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Parents of lost babies and potential of all kinds: come here to share the technicolour, the vividness, the despair, the heart-broken-open, the compassion we learn for others, having been through this mess — and see it reflected back at you, acknowledged and understood.

Thanks to photographer Xin Li and to artist Stephanie Sicore for their respective illustrations and photos.

for one and all > Can't get out of bed this morning

Missing my little boy Brandon more than I can say. He was 5 1/2 weeks old and was taken from us last December. Life hurts so much, I would rather be here and look at his pictures and sleep with a onesie or a blanket of his. My heart and soul are broken beyond repair. I don't see how I could recover from this.
February 2, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterCristiane
Christiane,
I feel your pain thru your words! its so important to reach out and express it.

don't worry about recovery right now- its not something that you need to spend your time on.
and try not to worry about being broken... of course you are. how could you not be?
we have an innate pressure to run from these uglier feelings- like being broken, or staying in bed, or crying all day,
or feeling shattered. wallowing.
I don't think it serves any purpose running from them. they need to happen! of course you feel incapable of getting out of bed.
your baby died, your son died. how could you feel much different?
I assure you, what you are feeling is expected. I stayed in bed ALOT, and I slept with my daughter's blanket for years.
I still sleep with my son's teddy bear 8 years later.

now is the time to stay and bed with his blanket... you know the difference between being dangerously depressed and "normal" grieving.
as long as you allow these feelings to come out, and to know when to ask for help or someone to talk to or write to-
you give yourself the time and permission to feel the depth of your grief, and it will not always be this way.

"recovery" is such a dismissive and inadequate term for what actually happens... it makes it sound like the death of your child will not matter at all- that you will be back to your old self after some poof! magic recovery. I wish I could make a promise that you will recover. i think i can safely say that most parents do get thru the trauma of losing a child- but i don't know if i would really call it a recovery- you change, and you live a different version of your life, and you never forget you child, you discover new ways to relate to the experience of being their mom, and somehow the love that you have for them covers over so much of the pain of losing them... it takes time, and mere weeks after losing your precious weeks-old son, this is not the time to consider what your a life will look and feel like...

I am so sorry that your son Brandon is not here with you. I am so glad that you posted how you feel. i'm sorry if any of what i wrote were things you already know... i connected to your pain and wanted to share my thoughts with you.
February 2, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterss
Cristiane,

It's not fair and it's not right that Brandon was taken from you. I know that feeling... It's so conflicting staying in bed for me because I stayed in bed for ages with morning sickness with my baby, and it was this time last year, it's all so cruel like some sick de Ja vu mind f*ck.

I'm struggling with having to go back to my old life too.. My maternity leave is nearly over and I have to go back.. I don't know how I'm going to face society. It's horrible. Your not alone.

What was Brandon like?
February 3, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterTilly's mum
Hi Cristiane,

I am so so sorry for the loss of beautiful Brandon. My son died in November, but my story was a bit different than yours. Riyad was stillborn at 38 weeks. I feel such intense pain because of his death, but I think that if I knew him as an infant, having him pass away weeks later would be additional suffering to the pain I am feeling now.

What I can tell you is that you shouldn't feel pressure to recover from this immediately. You should try to take it easy on yourself, as easy as possible. It's hard to get on with normal life. Everyone will expect you to get up and out of bed and go to work, or see friends and family, etc. They will expect you to be "getting past it" even though this is such a tragic, awful loss, and it is so unfair. I am so sorry you lost your beautiful baby boy. I am sure he was a delight and had a loving soul, because of how loving his mother clearly is. As ss said above, please let yourself grieve. If you feel like staying in one day, do it. Lay down in bed and rest. Rest your mind. Sleep with your son's things if you need to. Do whatever feels right at that moment, because you may feel better afterwards. When my son died, a month later, I had the urge to go into the nursery and pull down all the stickers we stuck on the walls. We designed his room very carefully, my husband and I, and took great pride in it. It was sports themed and all of the stickers we chose ourselves--they were little monkeys and giraffes playing football. So I tore down every single one, because I felt like I needed to, and afterwards...I felt better.

