“I can’t believe this is happening to me!” Is this what you were thinking the day you had your stillborn baby? Were you confused about why, and more importantly why you?Or maybe you were feeling anger or jealousy, thinking something like, “Why can’t I have a normal baby, a living baby, like everyone else in this hospital?” “Why do they get to have the joy of taking their newborn home, and instead I’m holding a dead baby?” Why? Why? Please, someone just tell me………why?
Even as a daddy, I struggled with the above questions. Although I’m sure I don’t struggle nearly as much, or as bad as you mommies do. But some questions never get answered for any of us, at least on this side of heaven. Just thinking about that day can bring back a teeter-totter of intense emotions. Your stress levels can spring back to unprecedented levels, can’t they? Your brain relives that time so vividly. Your mind can soar to the utmost heights of joy, and 5 minutes later sink to lowest depth of pain and sorrow. There were moments of despair and sheer terror when you were in the delivery room. But those same moments were also mixed with love, wonder, and hope. How can anyone even explain this? I lived through it and still can’t explain it. And no one, except for parents who have been through it, can even relate to what I am talking about. The whole experience is still shrouded in mystery.
Are you ever afraid you’re going to forget those precious moments you had with your lifeless baby? You know, those moments in the delivery room when he or she finally arrived? Are you ever afraid your memory will lapse on how it felt to be cradling your little one? Do you ever think you’ll forget that little boy or girl? The way they felt? The color of their eyes? The exact appearance of their face? What about the words you spoke to them as they lie motionless in your arms? Are things starting to become a blur over time? Are you scared of the moment slipping away from you?
Yes, we all have these fears when it comes to our stillborn babies. We’re afraid we will forget some of the most memorable few hours of our lives. Granted, this could happen. At least to certain degrees in most of us. We live in a fallen world, with minds that are also fallen. The sad fact is that, as some of us get older, we will forget some of the moments we had with our babies. This could be due to Alzheimer’s, senility, or simply old age. Nothing, not even our good memories of delivery day, will be perfect on a fallen earth.
But why do we have these intense fears regarding memories of our stillborn? Very simple. You fear losing those things you most treasure. You become almost obsessed with not losing them. Memories of our babies are precious. Especially since, for parents of stillborns, memories are all we have. And we may forget little tiny moments of that day, but certainly not the whole experience. Not even close.
By the grace of God, here are 5 gut-wrenching, tear-filled, but at the same time precious moments you will likely not forget about your sweet stillborn. As a daddy, my experience was much different than you as a mommy, of course. And although this one is written for both parents, I suspect mommies will relate to it more. Either way, I hope it blesses you. So let’s get to it, mommies and daddies. While there are many more things that could be added to this list, I hope you will never forget………….
1) The exact way it felt to hold your little baby in your arms for the first time.
Remember how you carefully made sure that their fragile, wobbly body was well protected, with their head placed sturdily underneath your arm? Remember trying not to injure them, and being ever so delicate with them? Trust me, whether or not you say you believe in God, you knew that your baby was created in His image. You cannot deny that. It shows in the way you treated your little one. The way you took extra care to make sure you held them like a baby should be held. The way you reacted when the nurses wanted to bathe and clothe your baby in a cute little outfit. You wanted to be a mommy and daddy just like every other parent. Stillborn babies are body and soul just like every other human being, created to bring glory to God and live forever. You must accept, and hold onto this truth, because you proved it in the delivery room. You loved and cradled your baby like the precious human being they truly are. And it felt amazing, didn’t it?!
2) The way you pretended you were going to take your baby home.
Remember the tears and overwhelming emotions when your baby was born? Was it joy or was it sadness? Was it both? I suspect it was both……..in some crazy, but unexplainable way. Delivery day!! YAY!! No wait……..“I can’t be happy! Can I??” At some point, you stopped worrying about what everyone else thought. You stepped full force into the messy and scary reality of what you were going through. You talked to your baby like you were giving them instructions, didn’t you? You told them how much you loved them, right? Even though you knew they couldn’t hear you, you still told them. You wanted to make that day as beautiful as it could possibly be. And that is the way it should be. That is our God given way of dealing with grief. No one was going to take your moment of joy away from you, even if they tried.
