I read an article recently of a mother who went through one of the worst horrors you can imagine. She conceived a child only to have him stillborn many months later. In her post, she offered a suggestion to other new moms she knew stating that they should remember her when their baby is up at 3am crying for hours. She implored that they shouldn’t complain, but instead should be grateful for the newborn cries that she would give anything for. She asked that they not describe the struggles of breastfeeding because she would be left with milk in her breasts and no baby to feed. She went on to say how they should be grateful for all of the ups and downs that came with having a baby because hers had unfortunately died.
Years ago, I would have agreed with her.
I remember the days after my miscarriage and literally wanting to die.
It wasn’t easy to see another woman announce her pregnancy, baby shower photos, or how she had the most amazing natural birth. I didn’t want to hear about growing families, and I could hardly look at a diaper box or baby commercial without crying. I was still in a What to Expect When You’re Expecting group online, and I remember someone posting a comment after they also had a miscarriage. They basically asked for other women to stop complaining about the side effects of pregnancy and how awful their morning sickness was because she would kill to be pregnant again.
I couldn’t have agreed more…until seven months after I lost my first child. I was vomiting everything I ate because I conceived for the second time and had terrible “all day” sickness for the first six months. You couldn’t tell me to be grateful for the taste of stomach acid or having to lay down for most of the day because I was constantly woozy. You couldn’t tell me not to complain about the noticeable limp I gained when my back was in excruciating pain from being shifted out of alignment. I was so excited about having a child, believe me. I loved my growing bump, my thick hair, and getting special treatment when I went out in public. I loved the fact that my husband could hear my daughter’s heartbeat in the womb when I was into my third trimester. Being a mother was something I wanted for so long and I couldn’t have been more grateful.
My point is, you can be grateful in everything, but you don’t have to be grateful for everything. It’s okay to be overwhelmed for a moment. Parenting is a huge blessing, but it’s filled with trying moments and some stressful valleys. The newborn stage is extraordinary, but there were moments that I literally wanted to run away from my family during nights when my daughter would cry for HOURS and no amount of rocking, feeding, or shhhhhhhushing would make her stop.
I don’t think you should say every negative thing that pops into your head. However, don’t feel you have to be chastised or chastise someone else because they’re not being positive enough. Yes, I do agree not to vent to someone about the trials of parenthood if they’ve had troubles conceiving or experienced a loss. We have to be mindful of those things.
I remember soon after miscarrying and reading another article written by a mom who was struggling with infertility and miscarriages and she wrote “Please tell me about your morning sickness, or your weird cravings or things that are going on in your pregnancy. I’m happy for you, and this is your beautiful pregnancy. React however you want to.” I really didn’t understand at the time how that could be possible. Could you really be happy for someone who has what you are so desperately trying to gain? That can’t be real.
Then I saw a walking testimony of this in my friend. Me and a group of ladies all got pregnant around the same time, and one of them lost her baby at six months gestation. Even though she went through that dark valley, she still attended our baby showers, came to play dates, and bought gifts for our children. If I were in her position, I’m sure I would have curled up into a ball and died. I’m sure I would not be coming to baby showers and playdates. Everyone has their own level of faith and way of walking through tragedies and victories.
Let’s all be there for another in the best way we can, and allow others to adjust to parenting in the best way they can.
God is faithful, my dear friend now has a beautiful 9 week old baby girl to love and hold in her arms. And He was faithful to me, my daughter is now almost 18 months and just as healthy and happy as can be.
So, that’s that for now. Be blessed and take time to make your dreams into your reality.
If you are dealing with a loss of a child or know someone who is, this is a community that really helped me.
If you’re not sure how to help someone cope, this is full of great information.
[This post is dedicated to Promise Conner, Beni Monet Parker, and all other angel babies who left the Earth far too soon.]