Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Permission- The Littlest Angels

Like so many moms who have lost babies, I've tried to find the reason- the why...

In Andrew's life and loss I have learned so much over the years. I have met women at support group meetings and felt like for a moment perhaps I gave them hope- that there was a light at the end of the tunnel- I got it- I understood- I knew they would begin to breathe again- to laugh- to smile- I could relate to the moms who had stillbirths- who had to kiss their babies goodbye because our stories seemed to follow a similar path a similar story-line...

At the meetings I also met moms who had miscarried and while I felt so sad for them, it wasn't something that I truly understood because I hadn't been there- I hadn't stood in their shoes. I had been blessed not to struggle with fertility and in general it was later in my pregnancies that I started to worry- started to wonder- Would I be bringing this baby home? -Kissing her goodbye?

But that changed.
That changed on September 9th of last year when I did stand in their shoes. I wore them. The shoes of the mom who had an early loss- a loss that was nothing more than a 'miscarriage'- everyone has them- A blip on the ultrasound- A peanut-

Why did God take our Baby E from us? Why?

Perhaps to give me a new understanding- a voice of what it was like to share with 'later loss' mamas who while incredibly sympathetic couldn't quite understand to the fullest why an early loss mama would come to such meetings. Would cry like they do- Would ache so- They hadn't had to hand over their babies...
A miscarriage?
Everyone has them.

And so when I lost our Baby E- I grieved. So much like I did when I lost Andrew- but Andrew had a face, had a name, had a body I could hold and the sweetest face that when it was time I was able to kiss goodbye forever. I saw him. And others 'saw' him too as I grew.
With Andrew I grieved for the future- a lifetime of dreams never to be had...

And likewise with Baby E- I grieved- but in addition to the future- a lifetime of dreams never to be had...

I grieved a face I would never see, a name (boy? girl?), a body to hold, and a sweet face to kiss goodbye. I grieved that others did not get used to my attachment to the baby because of my expanding waistline, I grieved because others didn't and because I was expected to 'move on' so much sooner than with Andrew- Returning to my classroom just a few days after my surgery to remove what was left of my baby- my baby's insufficient home.
So many didn't even know- my students and their parents thinking perhaps I had had my appendix out...
Where with Andrew- the school knew- the community knew- They knew about him.

I know that the lessons to be learned from our Baby E are many- and I know that in time I will find purpose revealed to me as to 'why'- but being able to share Baby E's story- to write- to help others understand how I felt has been reason. Reason enough to change someone- for when they hear about miscarriage- perhaps they won't shrug it off with a "Everyone has them." but will reply with sympathy for lost dreams, a lost future, a lost baby...

Kerri T., I was so touched by your words and I thank you for commenting and having the courage too. I've been thinking of you non-stop since reading your comment- and searching for words to describe the pain of a loss so early in pregnancy- but we all know that your dreams begin before you even see those two lines...
But when you see 'positive' it gives you permission to dream, permission to love, permission to hope. Please give yourself permission to grieve, permission to remember, permission to smile again.

So today I'm thinking of all the moms with the littlest angels, like my Baby E, Kerri's babes and the Bucki Boys and so very many, many others and thanking God for you. Thank you for reading my words and commenting, allowing me to share my story and for sharing your stories with me- and with others-
And to quote a famous author- so very wise who perhaps said it best...
Remember my friends,

"A person's a person
-no matter how small." -Dr Seuss

13 comments:

  1. When I first lost Ella, I'd get so angry when people compared my loss to a miscarriage. Since then, I have become friends with a very nice woman I met at my support group. She's had two consecutive miscarriages and I'd say she's just as messed up as I am. It gave me a new perspective on things. And, I know it hurts to lose any baby. Any loss is still a loss of our hopes and dreams. I guess we are better people for having that perspective now.

    I wanted to tell you I moved my blog to butterflybaby15.blogspot.com. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is so perfectly written Laura.
    I think sometimes people might underestimate the strength of a mother's attachment to her children. I think it is there from the moment you know that you are pregnant. You start to dream, you start to plan.
    My heart broke a little at 'a face I would never see', thank you for giving a voice to those mamas of the littlest angels. Remembering sweet baby E xx

    ReplyDelete
  3. Until we are in the shoes of those grieving we truly cannot feel what they feel. I am so sorry for all of your loss. I admire all of the women who get out of bed each day with the loss in their hearts.

