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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 > Disbelief

Im looking at photos and momentos 4 months in and still stare at them in disbelief, thinking to myself did that actually happen, to my baby, to us? I feel like theres something wrong with me, logically I know this huge traumatic thing has happened and im talking about it but as I do this and look through things it just doesnt feel real and then I feel guilty for not bursting into tears as I look at my child, my beautiful baby. What is wrong with me, im a terrible person, a robot. I feel so confused.
Is this normal? Did anybody else experience the same and if so how long did it take to "sink in"?
June 8, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterConfused
Confused, this is SO normal. So, so so normal. I think it took me at least 6 months before I got to the point that I didn't think my daughter dying hadn't happened in some alternate dimension or something. and almost 3 years out, there are still days where I feel like it's still not real, it must have happened to someone else, some other version of me. Maybe it's because I've changed so much (or it feels like I have)...anyway, you're not a terrible person, you're not a robot, and it's okay to feel whatever you're feeling. I think the numbness these first few months is our body/mind/s way of protecting you and helping you get out of bed, taking a shower, and having some breakfast, because otherwise, you might just not be able to. Sending you peace confused, it takes time but it does get a little easier eventually.
June 8, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAB
Thank you AB for your reply. Its a relief to hear others have experienced the same and im not going mad. Sometimes I just feel so lost, like im in a constant fog.
June 10, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterConfused
I agree with AB.

I think the ambivalence, and numbness, is a form of self-protection. For me, I also had to admit to myself that I truly did not feel like I knew my baby. It's the strangest thing. We were close enough that she was actually in my body...a part of me and my child...yet I don't know her at all. I struggle mostly because of the trauma of the death, and the loss of future, guilt and shame. But how to think and feel about her is another thing. One thing I would say is to not get too worried about how you may be feeling, because it will change, and change again, and again.

Be a friend to yourself, you have a lifetime to process life after this tremendous loss.
June 10, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterElaina
Confused, I will echo what AB and Elaina said. It is normal to be feeling the way you are. I was in shock for a very long time. I am seven months out from my son's death and I still have moments where I think to myself: Is this real? Did this really happen?

Overall, the shock has dissipated and I feel many other strong emotions: anger, bitterness, sadness. The shock and the numbness were the hardest to deal with, because it felt like a fog that was constantly over my brain. But it's normal. Honestly, everything you are feeling right now, is normal! Don't feel guilty. I think of my son sometimes without any emotion, other days I am a sobbing mess.Your emotions come and go, but there is one constant that will always be a part of you: You loved your baby, with all your heart, and no matter how you feel at any moment, the love will always be there. I don't know if it helps to hold on to that thought.

It has taken me awhile to realize that I just need to accept whatever emotions come my way, and let them happen. Some moments I feel pure and utter joy again, and I have to tell myself that I don't have to feel guilty for that, because the love for my baby is still there. So I let myself feel it, because in a matter of hours, I am going to feel shock, numbness, sadness, what have you. Just let yourself feel whatever comes to you, and don't put any pressure on yourself to want to change your thoughts or emotions.

I thought it was so strange that I was numb at shock at times. It's just another part of the grief for our babies. It doesn't mean anything is wrong with us. Just be patient and kind to yourself, and know that you are perfectly okay. <3
June 14, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterNada