One in four pregnancies end in loss.
That is one of the statistics that if I heard it before February 22nd, 2013 I must have not listened. I mean those kinds of things only happen to other people. Not to me. We planned for this baby. We are ready. Certainly that could never happen to us…but then it did.
And when it did, I leaned into my husband.
I delved into books, music, and every online support group I could find. I discovered so many of my friends and family had similar stories to share. So many miscarriages, stillbirths, and infant losses that I had never heard about. How had I never heard these stories? How did I not know about their children? All of their children?
That was when I promised that I would make sure that I never let people forget about our son.
I would talk about him. I would tell his story. As hard as it was when someone asked how many children we have, I would bravely answer with the truth. I would speak his name, Joshua Patrick, out loud every chance I had. His story, our story, would be told. Not just to honor his legacy, but to be able to be a voice to those who had been afraid to speak before.
I began a blog, writing out our story. I told the tales of our grief journey. Writing about the anxiety and fear of a rainbow pregnancy. I now write about our life after loss. Our life with our rainbow daughter and all of the many mixed emotions that come with parenting after loss. I give Joshua a voice and pray that our story can help someone else facing the same heartache.
Now it has been five years, and I have held the hand of too many friends new and old who have joined us.
Walking before us, beside us, and now those who join in behind us along this broken road of grief. Over these last five years we have had several friends who have also had to say goodbye to their sweet babies much too soon. Every time I hear of another mother and father who are facing this broken road I feel such grief for them, for the wound that will never heal in my own heart, and the flood of memories and emotions all seem to come crashing back in. I am taken back to those early days of grief. I remember searching desperately for someone who understood and could provide any hope that I would be able to survive.
This is why I will continue to write about Joshua.
This is why I will continue to speak his name and tell his story. Our story.
I will continue to grieve with words. Grieve in words letting others know they are never alone. Offering a bit of hope that they too will survive this storm.
Victoria is a wife and mom of two amazing children – Joshua in Heaven and Madeline, their rainbow that they get the joy of watching grow-up here on earth. Victoria blogs about raising a rainbow, anxiety, and life at www.lifewithmadeline.com.