Even though it has been a few years, I still miss you like it's day one...The first day we had to say GoodBye
“Some see strength and bravery, but I see the mother laid curled in bed crying, soaking the sheets with too many tears to count. Her breathing is unsteady. Hands clenched and jaw clenched tighter. You see the pieces that have been put back together and shaped into that strength you see before you. It isn’t a mask, but a grief cloak. It is on me like armour.” ~Ja’Nai Wilkes, HG Survivor and Peer Support
I’ve heard many times “I can’t imagine…” But what if you did try to imagine the immense grief of a miscarriage parents goes through. What their family goes through. I’ve been trying to wrap my mind around the great sudden loss of your baby. After going through a journey of love and hope and then to have this hope slip away.
It is a loss I may never understand, but my love for you still burns bright and my heart is open to your grief.
Sending my love to all the parents that have faced this immense loss.
Having Hyperemesis Gravidarum can lead to you believing that you are a "bad" parent. Well, you're not.
And losing your child can have you feeling such a similar way, but did you know....
You did not fail. Not. One. Bit.
You are an amazing parent.
There is a unique grief that comes with terminating a wanted pregnancy for medical reasons. The words of this world can not capture how I feel, but I will try my best to use the words I have. Devastation, void, shattered, broken, inconsolable, torment.. These are the synonyms to baby loss, pregnancy loss...whatever you want to call it
Because of declining maternal health because of HG, or any other illness, you are faced with a shit situation vs a shit situation. It is the paradox that you are about to enter and it is a mind f*ck! Yes, I’ve been told many times that my life matters, and these words of love and kindness just hurt so much, even though they were said out of compassion and kindness… because my baby’s life matters too. But I’m assuming that part of the sentence is very hard to say.
The unique grief of terminating a healthy baby… it has to be one of the cruelest jokes of reality. Did I fail as a mother… as the child bearer? Why did my body fail me? My body failed us! My body failed my baby! Why me? Why us? If only I wasn’t well enough or going to be well enough. My baby was healthy, ripping through your mind. And the guilt is so heavy. The guilt and confusing feelings that tell you that you were not enough. My baby was created to die so so young. My baby wasn’t going to live either way.
The unique grief of your loss being stigmatized, it’s strange that people say they are there for you, but once you do something that has been drenched in religious rhetoric or politicized, the support seems to disappear and what appears is hate. Non Compassion. Disgusting forced birthers. Anti-choices. We are called murders. Irresponsible. And we are shamed.
But to me, we are PARENTS who have made one of life’s most difficult decisions in an impossible situation. We deserve compassion too, because this was a loss and we are people and our babies are people too.
Jealousy after loss. I don't mean to be jealous. I don't want to be jealous. But jealousy sits there anyway, always whispering in my mind, telling me, reminding me of what will never be ours… it’s just never going to happen. And I see others living my alternate life, my should have been if it could have been my life. This hurts! It hurts So. Damn. Much!!!
How do you deal with jealousy after loss, or is it something you do not face? If you could give support and love to someone going through these immense feelings, what would it be?
How about you? Did you have plans for your family, but it did quite work out the way you thought?
We understand there are plans that do not come true of growing our beloved families.
Join us in our compassionate space who understands and acknowledges the journey that comes with this time.
A Different Path No Longer Growing Our Family support group, ONLY on FaceBook.
Not bringing our baby home beyond my womb wasn’t what we wanted to be a part of our story...but you are still a part of our story.
You are a good parent. Period.
Growing emotions through a grief journey is like making a compromise to settle a dispute with “lighter” feelings. You will continue to carry the heaviness, but you will try out these lighter feelings for a moment. Just a moment.
You’ll ask your heaviness to allow a bit of light in by lifting just the right corner of your mouth.
After some time of this, you will make another compromise. You will continue to carry the heaviness, continue lifting the right corner of your mouth, but now you will add lifting the left corner of your mouth. You will lift the right and the left corners of your mouth.
Is that a smile?
It took me years to smile. And I don’t mean my, “Hi, How are you?” customer service smile. I would not compromise with lighter feelings. They just didn’t make sense anymore. The old definitions of these feelings had been shattered with the deaths of my babies. So, I had to figure out how to grow emotions again. I had to re-define them, but first I had to settle that dispute with the heaviness.
Then, one day when my feelings naturally fluctuated to a lighter feeling for a little bit, it was like a muscle and/or mental memory type reaction. I lifted the right and left corners of my mouth and I smiled. Genuinely smiled.
Of course, sadness followed at some point and so did other grief feelings. But… One day, the wind in my hair felt like little butterfly kisses and I smiled all on my own! I could feel the moment and I enjoyed the lighter side of grieving.
It isn’t easy. It isn’t simple. But with practice and patience and a little bit of stubbornness not to give up, you can re-grow and re-define what lighter grieving emotions mean to you.
How about you; are you re-growing “lighter” emotions as you grieve?
And when do you take a breath after your baby dies.
We see your love and devastation, even though we may not be able to soothe all the heartache away.
