By Wendie Davis-Grauer
There’s something paradoxical about fire. It has a way of holding one hostage with its tantalizing ways. Depending on the observer, the fiery-orange hues may perform a dance of celebration or one of incessant mockery. Fire can be a welcome sight or adversarial in nature. It can create beauty or wreak havoc with a solitary spark. Just ask a woman who has walked the road of infertility or loss. Her journey to motherhood is like walking through flames, trying not to get burned. She may be standing in front of a roaring fire, but still feel frigid in her bones. In struggling to start a family, I found myself scorched by the reality that I lost three babies; two to miscarriage and one to an ectopic that almost took my life. There were days that rage burned like a wildfire in my soul, wanting to know the answers to “why?” My skies were thick with smoke, choking me into a hopeless existence. Surely this couldn’t be the plan? I had a choice to make. Would I continue to char with sadness and regret, or would I allow these ashes to fan into something beautiful? Even purposeful?
It is no easy feat to be part of a club no one wishes to join, especially when one in four women will experience the loss of a child. Feelings of displacement, grief, and bitterness are very real, and utterly lonely. In the past, hopes and dreams of becoming a mother were not easily recognized by the world’s standards when walking through such devastation. Thankfully, that is changing, and regeneration is happening. A whole community exists and is rallying around the brokenhearted. October 15, “National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day,” rises like a phoenix and validates the lives affected and the lives lost due to “miscarriage, still birth, SIDS, or the death of a newborn.”
In solidarity, I light a candle in honor of babies gone too soon. I fan the flame for fellow mothers whose plights I understand, in whose shoes I have walked, and whose aches I have experienced. I raise awareness, offer compassion, and provide a listening ear when it is in my power to do so. When I listen to the laughter of my miracle daughter, my precious rainbow baby, or hear her say, “Mama, hug!” I remember my difficult journey to motherhood. With tears in my eyes and a longing for reunion, I hug my babies and the “angelic mama tribe” in my heart. In thankfulness, I remember those who selflessly and lovingly walked alongside me on my navigations of grief, acceptance, and healing. Even in our deepest sorrow, may we find solace in one another’s stories, talking as dear friends in front of a fire, refining our embers sweet.
(To learn more about “National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day, please visit www.October15th.com)