(FOX News) — October 15 is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day, a day meant to show support, educate, and create awareness for those who are suffering or may know someone who has suffered a miscarriage, a still birth, or the loss of an infant.
President Ronald Reagan proclaimed October as National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month. He was known for being one of the first Presidents to show support for affected families.
“When a child loses a parent they are called an orphan. When a spouse loses their partner they are widowed. When parents lose their child there is no word to describe them…simply that they are still parents.” – President Ronald Reagan
Statistics show 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage, which is a reality for Rachel VanBuskirk.
She now has two happy and healthy girls but years ago she had three miscarriages; one before her first daughter and two before having her second daughter.
She bravely wrote a blog post last year sharing her story. In opening up, VanBuskirk says it brought a flood of emotions, feelings of pain and loss that she can still vividly remember.
“You’re constantly thinking of what that life would look like and what they’re going to be like all the way to an adult, and what holidays are going to look like, and I mention that too, and so it’s a loss of that dream. You always kinda think about what they were going to be like, VanBuskirk said.
She says she was blown away by the response she has received from her story realizing just how many other people have gone through something similar. She hopes other women and parents can find some peace in that. “Keep going and talk about it. It’s a unique time too between you and the dad and the rest of your family. But for a mom too that’s a big deal, and not to brush it under the rug even if it was a short term loss. Share your story if you’re able to when you’re able to because it’s an important thing for people to be aware of if you’re willing to share it. So that they can give you that time to grieve and to heal, too, “VanBuskirk said.
Everyone across the country is being asked to light a candle tonight at 7 p.m. for at least one hour, to honor the lives lost.
“Whether it’s a support group or a reaching out. Just knowing that there is a community of women out there who have gone through the loss, and again it’s various stages. But there’s people out there who empathize with what you’re going through and you’re definitely not alone. It doesn’t take that loss away, but know there’s people out there who empathize with what you’re going through and care about you because of that,” VanBuskirk said.
One of those places you can find support is Peace of Hope. An organization which creates care packages for women who have experienced a stillborn birth.
1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage. 1 in 160 pregnancies end in stillbirth.
Every day in the United States, approximately 70 babies are born still and silent. That’s 70 mothers and fathers who leave the hospital empty handed. 70 families making funeral arrangements instead of birth announcements. 70 families who will never again be the same.
On October 15th for Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day, everyone is invited to light a candle at 7 p.m. This act of remembrance will take place in each time zone around the globe. By keeping each candle lit for one hour, you will be participating in the worldwide “Wave of Light” in honor of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day.
Join the virtual event by sharing your photos and videos with the hashtag #WOL2019!