Mel just reported nearly 1500 sites on the blogroll. "That is astounding!" I thought. 1500 brave women sharing their dreams, heartache, losses and success with one another. A plethera of opportunity for one hurting soul to find another who has suffered the same category of loss, even if (as it was for me - and so often is) a rare and freak incident that took your baby's life.
But then, my mind returned to researching statistics for my book. This, in itself is a daunting task for, finding accurate statistics in the world of baby loss is like trying to count the fish in the sea, especially when you consider MY definiation of baby loss (as mapped out in MY MISSION) SORRY I DON'T KNOW HOW TO MAKE THOSE PRETTY BLUE LINKS YET...HELP ANYONE???
Anyway, based on the latest updated research including stillbirth, infant death and SIDS, "on average" (and I abhor this term because every baby is a soul and I want to know exactly how many have been lost!!!) 99,000 babies died last year. This does not even include the sweet little souls lost to miscarriage, because that is represented by percentage. So take the 99,000 and add in the 20% of all pregnancies ending in miscarriage and our faboulous 1500 brave mothers are only a drop in overflowing grief bucket.
Where are the others? How are the others? How are the fathers coping out there? What about the living sisters and brothers, how are they doing? What about the grandparents who feel like they lost a child? I don't have answers, but I do know that what has begun here...in the world of the blog...is huge! It is just the beginning, but the world is ready for us. The nation is ready to hear of our babies, our boys, our girls, our faceless 9 week losses and our buried 40 week bodies. Elizabeth McCracken's book just released last week, is already getting good reviews indicating that the living are ready to at least...hear about and acknowledge the dead.
I am so excited to be part of this, to reach out and hold a new hand, listen to a new friend, and support others who have lost recently, or a long time ago. Each of us follows our own path but knowing that the path is paved is of some consolation.
This line of thinking led me to wonder, What would my blog have looked like if it had been an option when Emma died? In that period when I was feeling raped by life and like someone had their boot pressed firmly on my heart at all times, I needed this web of knowledge, statistics, love, support, and yes - a hopeful tone from someone who was past the first year of hell. I did search the internet for answers and for groups of women battling the same emotions, but I came up dry...so I turned to something more physical - scrapbooking.
I know it sounds odd to say I can chronicle a dead baby, but I did and I still do. Or maybe its more accurate and honest to say I chronicle my life as it has been forever affected by her. Obviously I only have a handful of pictures of Emma but I journal, put pictures of her burning bush, of her sisters as they arrive, of the red leaf and the rainbow, and rarely...of myself - but when I update my scrapbook every September it becomes my mirror. It evolves into a looking glass where I can see my reflection, differing from year to year. So, even though I don't have a blog of old to compare with the tone of my blog of new, I do have year one in her book and it reads and looks VERY different from year eight.
I can see my growth, I can feel my healing, and I am overwhelmed that we, the nearly 1500, can be that for all the other mothers, fathers, grandparents, sisters and brothers who have yet to face their grief and take the first step on their road to healing.
I love you Emma Grace, and every other heavenly soul.
CATCH UP FROM THE START!
TO READ MY STORY FROM THE BEGINNING CLICK HERE THEN READ THE 7 COUNTDOWN POSTS TO EMMA'S EIGHTH BIRTHDAY!