Please do not tell me I am not a mother. Just because my child is not here, and yours is, doesn’t make me less of a mother. I am still a mother. I still had a child. I still loved my child. I still did everything in my power to protect and care for my child. Some things are beyond our control and I work every single day to accept that fact.
Please do not tell me that my child(ren) do not matter because they are not here. Whether my child died during pregnancy or they were still born or they died shortly after birth, my child still counts. Please, do not tell me my anything different.
Please do not tell me that my child who died during pregnancy is not a child. We all have different opinions on the moment life begins, please have the decency to respect that my definition starts are conception. I loved my child, just like you did when you found out you were pregnant. We had different outcomes, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t love my little baby any different then you did
Please do not tell me that you understand our frustrations of being parents without a child. If you have a child, you do not understand what it is like to balance 2 lives. Our private life where we cherish our memories, and our public life where we actively work to reduce your anxiety when and if we choose to talk about our situation and circumstances. We know it’s hard on you, can you please try to respect that this is hard on us?
Please do not ask me if I have children or how many children I have, unless you are prepared for the truthful answer. It is unfair to expect me to lie about our children, simply because it is too hard for you to understand. They are my children, they are part of my life and they do effect every decision we have made since they lived and died.
Please, on celebrations like mother’s day or father’s day or even Easter or Christmas, quietly acknowledge with us that today might be hard. Be honest if you don’t understand, or if you cannot imagine, but please understand that these family gatherings, with all the other little ones running around, may not bring us the joy that they bring to you. These days are hard on us as we are reminded of what we do not have.
Please do something little, like send us a card, to let us know you care on these difficult days.
Please don’t be afraid to talk to us about our children; however short their lives. We love them and carry them with us daily. Please feel free to share your memories or your lost dreams with us. Although we don’t want to live our lives focused on the heartache, we do appreciate knowing that you care and that you think about us and our children.
Please do not cower to your fears about how to talk to us since we’ve gone through a loss. We are still human. We might be a bit more messy, but we are still human and you can talk to us about anything just like you did before. If something is too hard for us to talk about, we’ll tell you or we will simply change the subject.
Please know that we are absolutely delighted for you and your family even if we aren’t so good at saying it.
Please know that sometimes we don’t see you as often as we used to, but we still love you and your child(ren). Maybe we skip family gatherings or we don’t visit as much as you’d like. But, know it is because we are coping the best we can. We are coping with our fears, and one of our coping mechanisms are to distance ourselves when it’s too hard.
Please know that we will come around, eventually. We just need time to deal with our emotions and make sure that when we do see you, we can put on the happy face without a complete mental breakdown that would take away from your excitement.
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