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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 > Lost

I lost my daughter 2 weeks ago. She was our first child. My heart aches every second of the day. From the moment I saw her and held her, I wept because I could never protect her like I was supposed to. I feel like I failed as her mother, guilt and emptiness consume me. I cant face people and I still haven't been able to tell many friends where I have been or what has happened, maybe because telling them makes it real. To all those here, I am so very sorry for the loss of your beautiful children. I never truly understood the love a mother has for her child until now.
July 23, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterRose
Rose, my heart breaks for you. I'm so very sorry for the loss of your precious daughter- may I ask her name?

Everything you are feeling is "normal". It's awful and horrible and overwhelming. 2 weeks....... so new and raw and surreal. Please feel free to tell as little or as much of your story as you want to. How you are feeling will vary day to day even hour to hour, From someone 5 years into this journey can I reassure you that this dark hole of emptiness won't consume you forever. It's so hard to imagine at the start but there will gradually come days that aren't as hard as the ones before. And you will feel joy again. But for now, feel every feeling that comes your way. Do what you can to get through each minute. If you don't want to see people, don't. Ask for what you need. Be kind to yourself. We are here for you.

I'm so sorry your daughter couldn't stay. x
July 24, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterShelby's Mum
Rose, I am so very sorry you find yourself here. I can certainly relate to how you're feeling. I lost my 40 day old son Brandon this past December. I was unable to tell people, my poor husband had to invite the very few people in my list for the funeral. I have never posted anything about it on Facebook so I know some of my friends still think he is alive and well - do they wonder why I haven't posted a single picture since December or they just don't realize, I do not know. Of course by now people in my circle know, but it is SO PAINFUL to break the news to somebody. I also do not like the "pity eyes" that usually follow to be honest. My advice is tell just enough people who can support you right now, and in due time the others will know. Sending you a big hug.
July 24, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterCristiane
Rose, I am so sorry you are entering this sadness and heartache. Our hearts bleed with yours. I wish your daughter could have stayed in your arms. I have struggled immensely with that feeling of guilt and shame -- feeling like I as the mother should have of all people been able to protect my son but failed, and the horrible pain of having to break the earth-shattering news-- it's literally the WORST thing ever. We were drowning in our own sorrow, and then it felt like we had to bear the weight of everyone else's emotions as we told them over and over. I never want to share such awful news again. I'd rather not ever share any news, good or bad at this point. In some cases, we asked some friends and family to do some of the news-sharing for us-- it was a burden for them but they asked how they could help, and it took a small amount of the weight off of us. Now in weird ways I long for opportunities to tell the story of my son, to the right person. Oddly, 8 months out, I need chances to remind myself it is real. But back then it was too real, and so I wanted to close my eyes and wake up from the nightmare too.

I also lost my first, a perfectly healthy boy that should not have died, and we'll never know why despite all the tests and autopsy etc being normal. None of it makes sense, and it certainly isn't fair. But as you pointed out, we became mothers, in spite of the fact that our children are not visible here on earth now and we parent them in very different ways. Many of the parents here on glow have reminded me of that through their stories that honor their children. It's all we have.

You are a mother, as you said, who had to let her child go-- the most unnatural thing. We have felt that deep, heart-bursting love for our children. That will never change. Nor would I want it to. I just wish our babies were here with us still. I don't believe that time "heals" us from losses like this, but time does give perspective and growth and movement. Be gentle and patient with yourself, and let yourself feel all the things-- the sadness, the heartbreak, the loss, the grief, the anger, be consumed by this life-altering, earth-shattering change. It will integrate into your life, very gradually.

Sending you peace, and also to Cristiane and Shelby's mom.
July 24, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterSteph
Thank you Steph - I am so sorry you also lost your perfect little boy; and also feel that guilt and shame feeling, I am on the exact same boat and it sucks :(
July 25, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterCristiane
It is close to 1am, I just finished writing a letter to place in the casket. In a few hours our daughter will be buried at the cemetary, surrounded by other babies also taken too soon. I was lying here sobbing uncontrollably in the dark and thought I'd pop back onto the site. To my surprise there were your 3 beautiful and heartfelt responses. Christiane, Steph & Shelby's mum - I cannot put into words how much it means to me that each of you took the time to respond so thoughtfully to my post. Each of your words brought me so much comfort at this dark time and for the first time I didn't feel so lost. You are each beautiful souls and I will never forget this moment. I'm struggling to type this through my tears but I just had to let you know that what each of you wrote meant so much to me. Your 3 angels are blessed to have you as their mothers. Thank you once again from the bottom of my heart. Her name is Eliana x
July 25, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterRose
Dear Rose,

I´m so sorry we are all writing here. It´s the first time I do it. I read you all but English is not my first language and it´s not so easy for me to write, because I fear I can´t express my real feelings but I´ll try.

3 months ago I´ve lost my first baby daughter, Clara, at 40 weeks of gestation. The day she was supposed to be born I stopped feeling her movements. I´m not able to describe the feeling, the sad sad feeling I have from that day forward. It was like dying, how could that happen???

I dared to write because when I read you, Rose, I remembered myself 3 months ago. It was a rise and fall of emotions every day. I was desperate, din´t know what to do and what not to do. I wanted to tell everybody so that someone could help me and, at the same time, wished to tell nobody. I really wished to go back in time and try to save her if that was possible.

I wanted to tell you my experience today, may be it helps you or may be you think it won´t and it´s ok, everything is ok. And you should do what you think is better for you now.
Today I see things different, I can´t tell you I don´t feel sad, I don´t know if that is even possible, but the feelings are more stable, may be it´s one week down, and one up. I´m not saying it´s easier, it´s just “different”… I really miss her, very much, and can´t stop saying Clara how much I love her. But every day I learn things, things that she taught me. My husband and I were so happy during all the pregnancy that I think that´s the way she desired us to be. That was how we were going to be with her here, with her as our daughter. And she IS our daughter, I´m a mother, as you are a mother too. We don´t have them here, and it´s really frustrating, but we have them, they are with us, teaching us every day. They made us know the biggest love on earth, and made us bigger in every way (not only physically).
I struggle every day to change all the sorrow and grief for love, I´m not saying it´s easy, but I want to try because of her.
We will never know WHY this happened to us (Clara and me, we were both all right, and it happened the same), but we can guess some purpose, and we can discover that this profound sorrow changed us and we can choose to change for better.

I hope time will soft the grief… And as I read from one mum: "they will not be forgotten while their parents' love them".

Send you all my best wishes.
July 25, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterClara´s mom
Rose, I´m reading your new post. I´m in Argentina (here it´s 2 pm). You are not alone, and Eliana is with you, she lives in your heart, she is part of you as you are part of her.
You are so strong! And it´s so beautiful from you to write her a letter. We also wrote to Clara, and I still do. I have a notebook where I write down all my feelings, the good ones and the bad ones too. I also write the things I would like to tell her ...

I send you all my strength for these days.
July 25, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterClara´s mom
Dear Rose,

It is such a terrible thing to bury your daughter. I did the same eight months ago. It is still the hardest thing to bear.
Just thinking of you, Eliana and your family and sending love and strength for the time to come.
July 26, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterKE
Dear Rose,

I'm so sorry you don't have Eliana with you. It is so unfair and wrong and awful. For me, those early days were so shocking, blurry, raw, and I felt like I was living in the movie "Sliding Doors" - that this must be a horrible alternate reality and in the other one, I was busy learning how to breastfeed and falling in love with my baby. All I can say is just take it one breath at a time until you can take it one minute, one hour, or one day at a time. Be gentle with yourself and we are all sending you strength. Thinking of you and Eliana.
July 26, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterSR
Rose, "Eliana". What a beautiful name. Thank you for sharing it with us.

I hope that the funeral went as smoothly as can be hoped for. That you were surrounded by support and love. I remember how hard that day was for me. The funeral was actually the hardest part. Harder than the birth. Harder than leaving hospital without her. The funeral took my breath away. I'm thinking of you and sending you love. x
July 28, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterShelby's Mum