Having a child should be the happiest moment of a person’s life - so when that happiness turns tragic - it can often be debilitating.
Novant Health UVA Health System Culpeper Medical Center is looking to remember the little lives lost - either during pregnancy or infancy - with a candle lighting at the Culpeper Medical Center Healing Garden Oct. 13 from 6 to 7 p.m.
Cindy Curtis, RNC,IBCLC,CCE,CD, with the Culpeper Medical Center Birth Center, said Oct. 15 is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day and that the hospital is striving to recognize the lives lost and help parents cope with the loss.
Curtis said that about 10 to 15 percent of pregnancies nationally end in miscarriage and that still birth - pregnancy loss after 20 weeks - is about 1 in 100.
“A large population of women have had miscarriages, we see that all the time at the birth center,” Curtis said.
Remembering those lost and showing the parents that they are not forgotten is important to Curtis - who lost a child due to miscarriage nearly 30 years ago.
“I think it’s very important, the couple of years that we’ve done it - it’s just about knowing that you’re not alone,” Curtis said. “People forget that you were ever pregnant. To have a day dedicated to remembering a baby that you lost - whether it was at six weeks or at birth, is really important to help with the healing.”
The hospital has hosted the candle lighting the past couple of years and has had a small turnout, but Curtis hopes more parents who have dealt with infant loss or miscarriage come out to the ceremony.
“The population we have here in our smaller area, it’s smaller than if you went to Charlottesville,” Curtis said. “We still feel like even though our numbers aren’t huge, it’s very important for the parents.”
Amy and Brian Bowling will speak, as they know all too well what it feels like to lose a child.
Amy has founded the Fertile Soil Foundation, after losing a child in 2010 and suffering through infertility issues.
“When you leave the hospital or surgery center without a baby, you don’t have that child to bring home - that’s part of what we do in the birth center is that we have the resources to give,” Curtis said.
The ceremony will be held at the hospital’s healing garden at 501 Sunset Lane. For more information, call 540-829-5775.