A kick in the face reminder

When I was pregnant with Mabel, we learned she had Down Syndrome at 13 weeks. From that point forward, Chris and I tried to be positive. We started making connections, reading books, attending conferences . There was certainly adjustment to be had, but we were accepting. Not long after the news, I was connected with another woman a few weeks behind me with the same Down Syndrome diagnosis. We corresponded a bit through email but we were in different places– I was moving forward with the diagnosis; she was praying for a miracle. We were cordial, but did not stay in touch.

Until now.

I received an email from her hoping to reconnect, now that we both had babies with Down Syndrome. It was a very sweet email, complete with photos, from a mom who clearly loves her child. It was well intentioned and in another world would have been welcome.

But it in this world, the one where my baby died, it hurt. It felt like a kick in the face. Just when I thought I was moving forward in my grief, learning how to live with the loss of my baby, I am reminded how cruel and unfair the world can be.

I am angry. So. Very. Angry.

I am not angry at this woman- I feel relieved that she had a living baby and that child is clearly loved to pieces. I am angry that mine never had the chance. I am angry that I said yes, accepted a difficult diagnosis and my baby still died. I am angry that I wanted to be a parent, that my pregnancy was planned and that I was ready, but my baby still died. I could go on about my anger- about how people seem to get pregnant easily, multiple times! How people think they are invincible in pregnancy, how people don’t recognize the gift that pregnancy and living children are. I could go on and on, but what’s the point?

I’m just angry that my baby died. And I didn’t need any reminders.

8 thoughts on “A kick in the face reminder

  1. I am so sorry Meghan. This is indeed a severe kick in the face. It hurts to be faced with someone who is (essentially) living the life we are supposed to have. You have every right to feel angry and cheated. You are beautiful, devoted mother who got totally shafted by life. Mabel would have been just as fortunate (as this other child is) to have you to parent her, had she lived.

    One of my best friends, who has been so, so incredibly supportive after Zachary died (we both lost our first child in 2006 and since became the best of friends) is still very difficult for me to be around. She has two living children after the loss of her daughter. She is living the life that I’m supposed to be living now. She is engaged in life and her kids’ school and friends and activities, just like I was supposed to be doing now. It hurts to hear about what she’s doing with and for her kids. I was just right there with Zachary here too. But instead, I now have 2 dead children and my life is standing still. So, even someone who has endured the loss of a child, who has been supportive of me in my new grief, is difficult for me to tolerate, after having lost Zachary.

    • Oh how hard to have a friend like that- such an intimate reminder. It’s a messed up world that even our relationships with other babyloss moms can be complicated by further babyloss (or infertility).

      I think what hurts most is, I replied to the woman with what I think was a very kind email and told Mabel’s story. I replied just hours after I got the email. It’s now been days and I havent gotten a response back. I know we didnt know each other, but a simple “I”m so sorry” would have sufficed. Now I just imagine what she’s thinking (i wasnt religious enough. I should have prayed more?) and thats worse, the imagining.

  2. So true Megan…why not us and our babies? My sister and I were pregnant together, me with my first and her with her third. She had her baby girl the week after my daughter died. We live in the same neighborhood..I pick her and her daughter up every Sunday and go to my mom’s for lunch. I love my niece very much and she is lavished with so much love by the entire family..but boy is she a punch in the gut for me!! Not that we wish others babies died too..just that ours had been given the same chance at life.

    • Yes- thats right. I dont wish any other babies to die, just wish mine could have had a chance. My sister and I were pregnant together too (me with my first, she with her second) and so we are similar in that way. but my sister lives across the country and I’ve only seen my nephew once (which was hard). The physical distance I think makes its harder for me to figure out how to bring that baby into my life.

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