Loss, the Aftermath: When Others are Expecting

Loss, the Aftermath: When Others are Expecting

Coping with child loss never ends. It never recedes, or goes away, it transforms as you continue through the grieving process. I have made my peace with the fact that I will forever have a whole in my heart and I will never fully heal from losing Millie. Have I made peace with losing her? No, and I don’t think I ever will. It will always haunt me until I have the chance to hold her again in my arms, until then, I will forever be grieving my daughter. While I continue to move forward without my little girl by my side, there are constant reminders and setbacks. One that I am dealing with often is being surrounded by blessed families who are expecting or having beautiful healthy babies. As I reach the conclusion that I will always have expectant mothers in my life, I’ve found some helpful ways I personally have used to cope:

1. Share your frame of mind if someone close to you is expecting.

If it’s your friend or someone close to you, let them know right away your state of mind. My best friend was pregnant shortly after Millie was born still. She was worried to tell me because I was in such despair. As tears fell down my face and I tried desperately to hold them in, I told her I loved her and am so happy for her, but it may not seem that way because my heart is broken. She didn’t understand my pain, but she understood why I may not be physically jumping up and down for her happiness.

2. Let them know you care in a way that’s comfortable for you.

I avoided my friend at all costs because thinking of her killed me. Thinking of what she's going to have that was so blatantly taken from me hurts tremendously. And as I’m very happy for her, my jealousy was still there. I didn’t understand why others were blessed and we just have tragedy. I hated myself for having these thoughts and avoiding her during this incredible time in her life. I knew I needed to do something that would let her know I was thinking of her, but seeing her would’ve only been a stab to the chest as her belly continues to grow. I shopped online and purchased her an adorable newborn knotted gown and cap with a note mentioning I loved her, am thinking of her, and that I was having a hard time reaching out because it was a constant reminder of what I lost. It was a simple way to let her know that she’s on my mind but I’m dealing with my own struggles.

3. Get off social or mass-unfollow.

Facebook was a nightmare, full of beautiful pregnancy photos, newborns from people who were due around the same time as me, parents complaining about how they want to get away from their children, and gender reveals, it was constant heartbreak. Simply put, I ignored FB for a while until I was emotionally capable which helped the months following the loss of our daughter. Once ready, I signed on, shared our story, and took the next step to joining social-society. It wasn't easy of course, so people that I knew were pregnant, close to giving birth, or had young babies were all snoozed on my social media. If you can't ignore social media all-together, snooze their feeds until you’re ready, there is no shame in that. It’s difficult not to be jealous or angry of others happiness when it was ripped from you, so instead of having negative feelings towards them, try to keep them out of sight while you grieve.

4. Avoiding baby showers & kid’s birthdays.

I don’t know when I’ll be able to go to another baby shower. I personally don’t even want one for myself as we begin trying again. AND THAT’S OKAY. Instead of constantly thinking about it or dreading the conversation of why you won’t be able to make it (since I’m sure your friend will be wondering if you’ll come or not), I have found that dealing with it right away helps limit the anxiety. Sending a gift with a thoughtful note mentioning you won’t be able to make it will help put it out of your mind.


With Love Always,

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