So God Made a Mother Collection ➔

To the mother who can kiss all of her children goodnight. 

To the one who will get to watch her baby grow. 

To the mama who hasn’t had to say goodbye too soon after saying hello.

Please, I need you to listen. I need you to pretend we are face to face—look me in the eyes. 

I’m going to tell you something that will make you uncomfortable. It is one of those societal truths that we pretend doesn’t exist. It’s not a happy ending so we tuck it away allowing it to become nothing but a whisper in the shadows of playground playdates. One of those moments that creates shocked gasps, over the shoulder glances, and muffled murmurs of, “It won’t happen to me.”

Are you ready? 

My baby died.

My daughter, my firstborn, died. 

I am the face of pregnancy loss. 

RELATED: You Were Here, My Angel

No. Don’t look away. Don’t look down. Don’t fidget with your hands or pretend you’re late for a meeting. Just stay right there. 

It has taken me years to be able to say those words. I feel them vibrate around us and suck the air from the room. 

I see the pity forming in your eyes while discomfort and panic flash across your face. You can’t control your reaction, only your attempts to hide it. 

Yes. Babies die.

Do you see these stretch marks, the faint ones, right here around my belly button? Those are her stretch marks. They are softer than they once were; like my memories, they have faded with time, but they are one of the very few physical reminders I have left. They are proof that she existed. 

I can hear your mind swirling and scrambling to process my words as you search for a response.

No, no. Please, don’t sprinkle out platitudes.

It is what it is. 

Everything happens for a reason. 

Heaven needed another angel.

At least she’s safe now. 

These words strike a bitter note and fuel an anger that is already difficult to tame. 

RELATED: 25 Things NOT To Say To a Mother Who Had a Miscarriage

These words sugarcoat the anguish. They belittle my grief into submission and infer that I should remain silent in order for my loss to be more palatable to others. 

These words perpetuate the suffocating loneliness. They give power to the stigma that child loss is unmentionable and it is wrong to live my grief out loud . . . 

Because dead babies are too sad to talk about. 

Because she never took a breath in my arms or felt sunshine on her skin, so she must not be real. She doesn’t count. 

Because her life was short, her story should be shuttered away like some ugly secret. 

I never asked to give birth to death—this is a future I never asked for. I wanted a child not a lifetime of endless wishes. Yet with her death, I was given the beautiful, albeit heavy, responsibility of carrying her memory. Sharing her story. Creating her legacy.  

Now, look at your child. Wouldn’t you want to speak about your child if they died? Wouldn’t you want their memory to live on? 

That thought makes you squirm. You don’t want to think about it.

Me neither. 

RELATED: Grief is Like Crocs

Yet, I have no choice but to think about it. About the little girl, I can’t see. About the daughter, I carried but cannot hold. About the gnawing guilt of my body failing her.

This is the reality of love and loss.  

Oh, innocent mama, I see your eyes searching mine. Inevitably you utter how you “can’t imagine how hard it must be to lose a child.”

For a while, I assumed you said this because you didn’t want to imagine it. Or perhaps, you were covering up selfishness and wouldn’t try to imagine.

But you’re right. 

You can’t imagine the crushing silence of your child’s absent heartbeat or your primal scream as it echos down hospital corridors and haunts the recesses of your memories. 

You can’t imagine holding your dead baby—feeling their limp weight, seeing their darkened lips, and frozen face. How you beg and plead for them to take a breath, wishing it was your heart that stopped. You want to tear at your flesh and pull out your hair to try and escape the hollow aching of your womb and arms.

You can’t fathom having to decide whether to burn your baby to ash or bury them beneath cold, hard earth. Either way, you cannot hold them again.  

RELATED: There Are No Shortcuts Through Navigating the Grief of Miscarriage

And you can’t imagine walking out of the hospital, eyes to the ground and holding back tears,  clutching only a packet of papers. Your consolation prizea packet of papers. 

Everything that was once familiar has become unrecognizable. 

I feel my words fall flat as I try in vain to describe something that is indescribable. I feel as if I’m talking in circles to an empty room.

No, unless you have lived through it, this is a loss that is truly unimaginable.

But dearest mama, I beg you to look past the heartbreak and stigma; quell the urge to stifle my grief. I wish for you to simply see me and understand that, even though my child is invisible, I am still a mother. Still her mother. 

I want you to see the sparkle in my eyes, the glimmers of pride and joy when I say her name. I hope you can understand that I speak of her not from a place of sadness but out of love. My love for her did not die when she died. Her death is not the end of her story. 

Know that when I tell you about my dead baby, it is a sacred privilege. I don’t take sharing lightly. 

RELATED: Thank You For Not Forgetting My Child Who Died

Open your heart and keep us safe in that space. Let me embrace all of the pieces of my motherhood. 

Please, don’t fidget, don’t look away—just let me share. 

And, if only for a moment, remember her with me.

Amy Cirksena

Mother and freelancer living in Maryland. Lover of little details and all things pretty. A firm believer that coffee is its own food group. Writes about love and loss to honor the memory of her daughter while exploring a journey of renewed hope with her two bubbly little boys.

How Grateful I Am for a Mother Who Believed in Me

In: Cancer, Grief
Mother and grown daughter, color photo

It was a hot summer day sometime in the middle of high school. I was young and naive, but the ugly six-letter word was looming over our family: cancer. Although I didn’t know it then, this would be our last normal summer before my mother’s health would worsen. Cancer would give way to terminal cancer. It’s funny how something so big can seem so small in those moments. My mom and I were sitting on our back porch, encased in a narrow hedge of yew bushes. It was a yellow, lazy Saturday, and my brothers and father were at Cub...

Keep Reading

A Medical Diagnosis Challenges a Marriage

In: Cancer, Living, Marriage
Bald woman holding clippers over husband's head, color photo

It is no secret now that Albert Pujols and his wife have announced their divorce shortly after she had surgery to remove a brain tumor. As a breast cancer survivor, this news hit me in a special way. As I was reading through an article from Today, there was a quote that hit me hard, “But a marriage falling apart is far more common when the wife is the patient, researchers have found. A woman is six times more likely to be separated or divorced soon after a diagnosis of cancer or multiple sclerosis than if a man in the relationship is...

Keep Reading

Dear Grandmother, I’m Not Ready to Lose You

In: Grief
Elderly woman and granddaughter touch foreheads

I had a visit from my grandmother the other day. It wasn’t a regular sit on the porch with a cup of tea kind of visit. It was more of an “I have something I need to tell you” type of visit. She’s been unwell for some time, and I guess I had sort of hoped she would get better, and she would be back to herself soon enough. I noticed when she sat down and tears filled her eyes that it wasn’t going to be a normal conversation. Her eyes widened and she struggled to get her words out without...

Keep Reading

Love Carries On in the Ones We Raise

In: Grief, Motherhood
Mother and son hug

From a very young age, two of the most important men in my life were my grandpa and my brother. I never could have imagined that I’d lose them both within nine months, nor could I predict the profound effects the magnitude of those losses would have on my life. My grandpa was my father figure and shepherd. I have endless memories of him— from splashing in the ocean together to shopping each Easter season for my Easter dress. He was always there. Every choir concert, musical, or school ceremony, I could easily find his face in the crowd. I...

Keep Reading

Friends Can Be a Sanctuary

In: Friendship, Grief
Group of friends hugging

A sanctuary is defined as anywhere people go for peaceful tranquility or introspection. My friends became my sanctuary when my husband, Frank, died. They became my refuge and my safe place. Friendship is one of the most wonderful gifts in this world. It is beautiful, comforting, ever-changing, and, for me, a fixed point.  My friends seemed to know exactly what I needed and when I needed it. Their love and constant support got me through the worst of times and gave me the courage and confidence I needed to move forward.  I could never give an adequate thank you to...

Keep Reading

All I Wanted Was For My Baby To Stay Alive

In: Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Sad woman with head in hands

Today is the day I’ve dreaded and resisted for almost a year: the day I face going through the white plastic bag the hospital sent home with me after my D&C, 10 months ago. This bag held my clothes, shoes, and wedding ring for the short time I was in surgery, but I rescued all of those precious items soon after waking. The items that remain show the paper trail of that difficult day—receipts from my hospital admittance and anesthesia, general post-operative care instructions, and a consent form for “treatment of incomplete abortion.” That last part brings tears to my...

Keep Reading

My Husband Makes Me a Stronger Woman

In: Grief, Loss, Marriage
Daddy standing over hospital crib with infant, black-and-white photo

A little over a year ago, my husband and I went through the unimaginable. We lost our child, Lillian, to a congenital heart defect. The days following that, and even to this day, people will comment on how strong I am. How well I’ve dealt with this darkness. How they can’t imagine what I am going through. The truth is I was never alone. From the day we found out I would give birth to a child who had complex heart defects, my husband has been there. Always in the background of what others saw but ever so present in...

Keep Reading

Mothers Don’t Teach Us How To Live Life Without Them

In: Grief, Grown Children, Loss, Motherhood
Woman in dress with corsage, smiling color photo

When you’re a little girl, you dream of marriage, children, a career, and memories that you will cherish forever—and you want your mother by your side at all times. Our mothers teach us how to live a life we will enjoy, but they never teach us how to live a life without them in it. Our mothers don’t tell us that one day they will not be here to answer the phone when we call or go on spontaneous dinner dates. My mother never told me there will come a day when she will be gone and how bad it...

Keep Reading

When Mother’s Day Feels Awkward, Find Comfort in Community

In: Grief, Living, Loss, Motherhood

Mother’s Day can be beautiful for some women. It can be hurt filled for others. Or in my case, it can just feel plain old awkward. I felt eight years of awkward Mother’s Days. In my late 20s to mid-30s, I felt like the woman no one knew what to say to or what to do with. I felt a double whammy on Mother’s Day. My mother was home in Heaven. My womb was empty and always would be. My desire to have a child was filled with an intentional choice to go a non-traditional route to motherhood and was...

Keep Reading

Sometimes Mother’s Day Hurts

In: Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Mother holding baby near grave, black-and-white photo

I see you moms. I see the moms who will never see all of their children together on this earth at the same time. The moms who dread the question, “When are you having children?” or “Will you have any more?” The moms who pray for that second line, month after month. The moms who are seeing that positive test and don’t know how they are going to make this work. The moms who can’t shake the blues or depression, who feel guilty for not feeling happier about their baby. The moms who feel as though they are doing it...

Keep Reading

 5 Secrets to Connect with Your Kids


Proven techniques to build REAL connections