Ever felt a sense of shame for your situation?
A recent conversation often comes to mind. It was a simple, short conversation but it had a huge impact on me. Another mom probably my age or a tad older asked me how many children I have.
"I have one here and two in Heaven. How many do you have?"
"I have four."
She then turned around, ending the conversation right there. Was she was put off by my reply? A few seconds later I see her turn back around to me…
"I have one in Heaven too."
That was it. At that moment I decided to make my experimental reply to that question a permanent one. You see, this mom felt safe to acknowledge her baby in Heaven because I first acknowledged mine.
Pardon me to be so blunt, but if your mom or dad dies, do you pretend as if they never existed? No. So why should you if your baby dies during pregnancy or even shortly after? I see where this topic is so off limits in our society. It is cast out as inappropriate or uncomfortable. No wonder moms don't mention their children in Heaven. They are afraid to. I believe that well intentioned people can say things to inadvertently inflict feelings of shame on mothers who've had pregnancy loss. Comments like, "well, at least you already have one." or "You can always have more." Only create shame and diminish the worth of their feelings or worse, their child's life.
Don't be ashamed! No matter where or when your loss was, you are still a mommy to a baby.
Maybe I'm just different. My husband and I had another loss in February. This was a very very early loss. No, I don't feel fear in acknowledging that loss. Yes, I do sort of dread the awkward silence it causes when I tell someone that I have two babies in Heaven. Possibly this acknowledgement comes easy to me though, because Hudson was my first loss. One that we couldn't hide.
Isn't it worth it?
I have been amazed by the number of women that I've crossed paths with in life that have experienced loss. What’s even more amazing, is that I had no clue until I had my loss.
Don't you think that the loneliness of grief could be alleviated just a bit to know that countless other women have been there? Let me challenge you to boldly claim your baby.
I'm far from being a trend-setter, but I'm ready to set one. I will break my silence. I will see to it that other women have an opportunity to break theirs.