of my husband? Would he or she be panicking about SATs and college applications? I will never know the answer to these questions and I think that the unknown is what pains me the most as a grieving parent.
I lost my first pregnancy on March 1, 1994. It seems like a lifetime ago yet it seems like yesterday. I remember the day it happened...going to my obstetrician's office for a routine 12 week exam with my husband and telling her that I was nervous about seeing the heartbeat for the first time. I was naïve, believing that what had happened to a few friends, wouldn't happen to me yet I wouldn't feel right until I saw that heartbeat. I never saw that heartbeat. Hearing the news that I had lost my baby broke my heart and in the months ahead, broke my spirit. On that day, I not only lost a pregnancy that was very much anticipated by my husband and myself (and our extended family members and friends) but I also lost my innocence. I learned on that day that life cannot be taken for granted and things can change in an instant...just like that.
On March 1 and on September 18, I remember the baby I never got to meet. Those two days represent when I lost the pregnancy and when the pregnancy was supposed to successful end birth. The pain lessens as each year goes by but I never forget and certainly, not on those two days or the days on the calendar that mark the losses of my other two pregnancies and the days of their due dates. I can talk about my losses and I am not as emotional as I was in the days and weeks and months following my losses but I still feel the grief. Time heals but it doesn't cure. From the moment you learn that you have lost your precious child, you are never the same person. I know I'm not.