    ReplyDelete
  4. You are right, miscarriage is so common that it is passed off as a part of life... people do not know how hard it is until it happens to them. When I lost baby #2 at 5 weeks, I felt like it was the worst thing that happened to me, at the time... but my #1 goal and what healed me personally was to get pregnant again (right away), while we waited the 3 months, it did heal me... like you I had a stillbirth, and a nenonatal loss, I now feel like I have had every type of loss. For me personally I even talk down the mc, compared to the 2 girls, but for me I never even got to see a HB, it was that soon... but I agree, regardless its a pregnancy, a life, and dreams.... by the way love the quote, its the quote we put on the letter we sent out after the girls died.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I have a dear friend who has had early losses and she's grieved differently but just as hard. She longs to be a mom just as much as I do. That's one reason that we give out kits to the hospital for early losses too, not just stillbirths. I know we won't reach all the women who have miscarried but I want them to feel they have permission to grieve.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi Laura,

    A work colleague told me (after my loss of my son), that his wife misscaried at 10 weeks (a blighted ovum), and people had said to him that they didn't understand their grief as it wasn't an actual baby. I don't understand why someone would say that, as any loss at any stage is so hard. They would have already been dreaming of their little one and planning for the future, so of course they would be grieving for all they lost.

    I'm so sorry for the loss of your precious Andrew and Baby E.

    Thank you for your thoughts of my little Bailey. I appreciate that so much.

    Take care,
    Fiona
    xx

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi Laura,
    I am also thankful that I am able to share this unfortunate experience with other babylost parents, they are so supportive. I never knew there was such a world as this out there. It changes you, every small problem doesn't matter the way it used to. I thank you for being so open and honest and putting your feelings out there, you are courageous and inspiring and your strength is to be admired :) Many hugs, Nan xo

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi Laura,
    I wanted to let you know that Baby "E's" butterfly is up on my site now. I think it came out so cute. I'd love to mail them out to you. If you'd like, send me an email- briannemeg@yahoo.com
    Bree

    ReplyDelete
  9. Laura, As you know, I know all too well the pain of miscarriage, of lost dreams, and hopes; the sadness of not knowing how our babies looked, what color hair or eyes they had, what they would've weighed at birth. The obvious gap between my children, and always wondering what it would've been like to have had 2 (living) brothers in between their 2 sisters. I miss the Bucki Boys, and the other little spirits I lost all too soon; yet they are a gift and a blessing. They've given me so much... perspective, gratitude, courage, resolve, and strength, just like your Joey gives you. And of course they've given me my special "secret society" friends like you, who are sisters of the heart. love & hugs, my sister friend, Mary

    ReplyDelete
  10. Laura, As you know, I know all too well the pain of miscarriage, of lost dreams, and hopes; the sadness of not knowing how our babies looked, what color hair or eyes they had, what they would've weighed at birth. The obvious gap between my children, and always wondering what it would've been like to have had 2 (living) brothers in between their 2 sisters. I miss the Bucki Boys, and the other little spirits I lost all too soon; yet they are a gift and a blessing. They've given me so much... perspective, gratitude, courage, resolve, and strength, just like your Joey gives you. And of course they've given me my special "secret society" friends like you, who are sisters of the heart. love & hugs, my sister friend, Mary

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hi Laura,
    I wanted to let you know that Baby "E's" butterfly is up on my site now. I think it came out so cute. I'd love to mail them out to you. If you'd like, send me an email- briannemeg@yahoo.com
    Bree

    ReplyDelete
  12. You are right, miscarriage is so common that it is passed off as a part of life... people do not know how hard it is until it happens to them. When I lost baby #2 at 5 weeks, I felt like it was the worst thing that happened to me, at the time... but my #1 goal and what healed me personally was to get pregnant again (right away), while we waited the 3 months, it did heal me... like you I had a stillbirth, and a nenonatal loss, I now feel like I have had every type of loss. For me personally I even talk down the mc, compared to the 2 girls, but for me I never even got to see a HB, it was that soon... but I agree, regardless its a pregnancy, a life, and dreams.... by the way love the quote, its the quote we put on the letter we sent out after the girls died.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I have a dear friend who has had early losses and she's grieved differently but just as hard. She longs to be a mom just as much as I do. That's one reason that we give out kits to the hospital for early losses too, not just stillbirths. I know we won't reach all the women who have miscarried but I want them to feel they have permission to grieve.

    ReplyDelete

Your thoughts?