Tuesday, October 30, 2012

TDT #12 - P.A.I.L. Awareness

One of the ways I have always done my countdowns when my  husband is away is by counting trash days.  Most of the time it isn't as daunting a number as the estimated number of days he'll be gone.  And it helps me remember to put the trash out, or rather encourage my boys to put the trash out since it's their job.  So this will be my new weekly post, and I'll just really post whatever, no real set theme.  Please feel free to join me on this adventure of counting down the time until your loved one comes home!
I posted at the beginning of the month about October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, there are few people who know that it is also Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month as well.  I know it is also other awareness campaigns so forgive me for not including all of them.

October 15th is the actual awareness day and I contemplated writing something on that day but chose not to.  I am not going to lie and say that I am the best advocate for P.A.I.L even though we have dealt with our own loss of children.  I rarely talk about our journey through this and on the 15th I stopped for a bit and pondered about why.

For us, it's not that we weren't saddened by the loss or that we didn't grieve because we did, but I know that where we are right now...with the children we have in our lives...this is exactly where we are supposed to be.  Kevin and I decided early on in our marriage that we only wanted two or three children.  Three would be our absolutely max, we didn't want any more than that.  After Neil was born (son #2), I was convinced that we should be done.  Kevin was actually in an appointment to discuss vasectomy when I suddenly panicked and knew we were not done.  We had to have one more.  When I got off active duty, we decided to try and have another baby.  That effort was met with a lot of disappointment and heartache.  We were finally convinced that we were meant to only have two kids.  After going through the grieving process, Kevin and I were at peace with the decision to stop trying and be grateful for the two wonderful boys we had.  Then I got pregnant with Daniel. 

My pregnancy with Daniel was very hard, I was very detached.  I feared hoping we would carry him to term, it put a lot of stress on our marriage.  It was probably one of the darkest times in our marriage and in my life personally.  It wasn't until I got really sick due to gallbladder issues in my 27th week and they wanted to deliver him that I realized that I wanted this child more than anything else in this life.  I begged Kevin and the doctors to do whatever it took to keep him inside of me until his due date.  I felt so blessed to have him at 37 weeks instead of 27 weeks and he was beautiful!

So what does Daniel being here have to do with dealing with pregnancy and infant loss?  I know deep in my soul that  Daniel was meant to be a part of our family.  He is what makes The Albrecht Squad complete.  If we had carried those babies to full term, we would not have Daniel and I cannot imagine my world without him. 

I know some day we will all be reunited with the babies we all have lost and we will have a chance to raise them.  I have to live in today and be grateful for the children that I have been blessed to raise here on earth.

I am sad when I hear about friends who deal with this type of loss and my heart truly aches for them as they go through the grieving process.  I hope that someday there will be answers because in most cases there are none and nothing is more frustrating then not knowing or understanding why.

In closing this post I will share one piece of advice in regards to some of the things that were most painful to me during our grieving process.  Even though we had two children, it did not take away the pain and heartache.  Being told that "at least we already had two kids" was simply pouring salt in a very open wound.  Think before you speak when trying to be supportive of your friends.

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