Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day Observed in Harrisonburg
October 15th is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. Some neighbors walked around Court Square in downtown Harrisonburg to honor the memory of their loved ones who are no longer with us.
Paul Eberly's son died before childbirth. Eberly remembered how he felt when he heard that his wife was pregnant with a baby boy. "You start to build dreams in your head of what that baby's going to be like when they're born and you kind of envision all these great things for them."
But Levi never got that chance. In 2013, 37 weeks into the pregnancy, Eberly got a phone call he'll never forget. "They couldn't find a heartbeat and they continued to search --and Levi had died
." Paul said it was "very devastating; it's very hard to explain."
He discovered the Sadie Rose Foundation, a non-profit offering support to parents in his position. "You just do whatever you have to do to help you grieve," said Eberly.
The group helps parents cope, because it gives them a community to connect with and share how they're feeling. "When you go through an experience like this, you almost think that you're alone and nobody else knows what you're going through," said Eberly.
The foundation has helped more than 300 families since it began in 2008. The foundation reminds people that one-in-four women experience loss of a baby during pregnancy or during the child's infancy. "It's comforting to know that there's others out there that have been through what you've been through," Eberly said.
Eberly said it's not something you just get over or forget about. "It's what's out there that can make you feel better about it and be at peace about it," he said. Together they help one another take steps forward, while honoring the past.
If you or someone you know has dealt with the loss of a child, you can find more information about the Sadie Rose Foundation on SadieRoseFoundation.ORG