BabyLoss: Pregnant Before and After Pictures

I saw this link on my facebook feed. (*warning to the baby loss- photos of pregnancy and newborns*)

http://beingmommydaily.com/pregnant-before-and-after-pictures-heartwarming

if you haven’t clicked, let me tell you: it’s a series of side by side photos with a woman very pregnant next to herself in the same clothes, standing the same way, holding her newborn at tummy level.

This was a link I would have clicked on easily in the before. My job as a midwife and my natural draw towards pregnancy and newborn photos would have made the link a good match for me.

Now, in the after, my facebook feed is pretty empty of kids, babies and bellies, thanks to my weeding out and unfollowing of friends who have such things. But I am also in the OB community and so some career related posts sometimes pop up.

I clicked on it.

I know what you’re thinking- I’m sure some of you babylost have your own idea. Perhaps I was a glutton for punishment. Like how even though I’ve blocked babies from my feed, I every now and then look at certain people’s pages. I make myself sad by doing it and perhaps that’s why I do it- I want to feel sad, on my own time, when I click, not when I’m surprised in my feed. Perhaps it’s training, recognizing that bellies and babies are a reality (an everyday reality in my working world), and forcing myself to look at these kinds of photos will help desensitize me so I can react in real life like a real human instead of the grief monster I have become.

But that’s not why I clicked this link.

I clicked because I honestly thought I would see some mothers empty handed.

Isn’t that crazy? Have I become too entangled in the babyloss world that my reality is blurred? Of course pictures of mothers with empty arms would not be called “heartwarming!” Maybe my facebook feed is so saturated with StillStanding Magazine and Down Syndrome Bereavement Support Group posts that I forget that there is anything else? Maybe I’ve become so open about my loss and have found so many of you out there to talk easily of our dead babies, that I expect the world to do the same?

I’m not sure why I thought they’d have empty-armed mothers there, but I think they should.

Perhaps this is a challenge. Could we come up with some of our own photos? Can you find a photo of yourself pregnant and restage it now? You can have empty arms or holding a photo of your child or a keepsake that reminds you of him/her.

Think about it.

If you do it, post it on your own blog and link it in the comments. If you don’t have your own blog but want to share, comment and I’ll email you for the photos to post on my blog.

What do think?

I didn’t have many photos of myself big and pregnant.  It’s one of my bigger regrets.  At the time I thought I wouldn’t want to be reminded later on, but now I cherish every pregnancy photo I have.  Here I am November 2013 and present day.

Babyloss: Pregnant Before and After

Babyloss: Pregnant Before and After

10 (non-grief) Things About Me

An online magazine, Still Standing, which is popular in my babyloss community recently posted an article encouraging us to share about ourselves beyond what we usually share related to grief.  I’ve had several bad days this week and so the timing was good.  I need to remind myself that there is more to me than just grief, because some days it’s hard for me to believe that. I enjoyed reading Baby Boy Blue’s post and was inspired to write my own.

 

1. Where were you born and where do you live?

I was born in Providence RI, lived my first months in Warwick RI, then off the Belgium for two years, returning to Warwick before I was potty trained.  I spent the rest of my childhood in a small town in Massachusetts.  I went as far away as I could for college- California- and found my way to Connecticut by way of a short stint in DC.

 

2. What is your favourite food?

Chocolate, Hands down.  Bread is a close second.

 

3. Where have you traveled to?

Living in Belgium my during the first two years of my life I’ve traveled all over Europe, but I couldn’t list where.  In my memorable life, I’ve been to the east and west coast plenty and had my first real introduction to the Midwest after meeting my husband’s family who lives there.  I’ve been to Hawaii and Puerto Rico.  Internationally I’ve been to France, Belgium, Netherlands, Ireland, England, Switzerland, Italy, Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Ecuador and Panama.

 

4. What are you reading right now?

The second in the Divergent Trilogy.  I read the first one a while back, felt it was just another version of The Hunger Games only less good.  But then I saw the movie Divergent and now I want to know what happens next.  As I read I’m reminded why I stopped after the first one.  Just finished The SIlver Star by Jeannette Walls.  I bought it at a library book sale in a quiet town in CT while biking during a camping trip.  I usually read on my kindle so it a total throwback to have a paper book.  Also recently finished The Empathy Exams: Essays by Leslie Jamison for my book group (which I didn’t attend- though it would have been a good book to talk about).  I recently gave up reading Pap Smears and Pet Goats by Pamela Wible, MD because she was too cheery on trying to solve the health care system- just quit and start your own practice! just like that! Bleh.

 

5. What is your favourite colour?

Purple. I wrote about it here.

 

6. Your favourite book?

The Red Tent by Anita Diamant-  You know the bible story of Joseph and all his brothers?  Well, he had a sister and mothers.  This is the story of the women left out of the bible.  It spoke to me as a woman, as a former catholic and as a midwife.  I also hold a favorite place in my heart A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and The BFG.

 

7. Most amazing day of your life?

Aside from the birth of my baby (also the saddest day), my wedding day! I had lots of fun planning- we kicked a kickball down the aisle (we met playing kickball), had a cake eating contest and did a choreographed thriller dance.  I would plan another one in a heartbeat if anyone would like to fund it.

 

8. What have you been procrastinating on?

There’s pair of pants Chris needs hemming, a poster needing framing, rooms needing cleaning.  Plus there’s a bunch of hobbies Ive been meaning to start.  Chris got me a sander as a gift one year.  I wanted one because I had this great idea that I’d start refinishing furniture.  I’m the kind of girl who loves picking up perfectly good furniture on the side of the road.  I could sand them and repaint them.  I even have an old little side table ready to practice on. Someday….

 

9. What is a strange fact about you?

I am polydactyl! I was born with six fingers on my right hand.  As an infant the doctors did a highly technical procedure to remove it- they tied string around it until it fell off.  I lived my childhood with a little nubbin that people often thought was a wart.  So in high school a dermatologist removed it and it grew back!  In grad school I had another dermatologist try again and now all that is left is a faint scar.

 

10.  What is your perfect idea of a night in?

Homemade BBQ chicken pizza eaten on our patio on a warm summer night, chocolate chocolate chip ice cream and a movie with my boo.

 

The view from my patio.

The view from my patio.

I am Still Standing in memory of Mabel.