LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - October 15 is recognized as National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day. All month long, people across the nation have been using the hashtag "go pink and blue" to bring awareness to miscarriages. Many women who experience the loss of a child aren't ready to talk about it.
"The toughest part is to know that there was a possibility to be a mother and it didn't happen," said Jennifer Rogers, a miscarriage survivor.
Like many women who find out they're about to be first-time mothers, Rogers was excited. Unfortunately, a month into her pregnancy, that excitement came to an end.
"I was depressed for a while and thought why would this happen," Rogers said. "You start picturing yourself holding a new born, loving your child, and then all of a sudden it's taken from you. You don't get that anymore."
Rogers admitted to ignoring signs that things were going wrong in her pregnancy.
"A few days later came the cramps and the bleeding," Rogers said. "I thought maybe that's not what it is, maybe it's somethings else; it's OK. So we kept the second doctor's appointment, she said, 'It's nothing there now,' and it was in fact a miscarriage."
Rogers and her husband didn't let that stop them; six months later came a baby girl.
"She's my rainbow baby," Rogers said. "She's brought so much joy. She's helped with the healing process a lot."
Another East Texas mom can relate, but her story is a little different. The unthinkable happened about five months into her second pregnancy.
"I just remember them taking me to a separate room, and I started screaming," said Francis Dungan, a miscarriage survivor as she fought back tears. "The most horrific thing you can image."
Dungan had to give birth to her baby girl that night.
"I've lost my child," Dungan said, crying. "Knowing that I delivered this baby, and I don't get to take her home."
Dugan keeps her baby girl alive with a box of memories she keeps in her closet.
"I keep her little footprints and an outfit that I bought before I even knew it was a girl, and the bow my cousin made for her," Dungan said.
Both women agreed that opening up about the loss of a child is hard. Hearing stories from other women who are participating in the go pink and blue campaign is helpful.
"To see them all come together and support each other, it's really nice," Rogers said.
"Just comforting to know there are lots of people. You don't even realize there are so many people that you know that have lost babies," Dugan said. "It's unbelievable, but I know it's God's will and everything happens for a reason even if we don't see that reason right away."
Health officials advise if you are pregnant and experience any weight loss, painful contractions, or bleeding, you need to contact your health care provider right away.