One Year Ago

I wrote this post last week but wanted to obtain permission from the people I referenced prior to posting, hence the delay.

Sept 6, 2017

One year ago today, I was scrolling through Facebook. I’m not even sure how I saw this particular Facebook post from a local photographer. She had posted a picture of a heartbroken mother, face buried in encircled arms over a tiny coffin. The text read:

“I know this page is known for being filled with gushing happiness and precious newborn goodness, and I love when people at the grocery store come up to me and say they subscribe to my page because the chubby babies always make their days…….but I feel like I need to share a little piece of the other side of my work, my non-profit project– Born To Fly. Not because I want to spread sadness, but because this mother wants a certain message spread loud and clear. And if you’re like me, it will make you hug your children a little tighter. My dear friend had to do something on Sunday that no mother should ever have to do. She buried her perfect, beautiful newborn daughter. I can’t even put into words the type of pain that was written all over her face that day, but this photo speaks a thousand words to me. It speaks deep sadness, but it also speaks a louder message….cherish.your.children.  Cherish every day you have with them. Cherish the good, the hard, and even the ugly of motherhood. Hug your babies a little tighter….if for nobody else, do it for my friend.”

I remember reading that message, looking at that picture, and thinking of my own children. My daughter, 3 years old, at the time, and the new, sesame seed-sized life growing inside me. Tears fell as I wrote this comment:

I don’t know you, but my heart breaks for you.  There is no word to describe a parent who loses a child. Sending healing thoughts to you and your loved ones. Your pictures are beautiful.

Who knew that 35 weeks later, I would find myself in the same devastating circumstance? Who knew that 35 weeks later that very same amazing photographer would enter my hospital room to capture my own tragic loss? She told me about a woman who had also experienced the heartbreak of a full-term stillbirth. Another mom who was surviving this nightmare. On May 10th, two days after I, myself, became a bereaved mother, this other mom reached out to me. Not until today did I make the connection that she was the same mother I offered condolences to one year ago.

I don’t know what, if anything, this means. Maybe it means nothing. Or maybe it means be nice to other people. Or we’re all connected. Or don’t take anything for granted. Or maybe it’s a reminder that we never know what the future holds.

Or that we are all vulnerable to heartbreak.

 

6 thoughts on “One Year Ago”

  1. Thank you so much for writing this blog. I relate to a lot of what you have written and 4 weeks out from daughter’s stillbirth I find myself searching for other’s ‘like me’ who can provide me with hope and answers. I too remember watching shows where children were stillborn or seeing images on Facebook and remember thinking how devastating that must be and how I could never go through that – what a horrible tragic thing – and then my own world came crashing down. I did take this pregnancy for granted as I had a problem free pregnancy 3 years ago and since I made it to the 2nd trimester with this one I never thought anything could/would go wrong. Unfortunately I’ll never know for certain what did go wrong but I beat myself up daily with thoughts about how I could have done better, how I was maybe too stressed, didn’t pay enough attention, or I’m not a nice enough person. As I wrap my head around this and try to live life with my new heartbreaking reality I am definitely taking a look inward and wanting to give my best self to my family and to others, but there is always a lingering feeling of shame and self doubt too…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Meghan, I am so sorry you are suffering through this living nightmare. I say suffering, but guess what? You are also surviving. The self-blame you describe is very typical. I feel it too. I’m so glad you found my blog. I agree that finding others who are surviving is hopeful. May you find some peace today. 💕

      Like

  2. This story is amazing and beautiful, thank you for sharing it. I know there are coincidences that happen in life but I love to believe we are all connected on a deeper level and stories like this just strengthen that belief. ((Hugs))

    Liked by 1 person

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