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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 > how many times can you shatter?

I lost baby P. in March 2015. It was awful. You all know the 'sting'. It's so much more than a sting. So hard on my family, especially kids- 6 and 2.

I hoped again, I was ready but husband wasn't. Then I wasn't, and then we both were up to the possibility.

Roller coaster pregnancy... Doctors expected serious problems, but it was all ok. My son keeps expecting this baby to die, too. We finally convince him it's ok. And it really is!

We just couldn't believe it. We finally have a healthy baby... finally life has settled. Older kids are falling in love with him. We all are in love with him, sweet baby boy E. So blessed.

Today, baby E. is a day away from turning 7 months old. But it's not ok. Tomorrow we will be finding out what kind of cancer it is that my perfect, beautiful, baby has. Tomorrow we find out how bad the cancer is- which type. Thursday we find out if it's only a serious abdominal surgery, or if we need to start chemo, right away too. Or if we can wait a bit to see if chemo is that necessary.

I quit coffee so this boy would be healthy. I make my kids eat wheat bread. I promised my four year old that this baby would be ok. And that if he died, we would let him hold his baby anyway. I finally believed it would all be ok. Now I have to figure out how to explain that our perfect baby, will be moving to the hospital for a while. That I can't take them to gymnastics or go camping like we planned.

Now I have to tell them that it's not all ok, or I have to lie. I have to show them the printed up handout that teaches kids that sometimes babies do get tumors, and that it's nobody's fault.

My pain, and disappointment, and distrust, and it's just not fair! There is just no word for this. I wouldn't feed my baby formula, because I know that breast is best. But tomorrow I'm taking him to get pumped full of a radioactive isotope. I just don't have the strength for this. Where is my pass? Where is mercy? Where is my help? This pain is so heavy I can't move.

so, i'm reshattering. shatter again. how many times can astronomical odds strike??? I'm going to pick up baby E. now, though he is sleeping. I want to hold him again because I don't know how many more times I can. babies die. i used to think that since i had one that died, the next one will be ok, and since he got here safely we are finally safe. but there is no promise.
May 1, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterapril
I am so so sorry. This isn't fair, it isn't right. I am so hoping that this is not an aggressive cancer and that it requires minimal treatment. I don't know what to say, it is heartbreaking. Wishing you strength for all you have to do and go through.
May 1, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterDenise
April- I am so unbelievably sorry for this. It’s just not fair. We lost Luke almost two years ago. His sister was born last year, and within days of her arrival (she was finally here safe!), a surgeon erroneously told us a lump on her back was likely malignant (it wasn’t). I know my experience is vastly different, but I remember having the thoughts when they were trying to find a vein to inject the dye into her for her MRI... how is this possible. And then the biopsy surgery. As I treated my body so carefully during my pregnancy, and now we were giving her injections of dye and anesthetia. And in the worst of it, I just kept trying to tell myself it was going to be all right. Because of your experiences you know that it isn’t always, but it really could be all right this time. (Obviously this is total bullshit even if it IS all right in the end... your baby should not be having surgery, period). But he will probably be ok. I’m sorry and I’m thinking of you. Please keep us posted. Xoxo
May 1, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterAbby
One other little bit if advice if you haven’t done so already... try to find Facebook groups of kids with cancer or maybe the type of cancer your son has. There are huge networks out there and they may help get a handle on what is going on. Xoxo
May 1, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterAbby
April. I don’t have the words- this life is so unfair and total bullshit. I’m so sorry that your family is going through this, I will be thinking of your sweet son and sending you love.
May 1, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterAM
April, life can be so incredibly harsh and unfair. It can never be right for you and your family to go through this. I am sending all my love and support over the months to come. Xxx
May 2, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterKE
April, I'm finding it hard to put the some words down, when the only thing going through my mind is how it's so senselessly tragic. All I can tell you is that your story took me right back to that week after my daughter's death, when breathing was painful. I just can't believe life is doing this to you.

Partly, I am still hoping that you might be too quick to assume only the worst and none of the other possible outcomes (because we all do that now), but even if that's true I don't want to downplay what you are going through.

I'll be thinking about you and baby E. Please let us know what you find out from the tests.
May 2, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterAna
April - I am so sorry. How terrible for you and your whole family. Sending you all strength and love this week.
May 2, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterSR
April, sending you strength and hoping for the best possible news from the Dr's regarding type of cancer and treatment.
May 2, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterEYR
My love. My love. My love.
Not enough. No words.
May 8, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterLozza
April, wherever you are, you've been in my thoughts every single day since you posted this. Wishing baby E the best of outcomes with all my being.
May 14, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterAna
You’ve been in my thoughts daily as well. Hoping for a full recovery for your sweet rainbow baby.
May 14, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMatthew’s Mom