To the babyloss mother without a Rainbow,
You are the strongest person I know. You have survived the unimaginable – the death of your beautiful little baby – and you are still going. That alone makes you amazing. You have found within yourself the power to keep on living and the strength to face each day. Despite every reason in the world not to, you found the hope and courage to take another leap of faith and add to your family. You are brave beyond imagination.
When that leap turned into massive hurdles, even still, you kept going. Despite the grief, despite the addition of monthly disappointments, despite the pain of seeing everyone you know walk away with their prize, you kept on trying. Because you have so much love to give. Because you deserve the same renewed happiness that so many others have. Because you know the pain will be worth it when you hold your living breathing baby in your arms. You are amazing. Your mothers heart beats stronger than any I know. Look at all you’re willing to do for the chance to share that love with a child to keep. I’m in awe of you.
I know there are times when it seems like giving up is the only way to end the war with your body. I know it can seem like you have no say in the size of your family. I know it seems life has given more than your share of heartache. It’s true. You don’t deserve one second of what’s happened to you. I know it seems pregnancy will never happen. My heart aches that same ache.
I know how hearing pregnancy announcements is like a hot knife cutting right to the core of your being. I know that jealousy and confusion, the sadness and hurt. I know you wish you could escape to a baby-free community for a while, just for some relief. But I also know that what you want more than anything is to be that person giving the announcement. I know. I feel the same way.
Always remember, sweet mama, that you are incredible. You are beautiful. You are a mother. Nothing you did has caused this. Sometimes, even when you do everything right, you get a negative outcome. That’s the injustice in life. No one deserves a precious little baby to keep more than you.
When you feel like your heart can’t take one more loss… When it seems like you’ll never find joy again... When you hate your body for failing you and hate that you have no control… always remember to give yourself a break. Be gentle with yourself. Find support from people who understand. You are not alone in this.
Take each day as it comes. One moment at a time, if you need to. The stress and pressure will end you if you don’t give yourself some grace. Don’t listen to the lies people like to tell: “It’ll happen, just wait and see”, “When the time is right, you’ll get pregnant”, or worse yet, “Just relax”. All of those are untrue and not the least bit helpful. Instead, remember the truth. No one knows what tomorrow holds. It may never happen. But also, it may! Don’t lose heart.
If you need a break from trying, take it. That doesn’t mean you’ve given up. It means you know your limits and are being gentle with yourself. You’ll try again when and if you’re ready. If you need extra support, find it. There is no need to walk this path alone. You are not the only one without a baby to love and keep. There are a lot of us. If you’re not getting the help you need from medical professionals, healers, etc, find someone new. If your heart can’t take another pregnancy announcement, take more control over the people you allow in your life. This is not about anyone else but you. Do what you need for yourself.
Most of all, remember you are a mother. No, it’s not the way you had planned. No, it’s not how it should be. But you are still a mother. You carried life in your body and did your best for your little one. Your heart beats for your baby. You would do anything to change the outcome. You are everything a mother should be. Remember the words of Franchesca Cox, “A mother is not defined by the number of children you can see, but by the love she holds in her heart.”
You, sweet mama, are beautiful. You are strong. You are brave. You are enough. You are loved.
Even if it never happens – and, oh my goodness, I hope it does! – you are still amazing.
Love you to, brave and beautiful mama,
RaeAnne Fredrickson is married and lives in Minnesota. She is the mama to Samuel Evan, who was lovingly carried to birth with a fatal condition called PUV. She writes at The Love We Carry, Still Standing Magazine and All That Love Can Do. She created All That Love Can Do to support other families who make the decision to continue pregnancy after a fatal diagnosis. She also created Empty Arms to support babyloss mothers without a Rainbow Baby.