Over half a dozen of my Facebook friends have had babies since Ginny was stillborn. We were pregnant together. Another dozen are currently pregnant. We are in that phase of life – babies everywhere. It is an exciting time. Again I’m faced with more emotions than I know how to handle. I truly am happy for them. I hate the thought that Daniel and I would be left out of sharing in the excitement and love of new life. Life is even more precious to us now, and we want to be part of it. I know friends and family are unsure how to approach us. They kindly don’t want to flaunt their babies or pregnancies. But we end up feeling left in the dark, isolated. We need people; we need living babies to give us hope. I need to hold and love a baby. It really does help. Could I hold yours for a while? I may weep… it’s out of love, I promise.
I really am happy for them, but I am also heart wrenched. Some days, one scroll through social media is enough to make me break down. Is it jealousy? Maybe, but it doesn’t feel like any jealousy I’ve felt before. I think it just reminds me of what I am missing. I was supposed to have that joy. I was supposed to take monthly pictures of a baby squirming on a numbered blanket. I cry to my mom, “Everyone else gets their baby! Why don’t I get my baby?!” She calmly answers, “No, not everyone gets their baby. You don’t know how many have lost.”
That’s true. Since posting about Ginny, several women have messaged me telling about their losses. According to the March of Dimes, around 10-15% of known pregnancies end in miscarriage and 1% end in stillbirth. That means your family, your close friends, your coworkers have all likely been affected by baby loss. We don’t talk about it. Rule of thumb – wait 12 weeks until you announce. You don’t want to have to share your miscarriage! I followed the rule. I thought I was in the clear.
I’m glad I was too pregnant to keep it a secret. I can’t imagine suffering alone. I can’t imagine keeping this to ourselves. I was changed the moment I was pregnant. I was changed again the moment I found out Ginny passed. I can’t hide that change. I can’t keep my daughter’s life and death a secret. I’m so grateful that others knew and loved Ginny.
No judgement to anyone who has kept it secret – you are stronger than I am. If you have lost, I’m so sorry. If you’ve lost and you felt alone, I’m so sorry. You are not alone. You have loss parents all around you, moms and dads missing their children. So many of us have ultrasound pictures folded in drawers, empty Christmas stockings, and precious dates on the calendar, unknown to others. You are not alone. Call or message me; I’m happy to listen.
If you know of someone who has lost a baby, no matter how early or late, please reach out to them. Tell them you are sorry. This sucks. Tell them you don’t know what to say. Don’t try to make them feel better. Just mourn with them, and let them hold your baby and weep… it’s out of love, I promise.