Tuesday, November 29, 2011


I was having a tough start to my day this morning. I was fine at home, getting ready, but on the way I started thinking maybe I shouldn't be going in today. I couldn't put my finger on the reason, but something felt amiss. Perhaps it's that this morning I noticed that the main diamond in my engagement ring is the same size each of my babies' perfect little ears were. Or, perhaps it's my awareness that one week from yesterday will be our 4-month anniversary of losing Aliya and Bennett. Four months. That is so hard to fathom. Four months ago, I was four months pregnant. Fast forward, and now we're four months' grieving. The pain is getting easier to deal with but it's still very much there for both Paul and me, daily. I think Paul's starting to be more affected than he has, although I'm not sure what may have changed. He just requested last night that we not attend an event we were scheduled to attend on Monday. There will be children there, it's in celebration of Christmas, and, duh, it's the 4 month anniversary of our loss...going would be masochism. This particular anniversary will be especially poignant because it falls on Addison's first birthday, a day that should be a fun celebration but is laced through and through with sadness. Every month, the 5th day holds special pain for Paul and me and for Keleen and Brian, but this one, moreso.

All this aside, I was making it through mostly ok. I was working on a website project that I wanted to complete before lunch, consulting occasionally over the phone with a colleague in another division outside of our building. Our floor has been pretty quiet lately, but I'd heard lots of excited chatter and a voice I didn't recognize. I overheard that someone's mother had come to visit. Hmm. Cool. Anyway, working away...making awesome progress...my changes were almost ready to publish...

I somehow missed the see the e-mail , or I would have fled immediately.

Minutes later, I heard a several people scream, "It's a GIRL!!!" Twenty feet away from my desk, someone else had an impromptu (although obviously planned with her mother) gender reveal party, where the color of the icing inside the cake told the gender of the baby.

I finished my work as quickly as I could, packed up my stuff, and left (at the urging of my supervisor). I sobbed all the way home, trying to control the flow of tears so I wouldn't wreck on the 35-minute drive. The heaviness of my crushing grief was nearly too much to handle.

I understand that life continues on even after babies die. All of us in the "babyloss" community have been confronted with this fact one way or another - or sometimes repeatedly, cruelly.

Perhaps I'm just more considerate than the average person, but if the tables had been turned, I would never, ever do something so inconsiderate in the presence of a woman who has lost her babies (recently or not!), without personally giving the grieving mother a head's up so she could vacate the premises.

Others in my life, when I've been faced with the thoughtless comments/actions of others recently, have noted that pregnancy makes women self-centered and they forget the feelings of others because they are so caught up in themselves.

I do not believe this generalization holds true for any pregnant woman who also carries the burden of having lost a baby/ies in the second or third trimester. I would be willing to bet that none of the babyloss mamas in my circle who are currently pregnant again would ever dream of celebrating her pregnancy milestones or whining about her pregnancy symptoms in the presence of another babyloss mama unless there was a tacit agreement that it was ok.

And I know, I know, no one meant any harm to me. They (almost) never do. (Actually, I don't think there has been anyone who has tried to hurt me with words or actions since my loss. I consider myself lucky, because there are many grieving mothers - and dads - who have a very different experience.) Still, that really doesn't make it any easier.

I guess what I would say, to those of you who read who yourselves have not experienced the loss of a baby, is please, please keep those grieving mommies and daddies in the front of your mind always.  Our grief will diminish over time, but it will never, ever disappear. There won't come a day when we're suddenly "over it." Be mindful when talking about or celebrating a pregnancy near you that the news will sting grieving parents for years...even if they've gone on to have other children. Please, just be considerate. And if you want to do more, to brighten the day of a grieving mom or dad, then ask about their baby, use the baby's name in conversation, remember the important dates, do something in honor of that child. Or just pass the message to be considerate to others you know.


  1. Dear Amy,

    My heart goes out to you and Paul! I am so sorry to hear about lossing your twin angels!
    I son was born sleeping at 32 wks, I don't know what I would do if I losed two.
    It has been 6.5 yrs since he has been gone and with more life trials I am now TTC. I just turned 35 and not getting younger with PCOS.
    Life is very challeging, huh!

  2. First, thank you so much for including Addison and her birthday in your post. It made my heart skip a beat (the good kind) to read her name on your page...something about other people talking about her just soothes my soul. <3

    Second, I am SO sorry you had to deal with the gender announcement crap today! Seriously, where was your email or SOMETHING. Gosh people are stupid. I'm glad you were able to go home, but dang that you had to!

    Here comes the 5th again...it's such a different feeling each month, but I am especially worried about this one. Thanks for thinking of us, we will be thinking of you guys as well!

  3. That would have me running for the hills in tears too. I am sorry you were confronted with that.

    It will be 7 weeks tomorrow since we lost our twins and it is getting a bit easier, but seeing preggo women...not so much yet.

    I agree that our losses need to be acknowledged and our babies need attention too. I just posted an article about that on Facebook. "How to support someone who has just lost a baby" by Faces of Loss, Faces of Hope.


  4. It's so true that people who have never lost a baby just don't think about things like this. They just don't understand. It's going on 4 years since we lost our twins, and now and then people have started to talk with me about it. People truly don't realize that things like that will bother us. We always would, having gone through this ourselves, but others just can't know what it feels like to witness something like that and the deep-cutting feelings of fresh loss it creates.

    I'm sorry it happened to you and I hope the coming days are gentler. Holidays are especially hard. As people will tell you, it does get easier with time. The pain will never go away, but it will not always be so close to the surface.

  5. Most ppl who never lost a baby are so clueless. I had some sad experiences with such ppl who are actually my family, soon after my baby died. My grief then was so overwhelming, but some didn't have the slightest idea and would do things to satisfy their goals, which would hurt me. Like a cousin who forced me to see her baby's pic on Facebook by shoving the computer on my face when it had been just few weeks since my baby died.

    Even at that time, like you said, I thought to myself that I wouldn't do that if our places were swapped. I wouldn't do such a thing to my enemy let alone a cousin

  6. Hi,

    Your comment on my blog really struck me. Last week my friends birthed their twin boys and one passed away when he was five days old. We have been grieving so much with them....when I saw your comment my eyes welled right up. What a painful loss. I commend your strength and openness with your process. I imagine it is important to you and also gives others support and inspiration as well.

    Wishing you peace and love this holiday season and always.


  7. Oh that would have been so hard. I must be hard enough working with that pregnant woman, but then to have that reveal party on top of it all. Almost 4 months after Jacob was born, someone brought her baby in. People were standing close to my desk, all gushing over the baby boy. I had to leave for an event shortly and had to print a few things first, so I couldn't leave my desk. I sat there crying and looking at his picture.

    I think that even if I have never lost a baby, I would be so much more sensitive about being pregnant, doing a big gender reveal, etc, around someone who has had a recent loss. It's frustrating that people just think you should be fine with things when there is no way that you should.

    My husband felt bad after Jacob died, of course, but it was almost a year later that the grief really hit him hard. It has been 18 months now since Jacob died and it's still hitting him hard. I'm the strong one now. At some point, you just switch places without realizing it.


What are your thoughts?