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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 > Day 3: total despair

My son, Samuel Benedict Brown, was born on Wednesday, May 29 at 8:17 PM after doctors discovered he has no heartbeat. I had been at my regular obgyn appointment hours before and his heartbeat had been a strong 148. I held him for a full day. I am home now and I cannot imagine going on. I don’t want to go on. I want to find him and take care of him. I don’t know what to do. My support network is strong. My husband is amazing. Nothing matters.
June 1, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterKatie
Oh Katie. I’m so sorry. This is just awful. Sending you peace and love because that’s all there is. We’re all sitting here with you, missing Samuel with you. I’ll add the one thing I read here almost five years ago that really helped me: be patient, gentle and kind to yourself and ask those around you to do the same. Much love to you mama.
June 1, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterAB
I’m so sorry for Samuels death. It’s completely unfair and incredibly sad. Take comfort where
You can find it. Allow your support system to take care of you. Sending you my love xo.
June 2, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterLaurie
Dear Katie
I am so sorry dear for what you’re going through now. My daughter Alicia died before birth at 36 weeks, we discovered her death during a routine check. I also felt that nothing mattered any more, the world stopped turning. But what you do have is your love for Samuel Benedict, and this connection will stay forever. Long time after I had to bury Alicia somebody here recommended a book from Robert Munsch, who lost two children himself. He wrote: I love you forever I like you for always as long as I am living my baby you will be. It resonates with me, it is one way to connect to my child now and then. I still find it hard not to take care for her, I know what you mean. I imagine her age now and what we would have... life is so cruel Katie. Don’t give up. You are the one to remember and honour your son in this world. The pain will soften with time. Take care of yourself, you’re having a major crisis and you will need all the power you have got to choose to get through this. The love stays, Katie, it’s all that matters.
June 4, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJana
Dear Katie,

I read your post and did not want to not say anything. My baby girl, Mila Joyce, was born and died on 26th May. I ache for her and this grief is overwhelming. My support network is strong too, but unfortunately that does not ease the pain.
All I can say is what I say to myself, “these thoughts will pass, they only exist in this moment”. The loss and grief will not pass, but the thoughts and pain that surround it will and life will become bearable again. I have never had thoughts so hopeless and dark, and I scared myself. I told someone close to me how I was feeling and asked them to look out for me, is there someone you can ask?
I am sending you so much
June 5, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterLauren
Thank you, all of you, for sending your thoughts and encouragement. It helps. It’s been exactly a week since I gave birth. I saw people today for the first time. It was oddly normal, but I came home and cried. I wept for my baby boy. I don’t feel good enough for him. I want to go out and make the world the better place I know he would have. To Lauren, I am wishing you peace and solace. I hold your hand digitally, I know exactly how you feel. My husband is looking out for me and taking the best care of me. I’m glad we both have someone. I check in here every night. Feel free to keep writing and I’ll be here to respond.
June 5, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterKatie
Hi Katie,

Thank you for being there, the support is so important, that you are not alone in these bloody awful feelings.
The time is going on and I am still only seeing a few close friends, I cannot handle the thought of holding it together with the sympathetic looks. Sometimes I do feel normal and then it hits and I am so distanced from everything.
I am coming up to two weeks since it all happened and I am realising that last week I relived the whole thing and I am scared I will do it again this weekend. It’s so odd, part of me doesn’t want to ignore her and her life, but I cannot relive those awful hours of losing her very weekend. Planning on staying at a friends house- breaking the pattern.
People do get through this and still honour their children, we must be able to do this.
How are you doing?
June 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterLauren

I’m at my parents’ home, where there isn’t a ton of service. I too relive everything over and over. Especially the birth. I don’t know why but sometimes I find it comforting— the moment he was brought into the world, even though he was already gone. Every night I dream about him and every day I get more skeptical that I’ll ever be ok, or anything resembling my old self, again. I do feel I’ve lost all fear, though. I’ve lost fear of death for sure. I’ve lost the fear of childbirth. I almost feel like challenging the world— what else? There’s nearly nothing that could bring me this pain.

