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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 > Dumped

Years of infertility, miscarriages, a stillborn baby, two kids alive and well, miraculously. And now DH leaves us for someone elso, and does so in the most cowardly and humiliating way possible. Because I changed, and not for the better, apparently. Leaves me with two small kids that I am struggling to enjoy parenting because I am so tired and overwhelmed. He is not helping, or paying much, and it is a constant struggle alone. I don't even get a minute ever to touch base with my feelings for my lost daughter. I have not been to the cemetery in ages because I don't get time. I am tired, angry, sad, lonely and don't know how to cope. My older child is distraught, as if it has not been hard enough already, and feels bad things keep happening, at such a young age. Sister dead, daddy gone.
Anyone else been through something like this?
March 2, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAlya
Oh Alya, I haven't got advice or experience but just wanted to reach out and say my heart goes out to you. I hope you have other family and friends supporting you? I'm so angry at your husband on your behalf. What a coward. Try to make sure you look after yourself and ask for help. Massive hugs and I'm thinking of you x
March 3, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterShelby's Mum
Thank you so much for your reply. Yes, I am trying to remind myself that I am not all alone in this. Luckily, I have family nearby and some close friends, I'd go down in flames without them. I have to work a fair bit to make ends meet in a challenging job, the kids are always sick and don't sleep well, and then there is the shit fight with *him*. I am just bewildered how things could get so nasty so quickly. The bank. The solicitors. It is so draining and awful. The guilt that my kids have to go through all this now too. I didn't want to end things, yet I am still questioning myself. Big sigh. Thanks for listening.
March 3, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAlya
Alya, my heart goes out to you, too. That is a horrible situation to happen to you and your kids. I'm glad that you have some good people around you, and I hope that you can get some time to yourself to just take care of yourself.
March 3, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJM
Oh- my heart is just breaking for you. You don't deserve this too. I thought that my marriage was about done a little over a year ago. After splitting assets and his moving out for a bit, he surprisingly decided to seek a regular counseling meeting and accountability group. He had new hope, claimed to be a new and changed man, and he said he fully desired saving the marriage. He has worked hard in the last year and we are reconciled. I felt humiliated, embarrassed, angry, depressed, and like another tragedy struck. After some work I learned that HE is the one to feel embarrassed and that I needed to let him have that- so I quit being embarrassed. It's not like I did anything to make him make those poor choices. That was HIM- it's his reputation and I'm not going to feel shame for something I was repulsed by and did not contribute to. I let go of my embarrassment because I was latching onto his feeling- I didn't need that.

I hope that his new commitment lasts- he has had slip ups and I don't really trust him yet- but the longer he is committed the better it seems. I spent the majority of last year coming to the place/deciding/mourning/going through the grief process concerning our marriage. This was a huge life changing perspective altering task for me. I am conservative, stay at home mom who thought the worst thing that could ever happen to me (but obviously wouldn't) would to be divorced or have a husband cheat. I lost the innocence, naive faith that he would always be faithful. I get that he's not perfect and he has real issues to work through that drove him to these poor choices- but that doesn't justify or excuse his actions. I forgave him, and we are in a lifetime trust rebuilding stage. I have made it ultra clear and really mean it- another episode or instance we are done. Once upon a time I never thought that MY baby could never die, and that MY husband would never be awful and make such selfish uncaring decisions jeopardizing our marriage. I once thought that my worth and happiness were results of being a mom and loved wife- and that those things alone could/would make me who I am and define my happiness. Not true. I decided (since I have 2 living children) that part of my life now is to be the best mom I can be- and that I will be the nicest and most empowered wife who will demand respect and boundaries. If those roles change, I can be sad but not shattered. My kids are great and I love them, I fully expect good things from them. But if they grow up and make poor choices, or another tragedy strikes and I am childless, I can rest in the knowledge I did my best- and feel good about it. They cannot create my well being or worth. Or if my husband chooses something else in this life- I will be seriously pissed- but he can't ruin my life. I will move on and be happy. I'm currently 9 weeks pregnant and kind of paranoid- I thought about the possibility of my husband just bolting on us the other day (he was acting squirrely and odd) and it just struck me. I'm going to be happy and enjoy what good this life brings me for the time I have it. I KNOW it's so hard when it's a shock and you don't have a choice. But I seriously hope that you can find that commitment to joy and positivity because it's so good for your soul and for your kids.

I feel like it's so much rougher and unfair for kids. Both of my kids had their new baby die and it was/is such a big deal. It changed who they are and how they view the world. I just don't want them to have to experience any more crap in their young lives. I would really hate what a divorce would expose them to also- but if it comes to that, they will sure grow up knowing how to set boundaries and require respect in relationships. I sure feel for you- and your kids. It's so tough. Hoping you can use this awful experience to empower yourself, grow, and learn some crazy hard tough as nails inspiring bravery and strength to share with your littles. Praying for you, wishing you peace and strength.

Anyway, that is my not fairy tale life that I am happily embracing and finding joy in every day. Fairy tales are boring anyway. For whatever reason, we princesses were selected for more adventure and plot twist. Just watch us and see how much more incredibly happily ever after we are!!
March 16, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterApril
April, I am very late to thank you for sharing your story. It meant a lot. I hope you are well - gentle congrats on your pregnancy! I am happy that you two continue to work things out and hang in there. And so angry that he didn't, he never said much about being unhappy, just quietly built his "escape" and then walked out when he had a new life set up, and I found out about it. Didn't even have the guts to tell me. There was no fighting for our family, no therapy, Nothing.

Last week was a strange day. My youngest was two years, seven months and 4 days old. On this day in my oldest daughter's life, her sister died. It felt so strange. It took me back to that day more than I had anticipated. And now I have yet another kid going through a loss at this age. Old and new grief got all muddled up and I felt awful. So angry, at him, at life, for my daughter's death, everything.
April 9, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAlya