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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 > How do you ‘get over it’?

Hi, I’m here because I have lost hope in life. I have now lost three boys. Two from late miscarriage (both pprom at 20 weeks) and a third son who died 5 days after his birth after being born at 25 weeks.

I understand that I won’t ‘get over it’ but how do I come to terms with my losses? I’ve tried counselling, medication, journaling and healthy living/exercise. But nothing helps. I am devastated and in almost constant pain which is occasionally replaced with rage. Meanwhile life goes on around me, with people I know having babies and not appreciating how lucky they are.

Will I ever be able to accept this or will my anger/jealousy/grief turn me into a bitter person?
May 10, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterSash
Sash,

I’m sorry for the loss of your three boys.

I have often thought how cruel it is that one must endure traumatic, horrific loss and then somehow not be swallowed up in it while. You’re still supposed to be a good person, not too ugly, mad, or irrational. It’s so awful. It is pressure on top of pain and feels like a cruel trick.

Anyone in your shoes would feel the same. If you want to be a mother, which you do, and are, I would pour yourself into becoming a mother in a way that feels meaningful and purposeful for you, however that make look. That is not to say mothering a live child cures anything. It doesn’t. But it brings light. It distracts. And it brings hope.

I adopted and that’s not for everyone but for me it was the single best thing to do and I love that I found motherhood that way.

Sometimes all there is to do is feel the ugly stuff and hide away until you can tuck it away again, because what else is there to do? It’s awful. I’m sorry.
May 10, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterAnon
Sash—I am so sorry to hear your story. Wow—that’s an unbelievable amount of loss you have suffered. It’s just huge. What a huge amount of sadness, anger, grief, love, pain and many other things you must be going through. I can feel it in your words I don’t know that there is anything you can do but wait, give it time, and try to continue, minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day. Did you see a therapist who specializes in perinatal loss and infertility (the latter often seems like it wouldn’t be a good fit because you can get pregnant but as my therapist once told me, infertility isn’t just about getting pregnant, it’s about all the ways a person might be unable to carry a healthy, living pregnancy to close enough to term that you bring a screaming child home with you). Anyway, I found that a general therapist, even one that specializes in grief, just didn’t get it. Have you tried a peer support group for bereaved parents, especially those that have experienced perinatal loss?

Sending you patience and peace, Sash, be gentle and kind to yourself
May 10, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterAB
I'm so sorry you lost your sweet boys.

I can't add to the eloquence of those above, but I recently (7 years after my son died) started to get an idea of what "acceptable" might look like. It's not an acceptance that it's ok that it happened, it's just acceptance that I'm a mother whose son died--it's part of my identity.

I also agree with Anon that since you want to be a parent, if you can find a way to pursue that it might help to bring you hope and light.
May 10, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJack's mom
Thanks for your replies. Sorry for your losses. If I can muster the energy I will try to find a therapist who specialises in this field, although it is hard as I live in a rural area.
May 11, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterSash
Sash, I'm so sorry for all that you've lost. We all find different ways to make a life in the world of after, but I just wanted to add one different approach/resource to the other mamas' suggestions. I have not had great success with therapists either, but I actually found a lot of community with people in the broader loss community, rather than just the baby-loss community. Something about connecting with all the different kinds of loss in this world has been helpful for me. I found Megan Devine's online 'writing your grief' group really worthwhile (https://www.refugeingrief.com/). It has a focus on out-of-sequence loss and provides some very thoughtful, compassionate prompts to help write about grief with a community of other grievers. I know it's exhausting to have to keep looking in different places to find it, but it is so helpful when you find people who can really hear you.
May 12, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterK West