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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 > Expecting bad things to happen

It's been two months since we lost our beautiful boy, our first child. He was stillborn just shy of 20 weeks. Technically a late term miscarriage, not a stillbirth, by the definitions of our country, but that term just doesn't fit for our son and what happened.

I'm trying to find this version of our 'new normal'. Trying to get back into the real world. Trying to do my job. Trying to get through the day. Trying to decide whether I should quit my job and find another one. Trying to be a good wife. Trying to figure out if I/we want to try again. And if yes, when I/we might want to start trying. And trying to think how that fits in with if I should quit my job.. And how long it might take before we have any luck falling pregnant.

But through all of this, the overwhelming thing I feel is, why does it even matter? Because I'm so certain that, after this terrible thing that happened, our beautiful son being taken from us, that everything is going to end badly again. That no matter what, that we're destined for bad things. That that's our reality now. That a bad outcome is so much more likely for us than it ever felt before all this happened. So why should we try, when our hearts are only going to be ripped out all over again?

Had anyone else felt like this?
May 2, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterS
First of all, I'm so very sorry. No one should have to endure what we have to. I'm so sorry your son died, and I'm so sorry you're feeling all of the things you're feeling. All of which are completely normal and warranted. Your life has changed irrevocably -- and there is nothing anyone can do or say to make that better. I'm so sorry.

Yes. I have indeed felt what you're feeling. I don't want to speak for everyone but I think, to a degree, all of us here have. When something so monumentally horrible happens to you, it is SO HARD to imagine ever having something go right ever again. How could anything work out the way it's supposed to now that such an awful tragedy has befallen your family? I completely understand that feeling. In the past decade: we have battled infertility for 9 years, I underwent open heart surgery and had a pacemaker implanted, we had a miscarriage and now the death of our only child, Evelyn, 8.5 months ago. There are days when I feel like we are just meant to endure only hardship and that we'll never, ever be happy. There are days when I just want to throw my hands up in the air and scream, "What next?!?!" Because it's so freaking unfair, all of it. And I'm tired and exhausted and fed up with how the world (apparently) works and how our life has unfolded. But in the end, I know it has nothing to do with us. It's not bad karma, it's not punishment, it's just the way life is. And believe me, I get how crappy that is. Our reality is hard. Our lives are hard. What we are being asked to adapt to -- this life without our children -- it's beyond hard. It's cruel and it's tragic.

For us, we just don't have it in us to try for a pregnancy again. After 9 years, our journey down that particular path has come to an end. And I'm truly heartbroken about it. Our grief is so complicated and layered. But we still have so much love in our hearts to share with a living child. We will love our Evelyn as fiercely in death as we would have in life but we will never again hold her in our arms. We will never get to watch her grow up. So for us, when we're ready, we'll pursue adoption. Because we still desire so so strongly to parent a living child. But I'm terrified. Because I'm afraid something will get in the way. Something will happen to prevent us from adopting, too, like the many hurdles we faced while trying to conceive. And I'm filled with complicated emotions about wanting to adopt because sometimes, I fear that Evie feels left behind somehow. It's all so complicated, S. For each of us, who come here with so many different and varied stories, no two the same, we're all just trying our best to keep going, to find meaning, to find purpose, to keep living. I guess what I'm trying to say (not very well, I fear) is that in time, you will know what you want to do. You will know when or if you'd like to try again. But only you and your partner can decide that for yourselves. The timing and the circumstances, those things are unique to you. And only you should decide how your proceed from here.

Sending hugs your way <3
May 2, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa
I'm so sorry for the loss of your son. Sometimes sorry seems insufficient no matter how many times I say it. But I am, sorry in every possible way for the pain you feel right now and the absence of your boy. And yes, I've felt the way you have and sometimes even four years on, I still do. It's a journey, it's still so soon to see any kind of hope or light because actually this loss is the worst possible thing, so you're not alone in this. Just be gentle with yourself whilst allowing yourself to feel all you need to. We personally never tried to get pregnant after Zia died in 2013, but we did suffer a miscarriage a year later, we were not trying to get pregnant at the time and I suppose that after losing that baby too we just decided this is it. Other loss parents have gone on to have successful pregnancies and rainbow babies, I suppose we each have our own story, you'll find yours...and we're here to hold your hand.
May 2, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJo-Anne
S, I am so sorry for the loss of your beautiful son. The unfairness of it all. We lost our son almost 3 months ago. Carter was delivered early at 33 weeks due to decreased fetal movements. We had 3 wonderful, hard days with him in the NICU before we had to say goodbye.
I feel as if you took the words right out of my mouth. It's as if I am waiting for the other shoe to drop in my life. I was a bit of a "worrier" prior to the loss of our son and now it has just been magnified.
It's so difficult to find this 'new normal." I don't want a new normal. I want my life with my son. But that option isn't available. Right now I'm just trying to get through the days. I haven't returned to work but I worry if I'm going to even still like it? Will I want something different? I worry that I am not going to be able to function in public. I can't stand small talk now. I worry about my relationship with my husband. Will we be able to survive this? I worry it will be difficult for us to conceive a child. We so badly want to give Carter a sibling and parent a living child. I worry if I do conceive I won't be able to carry to term. I worry about delivering a healthy baby. And then what's crazy... I worry about even if I do deliver and bring home a healthy baby that there is still SIDS, colds that turn deadly, accidents.... when does the worry stop? It's seeping into all parts of my life.
We've suffered the worse loss imaginable. We've been on the wrong side of statistics. I think everyone knows, who has experienced a loss like ours, that we have little control in life. And that sucks. To know we can be a good person, do everything right, contribute to society and still get fucked over. The randomness of it all... bad luck, a fluke, or whatever it may be.
I don't have any answers. It's a common subject that I am working on with my therapist. The worry... the anxiety... to recognize it and work through it but to not let it overtake me. I'm trying to find hope... Hope. I know what that word means, it just feels so elusive.
Wishing you lots of love and hugs on this path we are walking.
May 2, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJenna