Everybody Gets a Baby! (Not You.)

Us bereaved moms, we are more difficult to identify…but our eyes, they are filled with a despairing grief….And always invisible to the naked eye is her shattered heart.

“Look at that cute baby!” squealed my four-year old. We were at the grocery store.  Looking around, I noticed SO MANY babies. Everywhere I go, I see babies– not only at the grocery store, they also dominate parks, restaurants,  and Target. Their chubby legs teeter around at birthday parties and their parents clog up my Facebook feed with adorable pictures, captioned with milestones my youngest daughter will never experience.  Even G-D Daniel Tiger has a baby sister.  In my daughter’s preschool class alone, three classmates got baby siblings this spring.  In the past two weeks, my daughter and I have visited goat kids and encountered baby ducks in a parking lot. Literally, everybody has a baby.

Ok, I know not literally. It just feels that way to me, because I don’t have my baby.  One day, while watching a mom strap her infant into the carseat, I mused aloud “why does everybody get a baby except for us?”  Since my daughter was with me, she occasionally will repeat this sad phrase–”Why did everyone gotted a baby be-cept for us?”

One can identify a baby easily, even though they are small. The tiny ones are tucked inside car seat carries or strapped to a parent’s chest. Sometimes they are swaddled in a blanket and passed around to other cooing adults. Older ones are in strollers or sitting up in shopping carts, waving and babbling. Even the mom who doesn’t have her baby with her–who was able to sneak away to Target by herself–even she is identifiable. She is the one leaking milk through her shirt, the one with spit-up on her shoulder.  Her hair is unkempt, her makeup not done, barring a little lipstick. She is the one comparing breast milk storage bags and debating which pacifier to purchase.  Her tired eyes glance enviously at me, holding my Starbucks and casually strolling kid-free. What she doesn’t know is that I am on “maternity leave.” A maternity leave without a baby.

Us bereaved moms, we are more difficult to identify. We may still have the unkempt hair and makeup-free face, but our eyes, they are filled with a despairing grief, the delicate skin beneath them dry from rivers of tears. Our mouths may be perpetually turned down or frozen in an anguished wail. If you look closely at this mom, her hair has more white strands than it did prior to her baby’s death. Depending on when she lost her baby, she, too, may have heavy breasts leaking milk that her baby will never drink. What you cannot see are her stretch marks, proof that her body once held a baby.  And always invisible to the naked eye is her shattered heart.

Sometimes it feels like the universe, in Oprah-like fashion, is shrieking “You get a baby! You get a baby! Everybody gets a baby! (Not you).”  Last night as I was laying with my daughter at bedtime, she pondered “Why did everyone gotted a baby be-cept for us?”  I don’t know, sweetheart, I don’t know.

Do you have a pity party for yourself when you see others’ babies? What coping strategies have you found helpful?

7 thoughts on “Everybody Gets a Baby! (Not You.)”

  1. I am so sorry to hear of your loss. . . O yes, definitely!! I think it is normal for the ‘pity party’ to hit when we have lost. It has only been seven months since we lost Evalyn, yet it still hurts to see little babies. Due to timing, after we lost Evalyn, alot of close friends were also due and gave birth to healthy babies which was a blessing, but for me, it was incredibly hard to be around. Babies out in public are also hard to be around. Even a baby advert on the TV can open up the emotional gateway.

    I think for myself, I have realised it’s “ok” to not be “ok” around babies and not to feel guilty about it. If I can’t see a friend and their baby that particular day, then I will just be honest. My coping method has actually been to talk about Evalyn as much as possible. If someone asks me, “how many children do you have?” . I’ll always say 2 and go on to explain. Who cares if they feel uncomfortable? After all, they asked. Like yourself, we also have a four year old who has been an absolute tonic for our grief. We have created a world for him where he can talk about Evalyn as much as he wants. She has become a very big part of our family, even in her absence. And I love that.

    You will find your own ways to try and heal and your own ways to try and cope. Just know that you are not alone.


    Liked by 2 people

  2. That line about the mouth perpetually turned down really hit home. I caught a glimpse of myself in the rear view mirror today and saw one of these incredibly sour, angry, unhappy people that I’ve always sworn I would not wind up like. I have a lot to frown about since my son died last October, but I am hoping I can still pull myself out of this and not be a sad, solitary old man. It could happen. I am still alive. Thanks for blogging on this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is strange how grief can really age a person. And no, I don’t think you are destined to be sour. I’ve had others tell me that it WILL happen! That us grieving parents (and probably other grievers too) will pull ourselves out of the muck. That the pain will always be there, that you can’t “get over it” you just get through it. Have you seen this quote from Anne Lamott? It really resonated with me: “You will lose someone you can’t live without, and your heart will be badly broken, and the bad news is that you never completely get over the loss of your beloved. But this is also the good news. They live forever in your broken heart that doesn’t seal back up. And you come through. It’s like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly—that still hurts when the weather gets cold, but you learn to dance with the limp.”

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, something like that seems to be what happens a lot of the time. It’s good to hear from people who have mostly gotten over a loss like this. Unfortunately many or most of the people in these Facebook groups and other online survivor forums are the people who aren’t getting over it. I am always a little suspicious of anyone who tells me what WILL happen because people’s experience does differ quite a bit. I am hoping to be different in the sense that I’ll get through this a lot faster and with less suffering and a better outcome. I guess we’ll see. Thanks so much for commenting. It is much appreciated and I hope you get some peace today.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. My 3rd was stillborn at 37 weeks from unknown causes one year ago. As the year went on, everyone I knew who was pregnant or became pregnant had a living baby…except me. I can relate to this post strongly. I even want to add for Oprah: “…and Beyonce, you get TWO babies.”

    Liked by 1 person

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