This last week, I lost my daughter. She was due March 23rd, 2016 and her name was Mia. Her positive pregnancy test came into the lives of my husband and I six months after the stillbirth of our son, Nathaniel. I was blessed to have carried her these four months.
In her death, there is blood to be taken and tests to be done to find out why. The tears I’ve shed now will be followed by more and, sometime down the road, I know our lives will go on.
I’m aware of all of this in the most practical manner, but let’s be real: a mother’s emotions aren’t based on what is practical. My love and hurt for these babies who left so soon isn’t neatly tucked away. I feel the most primal of pains in saying goodbye. My heart still beats for them and I can’t fathom “soldiering on” at this exact moment.
I have four living children that need me and, for them, I am trying to pull myself through. When they reach for me, “soldiering on” isn’t what happens. I am again in my most basic form: nurturing my babies as I am led to do.
As mothers, we instinctively know what to do for our children. We live, love, and cry for them at our basic level because they are “flesh of our flesh; bone of our bone.” Everything we do for them is borne out of innate understanding of what it means to care for a child.
But, in child loss, there is one ugly truth: You will doubt. You will doubt your ability as a mother. You may even doubt your worth as a woman. You will doubt so many, many things, particularly your instincts, because those instincts didn’t stop the unthinkable from happening. If you had truly had instincts, how could this have happened once, let alone again?
I have felt all of this over the months of Nathaniel’s death and again this week. I have sat at the very edge of my breaking point screaming, “Why?” And, in these moments, I have been blessed with the soft, still voices of friends, family, and other loss mamas (who are truly their very own, invaluable group) who have stressed truths to me where I could see none. What they have told me, I wish to pass on to you.
May you always know that you were enough. You would have done everything, including the impossible, to keep them here. You did not fail; you are not ” less than” because of the loss of your child. Your truest instincts show in the tears you shed for the child you could not birth or take home. At your core, you lived for and died with them and that truth is what shows your heart as a mother. You are still their Mama and a beautiful one at that.
I’m learning to accept these truths again. They are helping me find my way back and I hope, for every other loss mama out there, they will do the same.
If I can trust that I have any instincts right now, I do believe I hold one. It is my instinct to love each and every one of my children and I will live this life and beyond doing that.
In honor of all of my angel babies.