Mom guilt shows we are moms even in loss. I keep talking about our lost babies and then find myself feeling guilt when I don’t talk about the ones inside or living. It’s how I keep them alive, diving into the past, and with that always comes revisiting fears. It’s OK to be surprised by memories we will never forget and to not be completely “enjoying every moment” because that often brings up what is missing. I think of the ones “coming” or here and how our story is being written with them. The others need us to keep it going.

Carmen's 24-week bump - Eggplant Face Plant

Author’s Personal Collection/Carmen Grover

Faceplant: 🤦‍♀️ I realize this bump day blog account hasn’t been much about this baby. That makes me sad, as well as mixed with pride and determination. But today, I want to focus this post just on my baby within, with the others strung around, as they are all part of it. It shows where our minds often are with pregnancy after loss.

A Letter to This Baby

Dear Baby,

As every one of our Grover Babies, you are so loved and are one of them always. You mean more to us than you know.

Truth be told, I wanted you so badly. So did your daddy and siblings. I do believe they transpired somehow to bring you here!

Sunrise - Carmen's 24-week bump day blog: Eggplant Face Plant

Author’s Personal Collection/Carmen Grover

I told Daddy I would give him a boy. Now, I know all too well that a healthy, beautiful, alive baby is beyond all we can ever wish for, but I’m just being real with you. Your sweet sister Maelie also would like a boy and says it’s OK, you can switch to anything. I really loved that sentiment. Case, who has two sisters, isn’t too phased as he knows what to do with them. He’s already an old hat at this and a very good one. He will hold your hand as he does his sisters, taking care to show you anything new.

Couch snuggles - Carmen's 24-week bump day blog: Eggplant Face Plant

Author’s Personal Collection/Carmen Grover

Ayda rests her head on my belly every time we sit together. Maelie hugs you morning and night and sings, “I love you, little baby,” as she does. Case says, “Wow! You are getting so big! Look at that big belly!”

It’s the sweetest thing and completely warms me. I have a different approach, but you have the most loving, compassionate siblings waiting for you. Something about loss makes them greater somehow, and I know you will be no different.

Seeing their joy and delight for you, mixed with knowing they are the “living babies” who got to stay (as they often tell me), just makes it all more special and naturally appreciated. Which brings more tears in somehow knowing this. Your siblings comfort me even more when there are tears, as they know the struggle. They know and have felt loss in all its forms, which is why we rejoice more, cuddle more, and communicate more about things that matter. We see the beauty in the siblings that hold your hand on the other side.

We are and always will be a Grover tribe.

Also, you make me vomit…a lot! It’s insane. You’re probably just clearing the way for what’s important! You are probably my most active baby. Your sibs laugh their heads off when you move. They are playing with you already, “alien baby.”

Carmen walking with two of her children on a rainbow crosswalk

Author’s Personal Collection/Carmen Grover

We are keeping you a surprise, as you are that to us in so many ways, but also because I can’t live with the guilt of you being a girl when I said so confidently otherwise. We are grateful no matter what, but it’s a funny joke and wish we made that we are allowed to have. We put more pressure on ourselves naturally to “just soak it in,” but we need to let the silly truths come out. And that, baby, is what you’ve been to us–a time of recollection on it all, a time of cherishing you with our full family, rejoicing, giving thanks and allowing all the feels and funnies to come as they may with the family that life and loss created.

We can’t be who we are without both of these things, and I do celebrate us and what is to come with our living children’s love for you and the guardians rooting for us every step of our lives. That’s a gift I can always give you, our baby–that of siblinghood. Everywhere you go, there they are.

Love,

Mama

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