I hope you know that you are not weak for feeling all your feels.
To survive the loss that you have suffered is undeniable.
It is earth shattering.
And I see your heartache.
I see your love.
And you are so strong.
You are brave and so strong. You are a soldier in the face of immense loss.
You are not alone!
You are a soldier. Whether or not anyone recognizes it but you, but are not weak!
You are brave!
You are loving!
You are not alone!
Regardless of how someone else’s pregnancy turned out...
I see your worth.
In the earlier days of my grief, every time someone mentioned the words “hope” or “joy”, I basically thought they were unknowing idiots that didn’t suffer immense loss… Now after four years of grieving, well, I can see what they were talking about.
The storm is still there, but you are in the eye of it, where it seems to open and a bit of light comes in. You can breathe for a moment and soak up that light and feel...feel something that you thought was lost forever…
Now, joy may feel so different as it did before your loss. It may come in different ways and findings. But please, even if you don’t feel it right now, hold onto the idea of hope that there will be joy again. And this joy may walk alongside your sadness...but it is still joy.
Ja’Nai Wilkes, HG Grief Peer Support
I wanted to make the suffering end, so we both could come home safely. They are my babies and I wanted to protect them as long as I could. But my “could” wasn’t as long as I thought.
Placed above the buried names are Gomphrena meaning "Endless Love" and Forget-Me-Not representing "Remembrance".....Today's Rest and Remembrance has really held my heart as I read, "Wherever You Are my love will find you" by Nancy Tillman, after burying the note of the names of our loved ones in my memorial garden.
The line that sings the brightest for me..."That's me, my sweet baby, my love is right there." This line sends me soaring into my babies' memory.
This line helps me remember that even on their last days alive, my love was right there and it will always remain no matter where they are and no matter where I am.
Rest and Remembrance is a time to honor and acknowledge our loved ones as we sit side by side with our grief and remember them.
Sometimes thinking about asking for help can be intimidating. Maybe feeling like a failure. You may feel like a burden on your loved ones, or whoever you need assistance from.
I think a friend of mine said it perfectly, "Asking for help, It's not a failure, It's an assist.
I’m sure there were things that you didn’t like watching before your losses, and I’m sure there were plenty that you enjoyed. Well, did that change after your loved one died?
It did for me. Now I am left getting invested 25minutes into movies only to find out the main character is now choosing to get pregnant, or the monster hiding under the house used to have a baby...and so on and on.
What movies or TV shows are left that are safe to watch? Well, I wish I could answer that for you. I wish there was a list for each of our specific grief struggles that kept our tv movie watching trigger free…
But one thing I know for sure is to allow yourself some grace after the pangs of heartache hit you after seeing what you wish you didn’t.
Give yourself room to cry and scream into the pillow. Turn the channel. Turn off the TV, but most importantly please do not judge yourself for your reactions. You are not broken. You are grieving.
Remember the childhood game, duck-duck-duck- GOOSE!?
You’re it now. You are 1-in-3 that has experienced HG baby loss.
There are moments that change your world forever.
If you would like support through Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) loss, please reach out.
Send a direct message or email, email@example.com.
Some call it a superpower while others call it nutrition. Your body creates it to nourish your sweet baby. I call it emptiness with the fullness of your breasts.
Mine were tender and aching. It seemed time to feed the baby it was meant for. My milk came in but my baby was not there to feed. So I call it sadness.
I left this soreness to its own. I did not try anything to alleviate the pain. I was grasping at the proof my baby DID exist, that they were just here and my body needed them to be here.
This was one of my baby’s final goodbyes.
Did your milk come in after your loss? How was this experience for you?
He told me he killed a bunny. And I thought of sweet George in “Of Mice and Men”. I’m not quite sure why he took its life but I watched the pain in his eyes. I felt I could relate to the responsibility of holding life in your hands… So I shared the story of my babies and how I terminated to save my life due to a rare pregnancy illness called Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG), which meant saying GoodBye to my dearly loved and desperately wanted babies.
He immediately grabbed his chest and choked out, “How do you cope?”
I stumbled through the answer, trying to grab the bits of wisdom grief has taught me.
He asked me so bluntly to stop talking. He had broken down in tears in immense pain, still tightly holding his chest almost like someone had knocked the air out of him, hardly being able to catch his breath.
And I could see just how powerful a story can be. Powerful enough to make someone stop in their tracks and lose their sense of balance. To have their spirit scream through their skin with just a drop of a parent's grief.
I wondered how would he survive in my shoes?
What about you, how do you think others would survive in your shoes?
Is there any advice you would give them on how to cope?
I believe it is not because of “hormones” that you grieve the death of your baby...While hormonal changes happen after a pregnancy ends, please know that there is grief because there is love. It’s not easy and your feelings, all of them, are so very valid.
An ex friend wanted to help me re-frame my thinking by frequently suggesting to pull my thoughts away from my babies that died, towards my children that are still living. And I refuse to do that. They are ALL my children, and I don’t play favorites.