Hand to Hold's Official Blog: Written by Parents for Parents

Emotional Whirlwind of Baby Loss

Losing a baby is a physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual ordeal. Emotionally, it’s like being hit by a whirlwind that leaves you exhausted and confused.

I lost my baby at 21 weeks gestation.  I had been sick most of my pregnancy, had felt the baby kick only recently, and was just beginning to enjoy looking “obviously” pregnant instead of just fat.  Despite my constant nausea I loved being pregnant.  I loved the unknown of a baby growing inside of me, I loved finally feeling the baby’s feeble kicks, and I loved the attention and comments like “cute and pregnant”, “rosie cheeked”, and “glowing”.  I had been terrified at the beginning and was finally getting excited.

When I went into preterm labor, delivered my baby, and watched him die in our arms I was mostly in disbelief.    Did I really just have a baby?  Is this really my son?  Who is he?  What happened?  Why me?  I was in shock and in a daze that clouded reality.

The first strong emotions that set in were actually peace, joy, and love. Family and friends surrounded us, lifted us up, and protected us from the pain.  They served us in every way and gave us hope.  I felt blessed among women.

When the visits and well-wishes subsided, pain, fear, sorrow, and loneliness crept in.  What was wrong with my body?  Could I have children?  Would anyone understand my pain?  Who could I talk to?  I began to understand what had happened and what it might mean for my future.

When I joined the real world again at school and work I was quickly engulfed by jealousy, hurt, and feelings of inadequacy.  Why could so many women around me bear children so easily?  How dare a woman complain about loss of sleep because of a newborn baby?  Was I less of a woman because my body could not do what it was designed for?

As time passed each emotion I felt would come and go frequently, but the intensity of such emotions gradually subsided.  Eventually, I had the audacity to feel relief that my busy life was not being complicated by the presence of a baby, but guilt always overcame me on such occasions.

It’s been nearly 5 years since my son was born and I still think about him almost every day.  Sometimes I cry, sometimes I hurt, and sometimes I am joyful that he’s in a better place.  The loss of a child is never forgotten, and I will mourn his absence until we are united again in the next life.

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Afton Mower About Afton Mower

After Mower (UT) lost her firstborn son at 21 weeks.  Her daughter was born a year and a half later at 27 weeks.  The NICU was overwhelming and isolating and it was through those two experiences she was led to found this social hub for parents to find the support they needed. Afton also gave birth to another daughter, born two days overdue after four months of strict bedrest. She believes it is a tender experience to hold a special baby in your arms when his spirit returns to his heavenly home, a miracle to watch tiny babies survive the risks of prematurity and a blessing to hold a healthy full-term baby after months of difficulty and sacrifices.

Comments

  1. Thank you for sharing your story. I lost my twin boys at 21weeks, 2 days over a year ago. I still feel like it was yesterday, and I still miss them every day – I always will. Sending hugs your way.

  2. Cambria Abbott says:

    Your story captures all of my feelings. My baby boy died four months ago at 22 weeks. My feelings are still quite raw, I didn’t even know that it is possible to go back through different stages of grief. I use to think I was a rational person but I can’t get ahold of myself, I am so confused. My heart is broken. The nicu dr. Said that when Cameron was born that they would try to help him if we wanted them to, my husband and I agreed that we wanted them to just try. When Cameron was born no nurses rushed around she just sat there on the bed. I pleaded with her to please just do something! I knew the chances but we did all agree that they would TRY to help Cameron. No one did anything and all I am left with is this helpless feeling.

    • Cambria, I’m so sorry for your loss. It’s such a hard thing to go through – especially when you were given promises and then those promises were ignored. I’ve discovered that one of the most difficult things for me to bear is to have expectations, and then those expectations are dismissed. How horrible that they told you they would try to save your baby and then they didn’t! I hope you can find some peace, or that you can hold on to belief that what happened with your baby was God’s will. Hang in there and my only advice is to not dwell on the “what ifs” but to focus on the blessing that your son can be in your life by giving you experience and understanding that you would not have had otherwise. It’s been 7 1/2 years now since my boy died and I still find comfort and peace in the experience I had with him.

      Such difficult experiences can drag us down in misery and bitterness, or we can make ourselves better people because of them and then use our newfound understanding and appreciation for life to help others who face similar sorrows.

      Hang in there. I pray that peace will come to you.

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