Two years ago I was drowning in grief. I really felt I was quite literally drowning in it. I never realized a loss from a miscarriage would hurt so deeply, and sting me to my core.
But it did.
Here I am two years later and a lot of things have changed. But yes, I’m still talking about it. Why though? Because not enough women talk about. Women are still ashamed of losing a baby “so small” or “so early”. They have heard hurtful comments from others which make them feel bad about feeling sad they lost a baby.
“Well at least you can get pregnant.”
“At least it was still early.”
“You’ll get pregnant again.”
These are all statements I heard myself, so I know they resound with other mothers who have experienced loss. While they may be well intentioned from others, they’re not helpful to the mother who experienced a loss and are so incredibly hurtful.
When I was going through my loss I went through all the scenarios of what the baby would be like that I was losing. Would it be a he or a she? Would the baby have blue eyes like my husband? Or brown eyes like me? What color would their hair be? Would they have grown up to be a world changer or work in the corporate world chasing their dreams?
Yes, a lot of time has passed and my grief has decreased tremendously. However, I’d be lying if I said I never thought of my baby. I should have a one and half year old right now toddling around, learning how to talk and run. And I should be enjoying my favorite stage of toddlerhood (18 months is my favorite age!!!).
But I’m not. I’m missing a person in my life. Their absence is great on some days. And on other days it’s forgotten.
All this to say, it doesn’t mean I love the children I have any less, but we’re missing one.
This begins my cycle of grief all over again.
Shame. Regret. Guilt. Repeat.
Shame for feeling like my body failed. I failed to provide my sweet bean what it needed to grow.
Regret because I regret not taking it more seriously and thinking something could actually go wrong. Did I do anything to make my sweet babe lose it’s life?
Guilt for not feeling thankful for what I have and for the children that call me mom. Guilt over forgetting about my baby that I lost and feeling like I replaced him or her with a new baby that got to live.
The cycle of grief is hard. It’s a never ending cycle that I only learn to deal with as each day passes. When I hear of another woman who has lost a baby, my heart aches so deeply for them and it hurts me to my core.
This month is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. Something so near and dear to my heart as it truly rattled me to my inner being, both me and my husband. It shook us to our depths. You don’t know a greater loss until you’ve lost a child, a baby, a human you wished for and loved.
Two years have passed. My grief has lessened, my family has grown and I have had the greatest joy in bringing a baby into this world after losing one. Today I am beyond thankful for the beautiful blessings I have been gifted. The gift of carrying a baby, the gift of delivering a baby and the gift of watching my family grow.
To my rainbow baby: Words can never describe the sincere joy you have brought me and continue to bring me. Your life is so meaningful. Your life is such a gift. I am thankful I get to be your mother and hope and pray you come to know what a joy you are to me.
And to my other fellow moms suffering in silence over their loss: Speak out. Don’t be afraid. Grieve for as long as you need to. There is no time limit on grief. There is no life too small that deserves recognition. Because as Dr. Suess said,
“A person’s a person, no matter how small. “
Photography by Ashley Reed Photography