Baby Loss Awareness Week in the UK takes place each year between October 9 and October 15, and it is a way of remembering the children who parents lost either during pregnancy or during the childbirth process. While the loss of a child is devastating, one mother found a way to celebrate the life that could have been.
— Baby Loss Awareness (@BLA_Campaign) October 6, 2015
Miscarriages are devastating for the mother and the father, as well as the family and friends of the parents who are being affected directly. According to the American Pregnancy Association, a miscarriage is defined as a pregnancy that ends on its own within the first 20 weeks of gestation. While there are many causes behind miscarriages, the most common reasoning behind a first-trimester miscarriage is reportedly caused by a chromosomal abnormality. Other causes can be due to hormonal problems, infections, maternal health problems, lifestyle choices, and the mother’s age.
The American Pregnancy Association went on to say that for women in their childbearing years, the chances of having a miscarriage can range from 10 to 20 percent, and in most healthy women, the average range is between 15 to 20 percent.
The loss of a baby — or a child of any age for that matter — is very difficult on all involved but is especially difficult for the parents. While some find it easier to mourn and move on, most live with the grief for most of their lives. It can be hard to memorialize the life that could have been, but one mother did just that.
According to People magazine, Victoria Doyle, a photographer and mother of three, wanted to somehow commemorate the babies she has lost over the years, and like many mothers who go through this emotional rollercoaster, she was never quite sure how to do so — that is, until this year.
In honor of Baby Loss Awareness Week, Doyle shared a very touching Facebook post, one that not only told her story of how she experienced multiple miscarriages, but one that also showed off her three beautiful children – Darcy, 8, Jenson, 5, and Blake, 2. The photo also includes the faded silhouette of a fourth child, which represents the multiple babies that Doyle lost over the years due to miscarriages.
— David Hu (@specialforkdave) October 20, 2015
In her post, Doyle shares that she “first experienced the pains of miscarriage in April 2006,” and over the years, she states that she went on to experience another eight losses. While she is very happy to have her three beautiful children, she states how she can still remember just how hard the first miscarriage hit, and that she still sometimes wonders just how different life would have been had she not experienced the loss of her baby.
According to Metro, Doyle claims that at the time the photo was taken, she simply was trying to capture a few family photos. Later, she went on to tell People that the photo was actually taken last October in hopes that she would find an image worthy of using for the family Christmas cards. So how exactly did Doyle decide to use this specific photograph to commemorate her lost babies? Doyle states that if you look closely enough, it looks as if her oldest boy is holding onto another hand.
It was then that she decided she would add the faded silhouette to not only represent the first baby that she lost back in April 2006, but to also represent the lives of those babies lost to other mother’s due to miscarriages.
“He or she would have been 9 now, and probably bigger than Darcy. I wanted the little figure to have a playful feel. I do truly feel that the little silhouette is an entity in itself, not just representing my own loss, but everybody who has had their hopes and dreams taken away so soon.”
Since the image was first posted on October 13, it has received quite a bit of positive feedback not only from those who support Doyle’s decision to tell her own story, but also from those who want to thank Doyle for the image because it has helped to give other mothers the strength to talk about their losses and help them believe that they aren’t alone.
What did you think of Victoria Doyle’s touching tribute for Baby Loss Awareness Week? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
[Image by Rohappy via Shutterstock]