search discussions

glow in the woods

front page
the archives
what is this place?
the contributors
comment policy
contact

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 > The Question

Well it happened for the first time yesterday. I got the Question. We were out to dinner as a family and my husband took my three year old son to the bathroom. While they were gone the waitress complimented me on my son (which is great, he's an awesome kid) BUT then she asked it. "Is he your only one?" I froze and then stammered yes. I've been feeling guilty about it ever since. How could I deny my daughter? She lived for three days. How could I discount those days. But at the same time, this is a stranger who I will never see again, is it really necessary to tell her the story? Tell her of my beautiful girl, tell her how I had to make the most horrible decision any parent will ever have to make. I don't know how to do this. I don't know how to be a mother to a dead baby. I don't know how to honor her memory and live in this world.
July 18, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterNicole
Oh, Nicole. I'm so sorry you were confronted with this question.

You are under no obligation to bare your soul to a stranger. We don't go around offering our most vulnerable part to just anybody. It's only later, when there is some distance and more healing, that you can also freely choose to get into that conversation. Right now you are reacting in the moment, instinctively choosing the answer that will protect you most. This just means that your love is so great, your loss so deep, that you need to keep it close - for the moment. One day you will be able to include her, calmly, when talking to strangers. Or you might choose not to, but you will feel that you are truly choosing, and you will be content with your choices. Give yourself time.
July 18, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAna
Nicole im so sorry for your loss. I felt the exact same as you 2 months after losing my little girl see post "Do you have children" on my first venture into the "outside world" a stranger asked and I too replied no. I immediately felt so angry and guilty for doing this but now 5 months in I realized that I did so because I did not want my daughter to be some drama to a random stranger I will never see again, my little girl deserves so much more than that. I still struggle with this question but im more comfortable now with who I choose to tell and who I trust deserves to know. You did not betray your daughter, as Ana said your loss is just so deep, its almost too hard to say outloud to our closest family let alone a random stranger. There may or may not be a time when you want to tell people but just do what feels right in that moment and be kind to yourself.
July 18, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJ
Nicole, I'm so sorry this question caused you so much anxiety and confusion. It's so tough isn't it.

I'm 5 years out, and I've learned to be kinder to myself. When people ask questions and I have the option to mention Shelby or not I do what is right for me at the time. If the situation is one where I don't want to share her story, or I won't see the person I'm talking to again, or I'm in a place where I don't want to be upset or cause myself stress, I don't bring up my beautiful daughter. It doesn't mean I love her less. It is no reflection on my connection to her or the loss I feel.

Be kind to yourself. If you want to talk about your baby, do. If you don't, don't. And allow yourself the freedom to do what feels right for you at the time. Your love for you baby isn't defined by how much you do or don't talk about her. Take care x
July 18, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterShelby's Mum
I think Shelby's mom approach is great. I've been trying to put it in practice. Of course it's hard to make that decision sometimes but it's nice to remind ourself that whatever we decide at that time, is right for right then.
July 19, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAB