NUMBERS (28 WEEKS)
Dear precious Sophia,
In two days you would have turned 8 months old. If you had been born healthy we would be watching you scoot around the floor and learning to crawl. You would have known my face and voice so well, and you would probably be starting to babble. I wish you were still here, but not as sick as you were. When daddy and I look at pictures of you, in those last days, we see how sick you were and thank God that you didn’t have to suffer one more day. I’m glad that you are whole and in Heaven, but oh how much I miss you.
Yesterday I was thinking about other parents who lose their children and I began a search for numbers.
Here’s what I found (according to this source)
- There are about 4.4 million confirmed pregnancies in the U.S. every year.
- 900,000 to 1 million of those end in pregnancy losses EVERY year.
- More than 500,000 pregnancies each year end in miscarriage (occurring during the first 20 weeks).
- Approximately 26,000 end in stillbirth (considered stillbirth after 20 weeks)
- Approximately 19,000 end in infant death during the first month.
- Approximately 39,000 end in infant death during the first year.
- Approximately 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage; some estimates are as high as 1 in 3. If you include loss that occurs before a positive pregnancy test, some estimate that 40% of all conceptions result in loss.
- Approximately 75% of all miscarriages occur in the first trimester.
- An estimated 80% of all miscarriages are single miscarriages. The vast majority of women suffering one miscarriage can expect to have a normal pregnancy next time.
- An estimated 19% of the adult population has experienced the death of a child (this includes miscarriages through adult-aged children).
- These numbers break my heart and bring me to my knees.
- My soul aches for the millions more who are experiencing, or have experienced, the same type of grief that I am. Thinking that there are so many households that are blanketed in the same black cloud as ours was, is just unbelievable.
- Numbers like this make me wonder why God allows so much of this type of sadness to occur. This type of sadness, the loss of a child, is so deep and so life changing. This type of sadness is like none other I have ever experienced, and I don’t think I’ll ever (God willing) feel the same way as I did those first few months after we lost you.
- These numbers make me think about the endless sea of faces I pass by each week. Statistics prove that some of those people are putting on the same mask that I did. They are trying to appear normal while inside they are screaming. These numbers make me want to look a little closer in the eyes of that woman who stands next to me in the elevator, or waits in line behind me at the grocery store. Is she a part of the same statistics that I am?
- More than anything these numbers make me want to get on my knees and pray for the millions of broken hearted parents around this world who will forever be haunted by a thousand “what if’s?”.
- After I thought about these numbers, I wanted to revisit some old numbers that I once looked at. They are the numbers that told me you would never make it to birth, and if you did, you would die within the first 24 hours.
-95% of babies with Trisomy 13 are miscarried or born still.
– 82% of babies born alive with Trisomy 13 die within the first month of life.
– The median age for a baby with Trisomy 13 is just under 3 days.
Baby girl, you defied all these odds! By the grace of God, you lived for 47 beautiful days, and I cherished each one of them.
I love this picture of you. You were so strong to be able to breathe on your own for a few hours.
Love you, and miss you.