I came across a blogger called Dear Orla on Facebook and the sad story of a stillborn baby girl, I don’t know why I read these stories because they are just so sad but I think it is because I can connect to them and it’s kind of comforting to read another mother’s feelings and be able to completely relate to what they are saying. One thing that stood out for me in her story was how quickly she left the hospital, avoiding eye contact with anyone. It’s these little things that you think nobody will get but reading it from someone else is a weird comfort, like, that was me too!
I was drawn to this blog initially because of this wonderful and simple idea to have a sticker on your child’s red book that indicates that you’re parenting after a loss.
It is such a perfect design too, it just sums it up. Being able to hold a baby in your arms doesn’t dismiss the baby in your heart.
The idea behind it is that it removes awkwardness when health professionals asks questions such as, “Is this your first?” “Do you want anymore?” etc.
It is something that I face quite a lot and I never know whether to make them feel awkward or to leave myself feeling awkward. The most common question I get is, “Oh I bet you want to try for a girl?” And I never know whether to say, “I already had a girl…” or just awkwardly smile and say, “Yes I’d love a girl.”
The reality of parenting after a loss…
The most annoying thing I find is people that assume you’re ok now. What the hell is that? It makes it sound like a cried because I dropped my ice cream, here you go bab I’ve got you a new one… are you ok now? Oh yes I’m absolutely fine now.
Ted is a wonderful perfect little baby and I would never change him for anything but when people think I’m ok about Stevie because of Ted… grow up! There will never come a day where I will decide it’s ok that a little baby girl died for no reason at 21 weeks and it will never be ok that I had to give birth to a dead baby who my mom held. It’s just so ridiculous to think that it becomes ok one day.
Rainbow babies are wonderful but they don’t make baby loss acceptable.
I don’t expect everybody to understand and I don’t want anybody to tip toe around me or try and be overly sensitive but I do expect people to not be ignorant fools and think about what they are saying.
Each misCOURAGE momma will have their own way of coping or remembering their little baby that didn’t make it. I have the memorial wall in Ted’s room and I do this thing every couple of weeks where I go to Mothercare or a baby clothes department and I pick out something that she would’ve wore for the size she’d be now. It’s usually something for a little ballerina or with bunnies on or a little red coat like mine. She’d be wearing 18-24 months now.
I don’t buy it or stand there crying, I just like to acknowledge that she would be this size now and imagine the type of little girl she would’ve been (definitely a ballerina!)
I don’t know why I’m writing this really, maybe Dear Orla has encouraged me to speak up about parenting after loss and to acknowledge that it is a common thing. The sticker idea is really helpful and I hope it becomes a common and recognised icon for health professionals.