And you needed to pretend a little, didn’t you? You felt like you were going to take them home with you. You convinced yourself of this. Just for that short period of time, you pretended like you were like every other mommy and daddy in a delivery room. “Why should I be any different than them?” is what you were thinking. And you know what, it was ok to pretend. It was ok to pretend that you were taking your baby home. We allow little kids to have that kind of mind sometimes, right? We wouldn’t dare condemn every kind of “pretend” game. How else could you have enjoyed those few moments you had with your baby? The mind is an amazing thing! It gives us the ability to enjoy precious moments, even in the midst of awfully intense sorrow. Both at the same time. It allows us to momentarily shut things out a little bit, doing away with emotions that will only complicate things. That’s what I did with Ariana. I held her like she was coming home. I spoke to her like she was coming home. It made the time go much better. Was it like that for you?
3) That moment when your precious little first came out of your body……..silently.
It was a deafening sound of silence. I know that is an oxymoron, but it wasn’t like any other silence. It was a silence you could only feel. A silence you can still vividly imagine when your mind travels back to that day. Remember how you were hoping and praying, and wishing real hard, that your baby would just start crying, despite all the medical evidence that said he or she was already dead. I knew Ariana was gone before we went to the delivery room that day. The ultrasound proved as much the day before her birth. But I still kept holding onto hope. Maybe I had seen seen too many movies. I don’t know.
But I believed miracles happen. I wasn’t a Christian at the time. But I still believed that God existed, and that He performed miracles. I still thought I would get my prayers answered. Yes, I really thought we were going to get a miracle on February 20th, 2002. Looking back, I imagine Ariana coming out of the womb crying like other babies, looking at me as if to say, “Daddy, why do you look so frightened? Have faith! I am alive! I am a living miracle! Come over here and give me a hug!” But it wasn’t meant to be. You know how people say “crickets” all the time now when speaking about silence. That was the answer God gave me. “Crickets” was all I heard from my little girl. Mommy was moaning in pain. The nurses were speaking encouraging words. I was silent. Silent and crying. And my baby was silent. I know yours was too.
4) The thoughts you had when you had to give your baby back.
How cruel it felt to give your baby back to the people at the hospital, knowing that the next time you see your little……..he or she will be in a casket. Knowing that your hope has now been disintegrated, you feel like there is no reason to have joy ever again in your life. Now, all you can think about is how you have to lie in that bed and listen to all the other babies screaming and crying in the other rooms. You have to somehow hold up under the weight of what feels to be an unbearable load. You have to drive home with that empty car seat in the back.
It has been said that picking out a casket for a baby is one of the most dreadful experiences one could ever go through. The person who said this may be right, but they are missing the whole picture. Here’s the thing. You also had to see that casket being lowered into the ground. Did you think about seeing your little being lowered into the ground when you gave them back at the hospital? Maybe you suppressed that truth in the moment. But not long after, you knew it was coming.
Don’t forget that moment at the cemetery. I know it’s painful, but do not forget this moment. Why? Because it is a part of your story. It is a part of you that no one should ever forget about. It is a reminder that this world is not as it should be. You had to give your baby back. And that is not the way it should have gone down. Mommies and daddies should not be handing back their babies at hospitals. But there is hope!
5) The moment when you first thought about where your baby really is.
You know what? The casket is not your baby’s home. Neither is the grave. Read those last two sentences again. You know what else? The day you delivered your stillborn wasn’t all about pretending was it? Maybe the part about taking them home was, but there is a greater truth that should’ve kept us going. And if this truth didn’t keep you going in the delivery room then, please make sure it keeps you going now. Your stillborn baby is now, and forever, in a place of infinite joy and pleasure. I keep thinking about where my little girl was in spirit, even though she was lifeless in my arms. You can do the same. Even better, you can think about where your baby is now. They’ll be dancing on streets of gold one day, when they have their glorified bodies. And that is not pretend. That is for real.
Your baby’s spirit is now with Jesus. So even if you do end up with a tragic disease of the mind and forget about your baby, HE never will! And if you are in Christ, you will see your baby again. And no one, and I mean no one, can ever take that truth away.
Your likes or comments are always appreciated! I will do my best to respond to each one. And if you enjoy my posts, I wouldn’t mind an extra subscriber either. (-: God bless you, and thanks for stopping by! – Jamie
16 thoughts on “5 Unforgettable Moments You Had With Your Stillborn Baby”
Thank you so much for This! I am a Christian,my husband and I actually got baptized the same month we conceived our son. We lost him Jan 11-1018 At 34w4d.
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You’re welcome Carolyn! I praise God if it has helped you in any way. And I am so sorry that you lost your son. It is such an intense pain that you almost don’t know what to do with it sometimes. But I know that God will sustain and comfort both you and your husband. Cling to the promises of His Word, and also remember always that you will be reunited with your son one day! God bless. (-:
This is the best article I have ever read since my stillborn. I am now 60 years old with two daughters that are alive and one granddaughter. No one will ever take that place in your heart and you guard that place with all your might. I miss my Chelsea but I too am a Christian and can’ wait for the day to see her again. That was the hardest thing in my life I ever went through but God gave me hope and joy again and I praise Him for that.
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Oh wow, thank you Beth for your encouragement! I am so glad to read about how your eyes are fixed on Christ, and the promises of His Word which carry you through each day. Yes, one day you will see your Chelsea! And I will see my Ariana! Praise God for His kindness in revealing Himself to us. (-: Blessings to you and your family.
So sorry for your loss ,I think your words say exactly what everyone who has suffered a loss thinks and feels ,I can relate to it ,our beautiful daughter Eliza was born sleeping at 39+4 last April ,🦋
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Thank you for your kind words, Nikki. And I am so sorry for your loss as well! I love that name Eliza. (-:
I love this! It is so accurate. And my husband made a good point. Emlyn’s passing just gives us an eternal goal to make it to heaven so we can be reunited with our daughter in Heaven. She was born sleeping April 25th 2018.
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Wow, that is so recent! Your heart must be breaking. I am so sorry. May the Lord bring you strength during such a difficult time.
And your eternal goal can be realized through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone. (-: That is how anyone makes it to heaven. Ephesians 2:8-9 states, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God- not by works, so that no one can boast.” If you trust in Jesus for salvation, He will receive you into Heaven. God bless you!
Jamie, this is so beautiful..I miss Ariana, so much too ! I am so blessed that I was able to hold her and sing to her, and tell her she would always be my first little granddaughter and she would always be close in my heart always..and I told her stories..and rocked her… ..How I did it, I don’t know…Good Lord gave me strength, but I know someday there will be a big beautiful reunion with her…and I will hold her as tight as I can..and Jamie you are an awesome father to her, and she knows, believe me…she knows how much you love her, and miss her…You are a gifted writer..and we are so proud..Love you!
Thank you for the encouraging words mom! I know you love and miss her very much! Thank you for bringing her toys and flowers to the gravesite. She will enjoy meeting grandmommy one day. (-:
So true thank you for bring us such encouragement I don’t I will ever get over loosening my son on6/11/02 all I remember is going into the hospital for a scan &hearing fireworks going off then having to return to the same hospital to have my beautiful daughter a year later
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You’re welcome Ginny! I am so sorry for your loss. And that must have been a really odd experience of hearing the fireworks go off during that time! May you always find comfort in the Word of God, and keep your eyes fixed on Jesus until the day He returns!
My tears are falling for you. This question only God can answer and yes, someday you will have the answer to your questions. But in the meantime the thinking what if she lived! She would have been the most beautiful and loving girl in the world and give everyone around her such love and joy. She still has all that love and joy and is waiting to give it to you when she finally meets you in Heaven.
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Wow, thank you Susan! These are such thoughtful and beautiful words to read. Then again, your words are ALWAYS like that! God bless you, sister. (-:
Our sweet Brynlee was born sleeping on April 4th at 36 weeks 5 days. Since that day, I have read soooo many posts, blogs, books, by those who have been in our shoes, but this is the first from the father’s perspective. Thank you for writing this, as it meant a lot to me to be able to share this with my husband. I am so truly sorry for your loss, as well as for those who have commented before me.
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Thank you Ashley for both your sympathy and your encouragement! I am so sorry for the loss of your sweet baby, Brynlee. I thank and praise God that your husband was able to be comforted by this even in some small way. (-: