Monday, October 31, 2011

October 15th: Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day

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Project Sweet Peas

Candlelight Vigil

Every year on October 15th millions of candles are lit at 7PM across the world. Each flame is representative of the life of a baby lost. This year our Project Sweet Peas’ team made it our mission to honor each life with a candlelight vigil. With the involvement of 11 of our Project Leaders we made this a reality. At 7 PM each and every one of the 477 names that were submitted burned brightly across the continent.

Nimkee Blessings: Melissa Dawn Roy. Ontario, CA

Pirate Power: Leila Manning and Stephanie Brown. San Jose, CA

Donny's Shining Light: Theresa Wellman. IL

Kit's Muse: Jennifer Edwards. Excelsior Springs, MI

Lauren and Madeline's Gift: Lisa Knigge. Glendale, WI

Avi's Embrace: Sarah King. Lafayette, IN

Shannon's Star: Kate Crawford. Belle Vernon, PA

Gabriel's Gift: Corin Nava. East Haven, CT

Mason's Monarchs: Shannon Mason. Jacksonville, FL

Owen's Miracle: Kathleen Hill. Sonora, CA

We would like to thank you all for sharing your babies with us.

It was truly an honor to remember them.

Project Sweet Peas

October Monthly Article

In acknowledgement of October 15th , project leader, Melissa Dawn Roy shares reflections on her own journey in coping with the loss of her son and the meaning of this very special day.

Your baby has Trisomy 13. It is a syndrome incompatible with life”………….

I will never forget hearing those words, that day back in October. It was the 26th to be exact. I remember feeling as though all of my blood was draining out of me. Coldness ran through my veins. I could not take another breath.

I felt as though I had just left my body. It was an altered state that I do not have the words to describe.

All of the hopes and the dreams that I had envisioned for my precious baby and I, were gone in an instant.

I would never rock him to sleep.

I would never nurse him.

I would never see him smile, hear him laugh, or even cry.

I wouldn’t see him shudder as he tasted his very first food.

I would never see him sit, crawl or walk.

There would be no first day of school.

There would be no graduations.

I would never kiss a boo-boo.

I would never meet his first girlfriend, see him get married, or hold his babies in my arms.

These are the things that I looked forward to doing with Bennett-Chadlen, from the moment I found out that the pregnancy test was positive.

I, like so many others, know the heartache of losing a precious life that grew inside my body. Mothers and fathers, siblings, and families around the world, know the pain of which I am sharing with you today.

Four million newborn babies die each year; every hour around 450 babies die before the age of four weeks.

According to the statistics, for women in their childbearing years, the chances of having a miscarriage can range from 10-25%, for a variety of reasons.

October is Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month; more specifically October 15th has been declared Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Day worldwide. It is a day when families like mine are allowed to openly share their grief.

Many around the world take the time to share their baby’s story online, or speak out loud amongst family, friends, or coworkers. Some will release balloons, meditate in silence, or light a remembrance candle, such as I did.

A ‘Wave of Light’ shines around the globe in support of Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day.

At 7pm in your time zone, participants are asked to light a candle for at least one hour to honour and remember those lost to miscarriage, stillbirth, and neonatal death.

What does this day to mean to us? The following are direct quotes from anonymous writers that submitted their feelings upon request:

“When you find out that you are expecting, all your friends and family gather around and can't wait to share every aspect of your pregnancy with you. However, when you lose that baby words escape these same individuals. You come to a point where you don't even want to discuss your baby because no one understands. Even now, years later, as I prepare for Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness by wearing my ribbon and attending candlelight vigils, they treat me with kid gloves. They simply don’t know how to act.”

“We have feelings and our angels are just as important to us as your living children are to you. Take a moment to grasp the situation and try to understand where we are coming from. We don't need you to do anything other than be there for us. Don't try to steer clear of the conversations that we need to have. If you think it's uncomfortable (for you), how do you think we feel?”

“It means a day of reflection and loving memories for those I love that have lost, and time reflect on my own loss. It means being open and public about an all too often taboo subject that shouldn’t be shrouded with shame, but glory and beauty for the life that was. It means a home lit solely by candle light from many candles that bear names of those infants and early ending pregnancies of many I love.”

For more information about Pregnancy & Infant Loss Month or Remembrance Day, simply ‘search’ online, or check out some of these links

WrWritten by: Melissa Dawn Roy, Project Sweet Peas Canadian Project Affiliate for Nimkee Blessings


Thanks to all of you who took time to light candles for our babies. xoxo

Beautifully written. Every word rings true. Thank you for sharing your feelings, as they echo every feeling so many of us have felt. Love and Hugs!

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