The same news that is thrilling to so many can be devastating to others.
On Monday, Kensington Palace announced that Meghan Markle is pregnant, and the world responded with the usual frenzy: reports that the Duchess of Sussex is "radiant," stories looking back on all the telltale signs (ruffled dresses and shiny hair, for instance), and bookies are already placing bets on the future royal baby's name.
But for those who woke up thinking Oct. 15, Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day, would be their one day to discuss pregnancy and infant loss openly, the duke and duchess' joyous news is actually quite upsetting, and nearly impossible to avoid.
Just me that thinks the royals announcing their pregnancy on Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness day is a bit disrespectful/heartless. Love to those remembering their babies gone too soon, that they didn't get to hold today is for you ❤️ #myangel #29.05.18 💙
— Steph (@missceltic87) October 15, 2018
Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day — also known as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day or Baby Loss Awareness Week — is honoured in countries around the world, including Canada. It's "an important acknowledgment of the trauma that thousands of Canadians endure, often in silence," states an awareness website created by bereaved Canadian parents.
An estimated one in four pregnancies ends in a miscarriage (loss before 20 weeks), seven out of every 1,000 births in Canada are a stillbirth (loss after 20 weeks), and four in 1,000 babies die before they're 28 days old in the U.S. each year.
Grieving parents took to social media Monday to question the timing of the announcement, with many asking why the royals couldn't wait just one more day. The Daily Star reported that the palace did not confirm whether Markle and Prince Harry were aware that their baby news coincided with the Oct. 15 awareness day.
Watch a video on what not to say to someone who's had a miscarriage:
Ruth Bender Atik, national director of the U.K.'s Miscarriage Association, told Daily Star it was probably highly unlikely that they knew.
"It's very likely that people will be upset by this announcement ... It can be terribly painful for parents who have lost their babies. It can be hurtful," she said.
"But it can happen all the time. Many of them will also remember the joy they felt when they were pregnant. Others will feel a real pang for their loss."
If you're struggling, here's where to find support
There are events and commemorations happening across Canada to mark Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day — from prayer flags in Truro N.S. and a candle lighting in Toronto, to the Calgary Tower alit in pink and blue. See here for a full list and to find an event near you.
Canada-based support organizations include The Compassionate Friends of Canada and the Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day website. The Pregnancy and Infant Loss Network at Toronto's Sunnybrook Hospital is another excellent resource, as is B.C.'s Healing Hearts Foundation.
For a full list of resources and support networks across Canada, please see the Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day website.
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