Note: This is my experience, my feelings. If you feel differently, that’s okay. I’m not here to discount anyone’s pain. My goal here is share my experience so that others who feel the way I do know that they’re not alone, and to educate those who are trying to support their friends and family members who are journeying through pregnancy loss about what they may be feeling.
There’s an extra hurt when you experience pregnancy loss and don’t already have other living children.
Loss of a pregnancy through the horrid experiences of miscarriage and stillbirth is loss of a child. It is the loss of the hopes and dreams for who that child will be, what they will look like, what they will be passionate about and talented at. This is a hurt that all pregnancy loss parents experience.
But when you don’t have any other living children, you also feel the pain and fear of “Will I ever get to be a mother?” This pregnancy loss isn’t just the loss of one child. It is the loss of the dream of being a parent, of having a child of your own. You don’t know if you’ll get pregnant again. And when you do get pregnant and then lose that pregnancy too, you lose the dream of being a parent all over again. And for some of us, that seems to keep happening over and over again.
In my heart, I’m a mother. I have three angel babies in heaven. And many of my friends and family members recognize that. But most of the world doesn’t. Because I’ve never brought a baby home. Because that’s kind of a depressing way to answer the question of “do you have any kids?”
Related Post: “Do You Have Kids” How to Answer After Pregnancy Loss
Every time a mother loses a pregnancy, she loses that child. And when she doesn’t have any living children, she also loses the dream of being a mother.
So while we experience much of the same pain as other pregnancy loss parents – the loss of a child – we mothers of only angel babies also experience that extra hurt. We don’t have babies to go home to, to hug and hold, to laugh at as they do silly kid things and remind us of the joy of their existence. There’s no one at home to call us mom.
So for you mamas in the same boat as me, mothers of only angel babies so far, my message to you is
- You are not alone.
- You ARE a mother.
- Your pain is valid.
- Your sorrow is valid.
- Your dream may still come true, my hope is with you and for you.
How do you support a friend experiencing pregnancy loss without any living children?
If there’s someone in your life who has lost a pregnancy, or two or three, and has never had the opportunity to bring their baby home to grow, please take a moment to recognize the pain they may be feeling and the fear they are fighting. It can be overwhelming at times. Give them space if they need it, check in with them if they want you to, and, please, allow them to grieve in their own way and time and give them grace when they need to tap out of social things like kids’ birthday parties or baby showers.
I’m aware there are other avenues than pregnancy to becoming a parent – adoption and surrogacy among them. This post is about the desire to become a mother by getting pregnant, staying pregnant and giving birth to your own child.
Photo by Marina Shatskih on Unsplash