Tag Archives: baby after loss

Be Kind but Don’t Rewind

10 points to your house if you get the above reference (and 20 points if you get that and the second reference I just made).

Even though we have a beautiful, healthy baby boy in our home now, pregnancy loss is still prevalent in everyday interactions. People still ask questions that are pretty socially acceptable even if they still leave me feeling awkward.

My most recent interaction was a cashier at a drug store:

Photo by Oleg Magni on Pexels.com

“Aww! What’s his name?”


“He has beautiful eyes. How old is he?”

“8 months”

Is he your first?”


“Yes” (As in yes, he’s my first 8 month old)

At least the conversation ended there. In the grocery recently, I had two women tell me I needed to hurry up and give him a sibling. Even if I do talk about my daughters, people still insist I need to keep trying for more kids.

I’d like to think that it’s because my son is so adorable that they just want to see more like him in the world. But really I’m left dumbfounded as to how to respond.

And yet I know I’m not the only one who has these kinds of interactions on a daily basis. While situations may be different, the awkward feelings edged with grief, regret, or shame still feel the same. And while I will continue to emphasize how necessary it is to stop asking these questions, in the meantime, I’ve learned a process to get through it.

Photo by Tim Gouw on Pexels.com

Be Kind, But Don’t Rewind

  1. Be Kind. Always assume the motivations and intentions of the speaker are good, even if the words come across uneducated or lacking compassion. Even though there is so much more information on how to interact with one who is grieving, a lot of people still haven’t accessed that information yet. Keeping this in mind helps me to be kind with my response. And I will either calmly explain my reality or patiently move the conversation to a different topic or end it altogether.
  2. Don’t Rewind.  Leave the conversation right where it is. Don’t let the person’s comments or judgments carry into your day. This is so much easier said than done, I know. People’s words hold so much weight, especially when we are already feeling so much. But letting go isn’t giving in to the other person, but instead, it’s prioritizing your own health. It’s not selfish to continue doing what is best for yourself and your own journey. The Bible is full of people who faced the judgment of those around them, yet continued to prioritize the path God set out for them.

Of course, for me, it all comes back to God. The voices in this world are loud and opinionated. But the reality is that none of us have it all figured out. We don’t understand everything that happens, and we don’t have the answers to everything. But God sees the bigger picture. God has plans that are greater than anything we ever imagined. And when I’m feeling discouraged or words and questions sting, it is God’s truth that I don’t mind playing over and over again.

Looking Back, Looking Forward

The day this post goes up will be the two year anniversary of my second daughter’s stillbirth.  It’s the first anniversary to hit since my son’s arrival.  And my mind has been in serious contemplation mode.

It’s strange because right now, I’m watching my son grow before my very eyes.  Every day has been different.  He’s learning so much, interacting so much.  I can’t help but wonder what it would have been like if my daughters were here.  What these milestones would have been like.  When would they start to babble?  Would they be standing and rolling and sitting as well as Sam is at this age?  How would Sam’s growth have been affected by having his big sisters around?

This week, I re-read the post that I wrote the day I found out that my daughter had passed away.  The post transported me to that hospital triage room, the silent heart monitors and ultrasound machines, to my stubborn cries out to God.  As I got to the end of all of the encouraging comments, my son (who had been sleeping at this point) woke up with a whimper.  And it felt like I was waking up, too, being pulled back into the present moment.

I love my son, and I’m so grateful for every moment I get to spend with him.  I also love my daughters, and I miss them terribly.  But I am thankful to God for how he has shaped my grief and guided my path these last five years.  Even though I look back to remember, more importantly, I am able to look forward in hope.  Praise be to God.  He is so good.


My Experience with PostPartum Anxiety

I waited five long years.  Through miscarriage and stillbirth, I finally gave birth to a beautiful, healthy baby boy.  I crossed the finish line.

Or so I had thought.

When I reached that finish line, I looked up and saw I had several more laps to go.  And, guys, I was exhausted.  Emotionally.  Physically.  Mentally.  Not even considering the following weeks of sleep deprivation and hormonal letdown.  Anxiety was still present.

But I chalked it up to the baby blues.  I waited until the hormones leveled out more or less.  Michael took the night shift so I could get more sleep.  Even after that, I still had those nights when those thoughts wouldn’t leave me.  The thought that wouldn’t let me sleep.

“Your baby is going to die tonight.”

It was terrifying.  I would be up every hour checking on the baby, even if I woke him up.  And we knew that this wasn’t sustainable.  Even during the daytime naps, I was constantly checking to see if he was breathing.  In those moments, it was as if he knew because he always seemed to kick or sigh in his sleep when I looked over at him.

There were other issues as well.  I didn’t trust my intuition.  I was convinced that I was going to hurt him in some way.  Was I feeding him enough?  If his head fell forward or fell backward unexpectedly, was I forever damaging him?  I felt like he was safer in other people’s arms than in my own.  And I wasn’t bonding with him at all.

So, I talked to my therapist.  She told me that all of these things were quite common in a lot of pregnancies.  Bonding with the baby wasn’t going to be instantaneous, just like falling in love with someone happens slowly over time.  However, my PTSD from losing my girls was definitely playing a part, and after I talked to my OB, I got some medication to help.

And it has helped.  It doesn’t make everything perfect, but it quiets the thoughts and gives me a chance to learn to trust my gut.  And I’m bonding with the little guy more and more each day.

There is this pressure to enjoy motherhood.  To soak up every second of every day because it goes by so fast.  And because I have waited so long for these moments, the pressure feels even greater to appreciate every second.  I love my son.  And I look forward to the snuggles every day.  I even think some of his cries are adorable (and when he sticks out that lip, I just want to snuggle him).

But I have to take care of myself.  I need to make sure I’m as healthy as I can be so that I can take care of him.  Post-partum anxiety is real and nothing to be ashamed of.  And it’s not forever, so for now, I will just take each day as it comes, giving myself grace, and be grateful for the support and love that surrounds me.