I want to start off saying that if you are here, you probably experienced loss or know someone who did. I am so truly sorry, and I understand the despair and hopeless feelings you are feeling. I am a Mother to 8 children, 5 on this Earth and 3 angels waiting to meet me one day in Heaven. I am no stranger to loss, and was most definitely not spared from the different ways loss can occur.
I have had 2 miscarriages, and last year a stillborn at 6 1/2 months pregnant when his heart stopped during an ultrasound. He had to be delivered vaginally, and so there I was put into labor which took 18 hours only to deliver a baby I could not take home, a baby whose cries I never heard, and a smile I would never know. It is the most unimaginable and most unnatural thing I think anyone can go through in this life.
But I will tell you how I live life after loss. I had my last baby 8 months ago, he was our rainbow baby. Yes there is hope after a storm. And yet, even it was a struggle just to have him. After doctors wanting to abort followed by a placental hemorrhage and then baby’s heart in distress, I had our rainbow baby at 35 weeks via emergency C-section. But if that wasn’t enough, he stopped breathing when he was born, and just when I thought I had lost another precious gift, he started crying. So now looking back at long days in the NICU is nothing compared to the tragedies once endured. And I understand now how pregnancy is not as “beautiful” and “promised” as it is for others.
After enduring such loss, and at the same time so much blessings, it occurred to me that life is not guaranteed, but that there is always a plan. And even if we don’t agree with it, and even when it hurts and we don’t understand it you will learn in time how to live again. You might never fill the hole left in your heart, but you will find peace. After my miscarriages I didn’t hurt the same ways that I did after my stillborn. I am not by any means saying that it is less of a loss, but only different. After preparing for a child, decorating a room, and holding a lifeless baby in your arms, well it hits you different.
I hit a low point of severe depression and wanted to go be with my son in Heaven. I knew my kids here on Earth needed me, but there was such a void inside my soul. I prayed, and prayed and asked God why me? I felt inadequate as a woman and embarrassed in front of my husband. I felt as if I failed him by not being able to go through a pregnancy and deliver a healthy baby. I saw the pain and heartache in my husband and it killed me even more. Trust me when I say that men mourn differently, but they do mourn. And we need to mourn together with them and sometimes alone.
Through all of the lows and sorrow, I found that I could find comfort in my husband and my kids that I have. I found that just because our babies are not here we could still honor them. To do things, no matter how big or small, to remember them made me feel like they never really left us. I started by writing letters each day to my baby I lost last year (Jace). I also found comfort in painting and carving things for him. I have a tilted bookshelf in which I put his ultrasounds, footprints, ashes, and other things of remembrance on this shelf. On his birthday anniversary, we let go of balloons. Originally we wanted to let go of Sky Lanterns, but they are illegal here where we live. But to talk to your lost baby, or write them, or doing special things for them, to remember them is extremely healing.
When our rainbow baby was born, we still found a way to pay homage to his brother Jace by naming him Reign (as in rainbow after the storm). Every one is different in what makes them feel better, and I know you can never get back to a completely normal life. Losing a child is something that defies the natural balance of order of things, but you can live again. Live knowing that you are stronger than most, because to have an angel is no easy task. And only the strongest and best of us can endure this. And live knowing that they are always with you, even in the smallest things . Live knowing that they are watching you and make them proud, knowing that one day you will be together and never to be apart again.