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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.

ttc | pregnancy | birth after loss > The Optimistic¬†Perspective

I think this is normal--and please feel free to assure me that it is!--but before my devastating loss of my son I was an extremely optimistic, hardworking and happy person. After losing our son my beliefs have been shaken to the core. I have been going through odd bouts of depression which pause for random hopeful thoughts and thoughts that "everything will be okay" in the end. Then, depression and sadness again, the feeling of why me and why did this happen--stopped with a positive framing of "this is just life and we will be okay and take the hardships and remain hopeful for the future." I feel like my mood swings are constant, but I think they are normal?

I am torn between two right now, mentally--my optimistic, normal self is so so hopeful for a future pregnancy that may turn out okay in the end. But part of me, the fearful part that has been awakened after my tragedy, is terrified of moving forward with a pregnancy and illogically believes that I can't have kids at all (although I know deep down this doesn't make logical sense as I carried my first son to 38.5 weeks before the Abruption occurred and he passed).

But deep down, very deep deep down, I still have that inner voice in my head telling me everything will be okay in the end. That my awful loss of my son will scar me and continue to hurt, but I will experience healing at the end. I have that fragile hope that my mind and my heart and every fabric of my soul still clings to, perhaps by default. That I will never forget my beautiful, precious son, but I can move forward from this horrible pain and emerge scarred but whole. That life is still good, although awful things happen to perfectly good people and tragedies can strike left and right without warning. I haven't come to acceptance with my son's death yet, and I am jaded and sad and bitter----but life will be good again. It will be okay again. I will be okay again. I have hope for the future, and I think that is the only thing, hanging on a fragile string, that keeps me going right now--that hope. I had that hope when my father died three years ago, and that hope has returned with my son's death.

I strongly believe it. Tragedy is changing and shaping us and shaking us all to our very core. I will not hide the fact that I am more depressed than I have been through any tragedy in life I have had, much more depressed than when my father died. Because he was my son, he was a vital part of my being and his entire future was erased as soon as his heartbeat stopped. But I still carry that hope. I still don't want this grief to take away who I am as a person. I don't want it to change my outlook on life and destroy my inner strength and identity. I want to rise above this horrible pain and emerge a mother who has lost her child, but who is stronger from that tragedy, who still loves him deeply but has the strength and resilience to move forward with life in a way that none other who have experienced the loss of a child can imagine. I truly believe this is the greatest suffering any human can endure, and for us to emerge from it, no matter what shape we are in, makes us incredibly strong and brave women.

It is still early and raw and awful for me, but I know we will survive, I know it beyond all my pain and sorrow, that we will emerge from this, and remember our lost children fondly as irreplaceable parts of us, moving forward in the chaos that has become our lives.
January 1, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterNada
Dear Nada,

How I can review myself in you... Yes, what you are feeling is normal, or at least I went up and down like that too. It is all right to fell confident of a better future... It is fine to laugh again from time to time, to feel happy when good things happen, to enjoy your life... It is normal to accept whathappened to us and try to move on, to be positive and happy again...
But it is also normal to remember and feel a bout of sadness, it is normal to never be as carefree as before, it is normal to have good days and bad days...
You just need to find your balance, to allow yourself to live again, to not feel guilty if a day, a week, a month passes and you did not remember and cryed... Above all else, don't feel guilty about yourself, and your natural positiveness!
But accept also that nothing will ever be the same!
January 2, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMarta
Marta,

Thank you for being so supportive. I am glad you have your ups and downs as well...sometimes I feel like I am having such a great day, and I do feel a twinge of guilt here and there. But then I remember times throughout that day when I cried, or thought nonstop about my son, or was filled with a traumatic memory of my birth experience and that day in the hospital. It didn't take up my entire day, so I guess that is what I now define as a "really good day." I am fully understanding now that grief really IS a cyclical thing, because I have these optimistic, hopeful thoughts for a bright future towards the evening. And it's usually after crying and being sad about my situation hours before. This morning was hard, I wake up and my son is my first thought, and what I could have done to have prevented his death, etc. etc. But I am feeling calmer now and a little positive. So yes, ups and downs, they don't seem to stop!

I think this is probably my balance for now. Living life as normally as I can with bouts of depression and crying inbetween. Honestly, the fact that we are getting up every morning, attending to daily tasks, and giving ourselves time to grieve inbetween is an amazing thing. It takes a lot of strength and courage and I think we should all be proud of ourselves for that, no matter how far we are in our grief journeys...
January 2, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterNada