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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 > Sister having baby

I’m 4 years out from my loss. Not sure why I need to write that, but it feels like there is a certain level of acceptance early on that you just can’t find later. Others are long over it and you function as though you are, too. For the most part. But you aren’t.

Sister is having her first baby and mom feels sad that she can’t share her joy with me because I am damaged, I guess? Sister says she feels sad she wanted to call me after her ultrasound, like she did my other sisters, but didn’t because she doesn’t want to hurt me. And if she does hurt me, she doesn’t want to have to feel bad about it. (My baby was diagnosed with anencephaly at the 5 month ultrasound (no upper skull/fatal), and I tried to carry to term after that but it was a shit show and horrible, as any loss of a baby is). I had gotten upset because she just had her ultrasound and not one person had said anything about the baby being healthy. Like it’s just about the gender. Like it’s not a matter of life and death. Like they forgot their granddaughter and niece from 4 years ago because that’s all unpleasant.

They put some nice things in there too, like how there isn’t a guide for this and they don’t know what to say and love me, but I just feel like I’m stuck in this place where I’m not normal, capable of normal pregnancy chatter, and ostracized/layered on with guilt because of it. All the while I’m trying to be supportive in the only way I know how. A delicate, humble awareness of a growing life that hopefully will come to be.

I get that I’m not comfortable for others but I feel like that’s more about them. I don’t want the world to somehow revolve around me though, to where I actually am acting selfishly. I feel paranoid about them talking about me, pissed I’m still in this place, and upset they don’t seem to want to talk about the most basic of things, that this baby was healthy. I am an open book and always willing to connect. But I don’t feel like others truly want to invest in me, like I am difficult.

April 24, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterAnon
Oh my goodness Anon, everything you wrote resonated so much with me. I’m almost five years out, I’ve had a healthy living baby since then but other people’s pregnancies, especially those I’m close to (for me it’s been good friends rather than siblings)...I feel exactly like that and I feel like a horrible friend for not being able to be there during their pregnancies...and I’m angry at those who don’t want to connect with me as though they might catch loss from me or something. ugh it’s hard. Sending you peace Anon, it’s ok to feel the way you do, really. I hear you and I understand. Hugs mama.
April 26, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterAB
Anon, I’m so sorry. It’s hard to get this kind of news. I’m nearly 4 years in and feel much the same. Last week my sister in law told us she was pregnant with her first (I lost my first)and I had like a full-on PTSD episode. I swear it’s as though my son died again. I then proceeded to tell her I won’t be able to hear about her pregnancy at all, and we also cancelled our scheduled summer vacation with her because I just can’t with any of it. It’s so hard to watch people (most likely) get the perfect outcomes we should have gotten. So yeah no solutions here, only solidarity. Hugs.
April 27, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMatthew’s mom
And yeah I feel guilty and like I’m difficult too and like everyone is rolling their eyes at me but this is still the only way I know how to deal with it - protect myself and hope for forgiveness later.
April 27, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMatthew’s mom
OMG yes, Mathew's Mum. That last sentence 'protect myself and hope for forgiveness after' is spot on for me too. 'I can't help how I feel and if I do certain things that upset you it's just because the death of my baby really fucking hurts, and you should know that I dont want to be this way so please understand and don't make things harder"
My sister is pregnant. My baby girl Maria-Rose has been gone for 9 1/2 months. We haven't even scattered her ashes and my sister is already 7 or 8 months pregnant with a girl. The baby was conceived 2 weeks after my daughters funeral. That hurts!
Anon, I get it, its hard to find the balnace of how much info should be told. But I think it all depends on us because my family doesnt know and actually I dont even know myself. I was annoyed because I figured out my mum and sister would talk about my sisters pregnancy so I told them I wanted to be included and that i'm not contagious but then when we found out the sex I had a nervous breakdown and have cut off all superficial contact with them all.
Its just a shitty path we're walking right now. I suppose we have to avoid the pot holes, pull out the weeds and hope the sun comes out soon. And why not even a rainbow for some...
April 29, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMachaela
Wow... I really feel for you I really do. But really, I do empathise completely. I lost Ethan 4 years ago in February 2015, and my sister is having her second child this June. I remember her telling me in the early days that she was scared because she had an early miscarriage before, and how I coped with pregnancy after Ethan (I have a 3 year old daughter now too). I politely responded (all over text) that I wouldn't be the best person to ask, that after Indiana i opted to be sterilised as I couldn't really cope at all, that she should speak with her midwife for advice. It was so insensitive and my Mother was like "oh well she was upset so I thought she could ask you". And baby showers. Am I the only person who just can't go to them? I just can't bare to celebrate a baby with a party as an excuse for those craving attention for themselves, when you don't actually know the outcome either... I just can't go to them. And apparently I am insensitive to my sister for missing that. And when I learnt the due date of her baby, 3 days afer the due date for Ethan, I was like "oh wow, that's 3 days after Ethan's" - it's like wow. I should never speak of a dead baby's due date to an expecting mother. Like I might offend her, like we should forget, and like he didn't exist. My other sister is much better, but I know how you feel - I really do. I am thinking of you and sending you gentle vibes today.
May 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterBecki
Thank you Becki. I totally understand where you’re coming from, too. I think their hypothetical is our reality so it is just way too sensitive to discuss pregnancy concerns. We aren’t the ones to comfort their hypothetical situation. Also I think my sister is withdrawn from me because I’m not happy and normal enough with pregnancy chatter. Which is just bs because I can talk about anything else, but some can only focus on their pregnancy in pregnancy and I can’t focus on that... it’s just ridiculous to be blamed for distance and or awkwardness
May 10, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterAnon
Dear Anon, it is a cruel reality that we can be judged or ignored because of what we have been through, when those around us are so absorbed with their own experiences (pregnancy) and have no awareness of the effect that has on us. And when it is a cloe member of our immediate family (like a sister in our cases), then it seems even harder and crueler.
My sister's due date is imminent... as is my son's due date anniversary which he never reached... so this time is always hard and a little raw to me and so although I will distance myself a little because I feel I have to, I know she is supported by those who will relish and love to be absorbed by her and what's happening with her right now, and I know I will go and see her soon, because I feel I have to, but it is hard. I do feel your pain and frustrations. "Their hypothetical is our reality" - I love this... I really do. It is a quote I draw on often and it rings so true... thank you :)
June 6, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterBecki
I delivered my son on May 23rd at 21 weeks and 2 days. This was my first pregnancy. His due date would have been Oct 1st.
The first person I told about my pregnancy was my older sister, she has battled addiction hard in her life and has been sober for 3yrs now. We've been growing closer in her sobriety though she lives in another state. Her due date is Oct 21st. This will be her 3rd child, though I have had custody of her oldest child since she was about 6mos old, and she is now 9yrs old.
My sister is coming to visit next month and I am terrified of how I am going to handle it. I've been told she feels terrible and she feels guilty. I'm not mad at her for my loss by any means. But I am jealous, and angry, and heartbroken, and every other emotion.
Its only been 3 weeks since I lost my son, I know that I won't always feel like I'm drowning and alone. But I dont know how I can look at my sister pregnant with her 3rd baby when I couldn't keep mine. I'm so afraid of even seeing her round belly holding a healthy baby that would be close to the same size of what my son should be.
I dont even know how to begin to prepare myself for this. It will be like reopening the already fresh wound of losing my Charles.
I'm terrified.
June 14, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterAlly