Within minutes of announcing we had lost our baby at 13 weeks, we began to receive messages, calls and texts with supporting sentiments like, “I’m are so sorry,” “We’re here if you need anything,” and “We’re praying for you.”
I had just experienced the life-altering loss of a baby. I was devastated. My arms felt empty and heavy at the same time. I didn’t know how I was going to make it to the end of each hour, much less the end of each day. But moment by moment, breath by breath, I kept going. The hours turned into days—the messages, calls and texts became fewer. The days turned into weeks—and what had once been an outpouring of support, now became a trickle.
I didn’t expect people to acknowledge my heartache every single day. I didn’t expect them to stay in the thick of my grief with me. My brain knew the overflow of supportive texts, sympathy cards, and lovely bouquets of flowers would stop coming—but my heart just wasn’t ready for it.
It wasn’t my grief I was afraid they’d forget—it was my baby.
The little life that had been growing within my body had changed me forever. I had no baby in my arms, but I was still fully a mother. What a conflicting place to be…no baby, but still a mother. And the very thought of other’s forgetting the life of my baby stirred up a whole array of anxiety and emotions.
But as time went on and as my raw heart experienced a little more healing each day, I realized something. I didn’t have to rely on other’s outward expressions of remembrance for my baby. My own life was a testament to the sacred love and life of my child.
I was the one carrying the light of remembrance. I was the one who could pull other’s into celebrating the life of my baby on special dates and occasions. I could decide who became a part of my healing circle. The worry that others would forget lessened because I knew that I would never forget. Not only would I not forget, I would start the conversations. I would include my baby into Christmastime and other holidays. I would have a celebration on the should-have-been due date of my baby. I would do all these things because I was the mother.
I am the mother.
So dear momma, you are not alone. You are not alone in your loss and grief. And you need not be alone in your remembrance and healing either. Even when the sympathy cards stop arriving. Even when the phone calls and texts slow to a trickle. Even when you feel like others don’t see. I see you. I celebrate the life of your baby. And I celebrate your motherhood—no matter what that looks like.
Because you are the mother.