I want you in my joy.

But I needed you in my grief.

I want you at my rainbow baby’s shower.
At his first birthday.
On FaceTime coffee dates on a random Sunday as he babbles his new “words.”
I want you to know his favorite character. What foods he loves and what foods he throws across the kitchen. I want him to hear your voice and come running with familiarity.

positive pregnancy test - I want you in my joy, but I needed you in my grief

Author’s Personal Collection/Kelsey Pfleiderer

I want you in my joy.

But I needed you in my grief.

I needed you as the babies before him left my womb too soon. I needed you as I wept like never before. I needed you as I tenderly placed the onesies purchased for my lost babies in a box—devastatingly unsure whether to frame them or tuck them safely away. When you were saying:

“At least you know you can get pregnant.”
“At least it wasn’t later.”
“At least it wasn’t like my friend Rachel, she had more losses than you.”
“Maybe don’t share your story. It’s sensitive. Too much.”

Or worst of all, when you were ignoring my loss completely, turning away from my pain.
I needed you. I really, really needed you.

Grief doesn’t go away. The loss of my babies before James will stay with me forever. Celebrating a baby while ignoring the angels before him just simply cannot be. My angel babies are just as much a piece of my heart as my rainbow baby. Then, now, and always.

So as I celebrate and raise my rainbow, and as I wish you were closer to him, closer to me, closer to us, my heart says over and over and over…

I want you in my joy. But I needed you in my grief.


A note: If you feel you may have minimized a friend or family member’s losses, it’s never too late to reach out. Acknowledge what happened. Apologize for mistakes. It matters. 🤍

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