I was watching TV’s new series, This is Us, the other night. I don’t usually get to catch shows that actually interest me. Most of my TV watching is spent on Disney Junior or PBS Kids. But I happened to get to watch this episode.
I watched as the mom struggled to bond with her adopted child, the one meant to replace the child she lost in delivery. I saw the dad struggle to ask the doctor for help with his wife’s frustration.
And I heard the doctor tell the dad that she would have to get through this in her own way and in her own time.
And then at the end of the episode, I held back tears as the mom told the dad that she felt guilty. My heart cringed as I heard the dad say that he feels guilty when he thinks about the baby they lost, and guilty when he stops thinking about the baby.
And then I smiled as they held each other and cried.
The month of October is many things. One of those happens to be Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. Prior to this summer, that only meant so much.
This past summer we found out we were expecting our third child. Due date was set for February. When we went in for our first appointment the week after the 4th of July, we were told I had miscarried. The baby actually never formed. There was never a face. Never a heartbeat.
But there was pain.
Complications with the miscarriage landed me in the ER.
Eventually it all ended.
I found myself struggling with trying to understand the reality of what happened. I know and believe that God has a plan with everything that happens in our lives, even the unexplainable. But this one, this was different. This was harder.
I told myself over and over and over again how blessed I was to have two beautiful daughters.
I told myself to be thankful for the children I do have.
I told myself the stories of those who have had multiple miscarriages. Those who have lost babies who had heartbeats. Who had faces. Who even had names.
But one thing I couldn’t tell myself was that it was okay to grieve.
I couldn’t grieve.
I couldn’t grieve in public because of fear it would appear selfish since I’ve been blessed with two daughters.
I couldn’t grieve because I should be stronger.
I couldn’t grieve because others have been through harder and worse times.
I couldn’t grieve because I felt guilty.
Dear mother, nothing in this world can prepare you for the emptiness and pain you feel with the loss of a child at any stage. And nothing in this world will ever make it whole again. Ecclesiastes tells us that there is a time to mourn. Mourn your child. Mourn your loss. It’s okay to. I still cry. It’s been four months and I still cry at night. I’m not promising it will get much easier. But it feels good to cry. When things in this world are sad, it’s good to cry. Cry to your father who hears you and sees you and loves you. Raise awareness of your loss, so that the next mother who goes through this doesn’t feel that she too has to hide her grief for fear of guilt.
I am one of four.