Don't feel pressure from others to get "better" right away. Don't feel guilty if you want to sit and look at his picture and do nothing else. You need time to feel this pain. It needs time to sink in. I was in so much shock for the first month of my son's death that my grief finally showed through after that. My second month without him was raw and awful, but I needed to feel that pain. Because I am letting myself grieve, cry, hate my life, hate the fact that my son is gone and feel bitter and angry and whatever else I need to feel about his death--it is starting to feel a tiny, minuscule bit better. There's a little crack of light here or there, where I feel like I could laugh, or enjoy something I used to do before Riyad died, or genuinely smile at my husband or sister. In-between that, the grief is like an ocean, and the waves just take me unexpectedly. Just let it happen. Let yourself be sad for Brandon, and you may eventually feel some healing. But there's no timeline for it. I can't tell you you are going to start feeling a tiny bit better a month from now, or two months from now, or a year from now. Everyone is different.

Please don't isolate yourself, though. If you want to reach out, you can reach out here. It really comforts me to write here and read other women's posts, because they suffered loss. Everyone's stories are different, but we all suffered the loss of our children. We share the same raw, painful experience, and we are all at different paths in our journeys. You are not alone. If you need help, please seek it out here. Everyone is amazing and we would all love to help, I can guarantee it. And there is no judgement. Just understanding.
February 3, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterNada
Christiane,

I am so sorry about your Brandon. I understand how you are feeling and how much it hurts. I say do what you need to do - stay in bed, cuddle with his things, think of him, remember him. For me, really going there hurt ,but then helped in some strange way. I would hold her stuffed animal, her blanket, look at her photos, listen to her songs, and just sob to exhaustion. And thank goodness for exhaustion because I would eventually sleep.

I am so glad you are able to share what you are feeling. This grief is so isolating at times. I think some people ( who have never lost a child) think it should hurt less because they were "just" a baby. It hurts like hell and then you grieve each age they would and should be. After 17 months , it's easier but I still have my bad days - like today - which is why I am lingering here, to feel less alone. Be gentle on yourself. I wish our babies were here with us. I am so sorry.
February 4, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterKim
Dear Moms,

Thank you so much for replying to my post.

ss, I am sorry beyond words that you have 2 angels. Thank you so much for your insights, and for allowing me to see that yes, I am doing exactly what I need to do by staying in bed like this.

Tilly's mum, very sorry that you lost your precious daughter. I can relate to having anxiety about going back to work, my poxy 3 months US maternity leave ended on 1/27 and I couldn't do it, so I quit... IF I had a decent amount of time off MAYBE I wouldn't have, but I can't function right now, and I couldn't bare talking to clients who knew I was pregnant and on leave. Brandon was awesome - he would have been 3 months today - he was a good baby and only had a couple of nights where he was fussy, he was great - and bias aside, a very cute little guy :) I got a small "B" tattoo on my wrist today in honor of him :)

Nada, I am so sorry that you lost Riyad at 38 weeks... how devastating. You are so right, I need to let myself feel this grief and to not try to rush anything, ler the pain come and navigate through it, it is the only way.

Kim, I am sorry you were having such a bad day, and that you lost your little girl. Yes people just do not get it, it is like they don't see babies as "real people" or something. Absurd. I do cry myself to exhaustion as well, and that is the only thing that helps when the going gets this tough.
February 5, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterCristiane
That's sucks Cristiane,

I feel sorry for you guys in the US with your maternity leave.. We get 6 months paid and I was having another 6 months unpaid before going back gradually. I'm doing a phased return at the moment and it's f*cking hard, I cry a lot and can see myself before I left with a big belly and an even bigger smile on my face. I'm in a new area and everyone keeps saying come and see with us and introduce yourself.. So I do and they offer their condolences.

He only passed away in December and your expected back in January?! You poor thing, and you had him for five and a half weeks, that's really tough. they need a policy in regards to baby loss and work because it happens. I had almost 8 weeks off just with morning sickness so being at home now is very conflicting but it's my comfort zone at the same time.

I hope you have support where you are Cristiane, you definitely have support here.
February 5, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterTilly's mum
Brandon sounds awesome, he should be here growing up with you and this shit is so unfair.
February 5, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterTilly's mum