Well, let me begin by saying it’s the holiday season! This is a time where families come together and celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah or kwanza. For my family, we celebrate Christmas. I don’t believe in too much gift-giving as when I grew up in Nigeria, Africa that was not the prime focus. We focused mainly on celebrating the life of Jesus. Now that I have my own little family, my husband and I have discussed how we don’t want our son Jowen to be so fixated on expecting tremendous gifts. I want to ensure that we teach him it’s okay to give and receive gifts but knowing what the holiday is really about is so important. Being around family or enjoying certain events to be in the spirit during this season is worthwhile. Truly, this Christmas, Jowen is our biggest and only gift. 

Jasmine and Jowen in front of fire place - Parenting After Loss: Managing Intrusive Thoughts

Author’s Personal Collection/Jasmine Simmons

As I think of Christmas before Jowen was here, I just remember spending time with family but also feeling like something was missing, which I knew was a child.

I think of all the couples out there waiting and hoping for their child and how the holidays can be a reminder of what is still not happening. That pain is truly so hard when you see others with their own growing family. I have to admit, it definitely felt so different having our baby here. There are some days I hold him so tight because I know how blessed we are and truly are so thankful to get to experience motherhood. There are times I think of our first baby girl we lost and how it would be hard not having our rainbow baby Jowen here because every Christmas would be a reminder of what could have been. It is nice to think of what could have been with our baby girl but having a sense of peace knowing that her sibling is here earthside. 

Besides the holidays, I want to tap in on an important topic that I feel we often do not discuss: intrusive thoughts.

I definitely feel like my mind has always been overcrowded just due to the pattern of overthinking due to anxiety. However, now that I am a mother, it has peaked even more. There are times that I feel myself being anxious about everything especially now that our son is super active, such as him hurting himself or falling. There are times that I would even have statements in my mind like, “What if he falls?” “What if he hurts his eye from scratching too much?” I catch myself in these thought patterns at times and I know that this may not happen so I always have to say no I do not need to think about that because it’s not currently happening. There are times when it is too hard to have those thoughts because they are uncomfortable and at times makes me feel like something is wrong with me. 

Jasmine and Jowen - Parenting After Loss: Managing Intrusive Thoughts

Author’s Personal Collection/Jasmine Simmons

I want to be fully transparent as a great mother that I know that I am,  my intrusive thoughts do not control my mind. I do not let them control my mind. I have accepted that I have them and will continue to work on how I can reframe those thoughts. 

Being a mother is not easy. You are now thinking of another human being. As a mother who has struggled with infertility and loss, I feel that the intrusive thoughts could be stemmed from the trauma of what I have been through. You are always thinking of the worst in that journey. However, now it’s different because it is just me being protective of my baby. I just want to ensure everything is fine. Mothers, if you have intrusive thoughts, please remember that those thoughts are just thoughts. In other words, those thoughts have the ability to come and go. 

These are positive affirmations I’m saying to help with the intrusive thoughts:

I am not my thoughts! I am a mother who has intrusive thoughts. 

I am a mother who cares about my baby.

I am a mother who is trying her best every day. 

More on this Topic:

Share this story!