During the halftime show on Superbowl Sunday, pregnant musician Rihanna performed a medley of her hits on a platform 60 feet up in the air. Since then, many people have had a lot to say about that. Some thought it was the bravest thing they had ever seen a pregnant woman do, others the most reckless. Whatever you thought of it, it was hard not to feel something about both her performance and her pregnancy.


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Perhaps in a perfect world, she would be a musician who happened to be pregnant, delivering an outstanding show. But in a world burdened by child loss and triggers associated with child loss, her performance stayed with me. Many commenters chimed in with the comparisons of Rihanna’s pregnancy vs. theirs, some hilarious, some a little too close to home. And honestly, at first, I couldn’t help but agree that there were some notable dissimilarities in my own pregnancies. I think Rihanna’s Superbowl experience really highlighted for many of us, just how different the experience of pregnancy after loss can be. The ever-present element of caution in our pregnancies really made Rihanna’s performance during her pregnancy seem so shocking.

Yet, the more I think about it, the more the differences seem less, I don’t know, different?

Rihanna sang and danced for 13 minutes, and you managed to take a five-minute walk around your yard – you both followed the advice of your doctor and challenged your body.

Rihanna conquered her fear of heights to perform 60 feet in the air while you conquered your fear of pregnancy after loss – you both did the really hard job of looking fear in the face and overcoming it.

Rihanna wore a gorgeous figure-hugging red ensemble, and you wore pajamas and stretchy clothes that hid your belly – you both protected your growing baby from the elements.

Rihanna had millions and millions of adoring fans cheering her on when she revealed her baby bump, and you have chosen to keep your pregnancy to the few closest to you – both of you are surrounded by love.

Rihanna spent her early pregnancy practicing for one of the biggest nights of her life, and you spent your early pregnancy on bedrest – you both gave your bodies what they needed to be great.

Rihanna said in an interview that motherhood made her feel brave and powerful, that she wanted to challenge herself to do the show, and you told your best friend that pregnancy after loss was the hardest thing you have ever done – you both rose to the occasion in a spectacular way.

Rihanna chose to work throughout her pregnancy, you opted to step away from work and grow your baby – you are both mothers making sacrifices for your baby.

I know it might be easy to focus on all the things that we think we lost in pregnancy after loss. We may never have had a carefree pregnancy, and there will always be so much to consider, but I know one more thing.

Rihanna will give birth to her baby, and she will look at her child’s face and the memory of Superbowl Sunday will fade in comparison to the love and admiration she will have for this new life. When you give birth to your long-awaited baby, you will also experience a love so strong that all the hard days of pregnancy will fade in comparison – you will both be mothers who will say, at that moment, that it was all worth it.

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