SAN ANGELO, Texas — On October 15th, thousands mark National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. In the Concho Valley, nearly 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage. Every year, more than 100 babies die during infancy.
“Not a day goes by that I don’t think about her. I feel very blessed because I got to bring my baby home,” said Kristina Dowlen.
On Christmas Day 2006, Kristina gave birth to her second daughter, Natalia Nevaeh Alvarado.
“She was healthy, beautiful. The best Christmas gift anybody could ask for,” recalled Kristina.
Baby Natalia brought immense joy to her family but that joy would only last a few months.
“I had a healthy baby until March 20, 2007. She passed away from SIDS,” added Kristina.
It’s been more than 12 years since Baby Natalia left this world, but Kristina and her family remember and honor her memory every day.
“I love to remember my baby, Natalia Nevaeh Alvarado. I love to speak her name. I love to remember the moments I had with her and feel blessed that I had those moments with her. I think of the moms that didn’t get those moments, and I pray for them,” said Kristina.
On October 15th, thousands who like Kristina, have lost a child, mark National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.
In the Concho Valley, nearly 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage. Every year, more than 100 babies die during infancy.
“More people are affected than what’s talked about. A lot of people don’t talk about infant loss because it’s sad,” continued Kristina.
Kristina said life without her daughter has been difficult, and was especially hard at the beginning. There are no words that can console a grieving parent, but attending events like Shannon Medical Center’s annual ‘Walk to Remember’ and having loved ones around can help one cope.
“If there’s events to remember them, like we just did a ‘Walk to Remember,’ walk with them. Walk in the place of the babies that couldn’t take their steps. My daughter held my hand the whole walk. When she saw me tear up, she held my hand. Her being there got me through so much. She was just a baby when it happened, but she’s always been there. To me, it’s that presence of those that are around you that help you get through it better,” suggested Kristina.
Parents who have experienced a loss may have held their baby in their arms for only a short while, but will hold them in their hearts forever.
“It’s good to remember the babies and I’ve had a rainbow baby since then. That gave me bright colors and light. It’s still hard, but it’s a beautiful life,” said Kristina.