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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.

parenting after loss > Pregnant for 3 years!

I feel like I've been pregnant for 3 years straight. I got pregnant in 2014 with my son Wonderful, who was born full term and passed away after two days due to Anencephaly (see link for his story ) We started TTC right after for a year and then gave up, I got preg one month later heading in to 2016. I'm now 21 weeks pregnant and feeling overwhelmed. I thought getting pregnant would cure my depression and give me something to look forward to, it has just been a roller coaster of emotions and extreme morning sickness. Even the year of TTC I felt like I could be pregnant each month, so I was living like a pregnant woman. All this energy spent on anticipation and now I'm so drained! I'm so very grateful for this new life, I just thought pregnancy bonding would be as easy as it was for my older living child (5) and rainbow babe. I'm scared about what this baby will be like, that I will compare them, or I will just be sad, disappointed and guilty. I want to be a good mom, I want to be happy! Attitude is everything. Has anyone else gone from cheerful and optimistic, to dissolutioned and apathetic, and back to somewhat "normal"? I don't like to live in the past, but I'd be lying if I didn't say I miss my old self.
April 19, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterwondiewondie
Hi Wondie. I just read the link to your son Wonderful's story. I am so very sorry for your loss; he is beautiful. xo. This is such a small world, but I am actually in your area! I live in Raleigh, and our stillborn son was delivered at WakeMed in June 2013 due to a placental abruption at term. I have been in two area support groups if you are interested in that information. Another mom in the group had a son with anencephaly. I also used to work at Carolina Donor Services in tissue recovery (about 5 years ago). Your ideas and suggestions on improved care for end of life is a beautiful legacy for your son. Just like you I also have a 5 year old living child- a daughter. I am currently 24 weeks pregnant with a boy. I completely understand how you stated that it feels like you've been pregnant forever. After we lost Griffin in 2013 I had 4 miscarriages including our daughter who had trisomy 13. Month after month was so stressful charting ttc, facing anxiety and depression, not planning vacations just in case I might be pregnant then, etc... Like you said, I was living like a pregnant person even when I wasn't pregnant. I am so sorry that you're feeling overwhelmed right now- I completely understand because I have felt that way, too.. I just try to focus on the day to day. I hope and pray that we can get back to our "old selves" when pregnancy is over. I think that what we're feeling is normal, but I understand that it can feel totally isolating. Have you been able to prep for this baby at all? I have bought a few outfits, but I haven't even walked into buybuy baby or anything yet.. the clothes, our daughter's excitement.. so much feels like dejavu and it feels scary at times. I wish I could offer some uplifting encouragement, but I just wanted you to know that I'm walking beside you in this. I'm thinking of you and praying for you and your family. Sending a big hug!!
April 24, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer
Mother's Day hugs to you sweet brave mama. You are amazing.

Having a rainbow actually made things harder for me. But I'm glad she's here even if it is harder.

I still miss my old self.

You are dealing with SO much. I hope you have lots of support. Get as much self care as possible, that's what really helps me.

You are beautiful, no matter how crappy you feel. I wish I could hug you.

Peace MaMa
May 8, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterKO
Hi. I'd replied a few days ago but it never posted, I'm sorry. I wanted to check back in and say I completely understand. I had three babies in almost exactly 4 years, and since Joseph was our first and was stillborn, I lost the joy of pregnancy for my two rainbow babies. This last one was even harder, and I wasn't grateful to be pregnant at all, even though I am grateful for our daughter's new life. It was all just so hard. The anxiety of my second rainbow pregnancy wasn't as bad as the first, but I never regained the joy or optimism I had with Joseph's pregnancy. I have had so much doubt in my body, too, and felt betrayed by it so much since his stillbirth. I am so relieved now not to be pregnant anymore.

Thinking of you and your Wonderful baby,
May 9, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterBurning Eye