Let me start off by saying I am so, so deeply sorry for your loss. You are now a member of a club that no one wants to be a part of but, I am glad you found this site.
My son Carter was born sleeping at 38 weeks and 2 days on October 20, 2011. I have put together a website where mothers of angels can come together and share with others what they have learned through this horrible experience. I wanted to create a site where all the information could be centralized.
Days after the delivery, I spent hours upon hours searching for something, anything… While you may still search, I hope that you find a lot of helpful information and support here.
Mommies of angels all have a very special bond with each other, no one understands the pain of losing a child like another mother who has lost a child.
I have experienced and still experience everyday Grief, Sadness, Anger and Extreme guilt.
I can tell you that you will never be the same person that you were and you will have to find the "new normal" in your life. I can also tell you that while you will NEVER forget your child, the fact that you have lost them will get easier to live with.
I can assure you that you are not alone, please look at the links I have provided under the "link" tab.
Below I have provided some advice that others have given me that has helped me along this journey:
-Cry whenever you want and need to
-do not let anyone ever rush your grieving
-it is ok if you cannot be around pregnant woman or new babies.
-it is ok if you cannot go to baby showers or birthday parties for young children
-talk about your baby
-if you need a day to just stay home in bed, it’s ok
-take your time getting back out again.
-act and react however you need to, you have been through the hardest and most traumatic loss anyone could ever go through.
-No matter what, this is NOT your fault. As mothers we take sole responsibility for what happens to our children. But this is Not your fault.
- One mommy told me she was told "You're a mommy now and nobody can ever take that away from you".
-Be prepared for questions from others, such as:
- did you have the baby yet?
- what happened?
- or when people find out, for them not to say anything at all (this bothers me the most).
I have lost many people after Carter was born. Some because I they did not know how to deal with my loss, and others because I could not deal with how they were treating me (ie. not acknowledging that he existed.
If you are very new to this process these are a couple of the things I am glad I found.
One thing that helped me so much was to write down Carter's story. Not only so I would never forget ever detail (as if that were possible), but so I could get it down on paper. I have shared my story under the "about me" tab. Please feel free to share your story under the "forums" tab when you feel ready.
I had Carter cremated, I could not imagine him anywhere but home with me. I have made a shelf in my living room, with his picture and urn, and some other things that remind me of him.
It is a very personal decision, whatever you decide, please take a breath and really think of what you want to do (for the long run). Unfortunately I have met some woman that now regrets the decisions they made. There is also something called cremation jewelry (who knew). I have small amount of Carter's ashes put in a pendant I wear every day. My partner wears a ring with some in it.
An urn and cremation jewelry are very personal decisions. I can suggest some sights, but it is best just to Google children's urns, and cremation jewelry for children.
There is A LOT of facebook groups for loss, try some and you will find the one or ones that suit you, stick with the ones you feel most comfortable with.
I also know the desperation to have another child, I actually asked my doctor in the hospital when we could start trying again (ridiculous right?..... not really).
Definitions of words that I have been forced to learn.....
Butterfly or Angel - your baby that passed, I call Carter my butterfly. I have been told the reason we use the butterfly is :
"A Butterfly lights beside us like a sunbeam.
And for a brief moment its glory and beauty
belong to our world.
But then it flies on again and
though we wish it could have stayed,
we feel so lucky to have seen it.
Don't weep at my grave, for I am not there,
I've a date with a butterfly to dance in the air.
I'll be singing in the sunshine, wild and free,
Playing tag with the wind, while I'm waiting for thee. "
Rainbow - "Rainbow babies: In some circles, babies born to families after the loss of a child are referred to as "Rainbow Babies." The idea is that the baby is like a rainbow after a storm. "Rainbow Babies" is the understanding that the beauty of a rainbow does not negate the ravages of the storm. When a rainbow appears, it doesn't mean the storm never happened or that the family is not still dealing with its aftermath. What it means is that something beautiful and full of light has appeared in the midst of the darkness and clouds. Storm clouds may still hover but the rainbow provides a counterbalance of color, energy and hope".
TTC - trying to conceive
BFP - big fat positive
BFN - big fat negative
TWW - two week wait, between ovulation and when you can test for pregnancy
LMP - late menstrual period
DD, DS,DH - dearest daughter, son, husband, etc.
BBT - basal body temperature
BD - baby dancing (intercourse)
DPO - days past ovulation
AF - aunt flow aka your period
CM - cervical mucus
O or OV - Ovulation
OPK - Ovulation Predictor Kit
IUI - Intrauterine Insemination
IVF - In Vitro Fertilization
HPT - home pregnancy test
One of the angel mommies from the support group posted this and I love it. I wish i had sent it to everyone I knew when Carter was first born.
How to understand Parents of angels....
Do not worry that mentioning the name of the child will "remind" bereaved parents of their child. We remember our child every minute of every day. We want to talk about our child. Mention his name. One of our biggest fears is that he will be forgotten and one of our biggest joys is to hear his name.
Understand that we are parents without the right number of children. Because of this we experience over and over again fear, anger, guilt, sorrow, loss of future, isolation, abandonment. These are not steps that we work through but feelings that will continue to return forever with various intensity and in different forms.
Keep in mind that there really is no "closure" to the grief for the loss of a child. How can there be? Such loss is against nature and against all that we understand in the passage from one generation to the next.
What you say to bereaved parents is less important than that you say something. Ignoring bereaved parents is only adding to the burden of grief. Simply asking "How are you doing?" can be very helpful. But do it often.
When bereaved parents return to the workplace, make sure that you stop by, even if it's just to say "hello." After the loss of a child, parents often feel as if they are starting all over. This "new life" is just in the infancy stage and a friendly word makes a difference.
Call bereaved parents just to let them know you are thinking about them. Don't be insulted if they do not call you. Grieving saps energy for a long time.
Never think that grieving parents are somehow "holding onto their grief. "There is no such thing. The loss of a child causes endless grief that becomes part of the bereaved parent's inner self forever.
Remember that grief is not a process that one goes through a step at a time. Grieving is a roller coaster ride, and it is circular. The first couple of years, we are numb. When the numbness goes away, we are shocked to see that the world has gone on without our child. When we come out of this numbness, we are different people with a new sense of what it is to be "normal."
When parents lose their child, their hearts are broken. A huge hole is left. This hole will never heal - only the jagged edges around the hole may heal with time. Our grief, not always in the same form and maybe not as intense, will be with us the rest of our lives.
It does not matter how a child died or whether he was one week old or sixty years old. Nor does it matter whether there are surviving children. There is something absolute about the loss of each and every individual child.
Certain times of year will trigger intense sadness. Birthdays, anniversaries of the death, holidays, Mother's and Father's Day, weddings and funerals are just some. We can never properly prepare ourselves for these days. A simple "I am thinking of you and I know this day must be hard" goes a long way with bereaved parents.
I hope that you can find some support from this site and from the support group as I have. Please feel free to email me any time.