Today I’m thinking of you.
You felt such joy inside you when you first knew, and you counted down the months until you held her.
You watched him kick on the screen and you couldn’t help but smile when you first heard his heartbeat.
You started making lists of names, before you even knew the gender.
Your happiness overflowed from you, and you were so eager to share with loved ones all around.
You thought ahead to what might change in 9 months, what arrangements must be made. Your mind jumped to tiny shoes and cozy blankets, the perfect stroller and the safest seat.
You felt that something wasn’t right. You couldn’t put your finger on your worry, but you couldn’t make it stop. It weighed on your heart, a dull ache that wouldn’t go away.
You sat there quietly in the cold office, surrounded by strangers, hoping against hope. Then you heard the doctor tell you, “I’m so sorry,” and your heart broke with such a pain you thought it could not heal.
You cradled your baby, your baby who was small enough to fit into your hand.
You blessed your baby with your love, in those few moments that were all you had.
You felt anger when you saw other women so easily receive what you longed for, and then guilt because those women were your friends, your family. You wanted good for them – but resented that it was denied to you.
You felt betrayal when the importance of your baby’s life was ignored by others. She existed, she was loved, and her life mattered. Whether for 5 weeks or 90 years, she was yours, your baby, your child, a piece of your own heart.
You endured silence when you needed someone to say: “Are you okay?” “I will listen.” “I’m here.”
You struggled through the weeks and months after, when everyone else seemed to have moved on, and you could not. Your body, your heart – they could not so quickly let go of that little one who had once been a part of you.
You were cut to the heart by well-meaning comments like, “Well at least now you have THIS baby,” as if the love you have for your rainbow baby could ever take away the piercing loss of your other child.
Your mind and your body sometimes weakened, trying desperately to fight against the impact of your loss, a loss so invisible to others, and so unforgettable to you.
You tried to smile and cook meals, go to work, host family holidays. All the time you looked around feeling like something was missing, like someone was missing, like there should be one more little set of feet running around the tree, one more plate at the table, one more stocking hung, one more pumpkin carved, one more basket filled….
You found comfort in the most unexpected places – the touch of a hand, a text from a friend, a gift of love.
You wanted to say her name, and you wanted others to say it, too. She has a name. He has a name. My baby has a name.
You remember the day that would have been the due date, and every year, you relive it all over again.
Your lips answer “3,” when someone asks how many kids you have, but your heart whispers, “4.”
I can’t speak for you.
I’ve never lost a baby of my own, and I can’t fully know your pain.
But today I’m thinking of you, and I can promise you this from my own heart – however small they were, however short their lives, they are precious, they are remembered, and they are loved forever.
Editing to make more clear, since many seem confused – like I say in the post, I have not lost a baby of my own. I wrote this to/for friends/loved ones/anyone who has suffered a loss, offering my compassion and awareness. xo