How are you doing?
June 9, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterKatie
Hi Katie,

It’s been a rough few days, weekends seem to trigger all the bad feelings and motivation is 0. Seem to have good days and bad days, but need to function so am looking for a counsellor. The cremation is tomorrow so it’s always lurking in the back of my mind, I hope somehow it will help- people say it does.
I have tried to get out, but being in public places is just the worst. You never know when someone will be there with their newborn or any daughter and I can never tell whether I will be able to cope or not.
I am taking maternity leave but I volunteer on a outdoor project with teenagers and am doing a counselling course. I went to my course last week and after the initial sympathy it was okay, even an hours respite. I am with the teenagers today, which I am dreading as last time they saw me I was pregnant- we spoke about baby names etc and now nothing. Teenagers are so honest as well and I don’t want to freak them out if they say something that upsets me.
Fear has gone, but mostly it is being totally numb or racked with grief. Sometimes I look up fostering and adoption, somewhere good to channel what has happened but essentially I know I have to work through these stages of grief before I decide to do anything.
Basically, right now, it’s all totally shit.
How are you doing?x
June 10, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterLauren

I found this article at least relatable..
June 11, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterKatie
Katie & Lauren,
I hope it is okay to just jump into your conversation.
I delivered Charles E. Tudor on May 23rd, though his heart was no longer besting. Tonight at 11.11pm it will be exactly 3 weeks since I said goodbye to him.
Reading your messages to each other made me feel connected to you both as well. I was hoping I could possibly join in and not only help support you both but feel some of your support as well.
Nights are always the hardest time for me. My husband works graveyard and I hate the way I feel when I am alone.
Hope you both are well today.
June 14, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterAlly
Hi Ally,

I am so sorry Charles died and that you are going through this too.

Of course you can, I am often visiting here and reading threads just so I don’t feel completely alone or that I am burdening people with my sadness.

I am currently clearing a room in my house, trying to be productive and get on with things, going through the motions. But I found some sample nappies and wet wipes and now I am sitting amongst the mess crying my heart out and writing to you! I thought I had cleared all my baby and maternity stuff, what a thing to freak out over! And now no motivation to sort out the big mess I have made.

I am starting counselling next week as the constant reliving is getting hard- “at this time I first new something was wrong, at this time they sent us home from hospital, at this time I went into labour”. What if I had done something different at one of the stages, would I still be pregnant now. My grief and my connection to my little one is something I want to go through, but reliving the trauma is so terrible.

I am so sorry you are struggling at nights and that you are on your own. The grief is a very lonely place, I have been reading books on the process of grief and others experience of losing a child, sometimes they give me comfort and sometimes I want to scream, if I read about how a parent who has lost a child will never be the same again and will mourn forever,, I will go mad!!! I want to be okay again, I want to know this will end. Sometimes I stay up all night watching crap tv and sometimes it makes me laugh. Do whatever you need to do to get you through. I am hoping one day I will wake up and not feel like I am just going through the motions.

Sending so much love and support your way.xx
June 14, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterLauren
Thank you for welcoming me. Let me know how your counseling goes. I've had a few people suggest I start seeing someone, but I haven't looked into it yet. I might at some point.
I've read one book so far, and just got another one in the mail yesterday that I'm planning on starting tonight. The first book I read, i didn't find very helpful. It was very geared towards religion and using that to get through the grief and everything.
What books have you read and did you find them helpful?
Hope you're having a good day today.
June 17, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterAlly
Hi Ally,

I read a book called “Grief works” but I too am not so sure how useful it was and I am also reading “on grief and grieving”. I find that reading about this kind of grief specifically does not help me, I dwell on my feelings of hopelessness. I am scared of not getting over it, I want to live a happy life again. I am also aware my perceptions are so changeable, sometimes I feel I caused this all to happen and should have acted differently, sometimes I feel fatalistic and there was nothing I can do, sometimes I want another baby, sometimes I cannot even imagine being pregnant again, sometimes I imagine her growing up and all that she will never get to be.The mechanics of grief allow me some clarity when my emotions are so all over the place.

I had my first session of counselling yesterday. I told her my whole story from start to now and just that process is telling someone, without having to sugar coat it or miss parts out, helped me. I cannot say I felt better afterwards, but it was a release. She asked me what I wanted from the sessions and I realised I lost my child and some of myself. I have never felt totally hopeless as I have sometimes felt in the past few weeks, and it scared me. I do not know how I will feel from one moment to the next or how strong those feelings will be. I realised I wanted someone to check in with, to keep me safe when I cannot trust myself to do that. I have my 6 week check in two weeks that will tell me the results of my tests and the amnio, I am scared what that will do to me too.

Sorry, this was such a long post- to our it succinctly- I haven’t found a book that has helped yet, but counselling feels like a safety net. It won’t make me feel better but it will keep me safe.

I hope you are doing okay.xx
June 20, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterLauren
June 20, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterLauren
I'm glad you felt a little release from your counseling session.
I went to my 4 week follow up appointment, and received a referral for seeing a perinatal specialist. We think we want to try again but I change my mind about it almost hourly. I'm terrified of going through another loss. I just dont think I could survive it.
But seeing the perinatal team and getting an idea of what the plan would be for future pregnancy might help us make the decision.
Hopefully your finding yourself having a good day today. I'm fighting a little depression and having a hard time leaving the couch yesterday and today. Theres so much to be done, I just dont seem to have the strength or desire to do it.
June 22, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterAlly