Why Stillborn Mommies Deserve a Special Mother’s Day

woman-1284353_1280

You deserve your own special Mother’s Day, stillborn mommy. Yes, you should be honored and remembered in a specific way, and on a specific day, that wouldn’t apply to every other mommy. This is not to take anything away from other mommies who have not had the same life experience. All mommies should be honored on Mother’s Day, and every other day of the year for that matter. But you are different, stillborn mommy. You are a unique mommy. And since you are a unique mommy, you deserve your own special, unique day.

And even if you have other children besides your stillborn babies, then you should get two Mother’s Day holidays. One to celebrate you, for all you have done to love and sacrifice for your living children. And another to celebrate you, for all you went through during your pregnancy, and in delivering your stillborn baby. Not only that, but you deserve a special day to recognize everything you still do to keep their memory alive. You deserve it because of the unique pain that you still bear each day. Your sacrifice merits a different kind of recognition. Your story is truly one of a kind. And it’s time we saw some headlines about it!

It is not wrong, or prideful, of you to receive such a special holiday. It is not even wrong to  desire it. You went through a specific pain other mommies didn’t. Yes, you both carried a baby in your tummy. You both went through your hormonal changes. You both got sick. You both saw your babies on the ultrasound. You both heard a heartbeat. You both took good care of yourselves. You both gained weight. You both endlessly shopped for maternity clothes. You both decorated a brand new room for the baby. Perhaps you both had a baby shower and did a registry. You both spoke joyfully, and incessantly, about how excited you were for delivery day. You both cried after the birth (for very different reasons of course). And most importantly, you both love your babies with all your heart.

But…………you didn’t get to celebrate like they did, after all that hard work you put in. I mean, you were eating right and exercising. You went to doctor appointments and birthing classes. You went to all your scheduled checkups. You got sick and were uncomfortable………like all the time. You did all this, and you still didn’t get to celebrate like they did. And after going through all that, you deserve a special day. No one else knows your pain. It is unique. It is not something you can even put into words. Why aren’t you recognized for your suffering? I don’t know. It is a mystery to me why stillborn parents get pushed to the bottom of the pain and suffering totem pole. It’s time that changed.

As a stillborn daddy, I only know a little tiny piece of what you went through. I was there when my Ariana was born. But obviously, I don’t know what it is like to deliver a dead baby out of my body. A baby I felt kicking. A baby who could hear my voice, and could respond to every one of my subtle movements. You mommies do the real work. And I bet you would say that the pain of childbirth was nothing compared to the pain of seeing your lifeless baby afterwards.

Other mommies didn’t deal with that. It is a cruel thing that you had to go through. You had to watch other mommies smiling while looking at their new babies. You had to listen to your co-workers talk about how much fun they were having with their new baby. You heard them keep talking about how fast they go through diapers, and how much money everything costs. Or how they constantly talk about being awakened in the middle of the night because their baby won’t stop crying. Of course, they didn’t mean anything by it. But it still hurts really bad.

Your stillborn baby makes you a true mommy in every sense of the word! Even if you have never have any other children. You deserve your own special Mother’s Day. You deserve it today. Why?

Because………..

 

1) Your stillborn baby is fearfully and wonderfully made by God, and your womb is the place where this miraculous event took place.

2) So few people try to empathize with the pain you have gone through, and still experience. A special Mother’s Day would help people recognize it more.

3) You remember what it’s like to hold your lifeless baby and love them unconditionally, even when they could not love you back.

4) You continue to love your stillborn, even though your baby is not here to return it.

5) The length of a baby’s life outside the womb has no bearing on whether or not you are truly a mommy. A mother of a living baby does not make her more of a mommy than you are of your stillborn. (I’ve written more about this topic here)

6) Your baby is not dead. He or she is alive more than ever! (more on that here)

7) The bond between mother and child begins in the womb and never ends. Is there anyone else in the world as anxious as you are to see your little one again? I think not.

All of these reasons, and many more, make you a mommy. Not a lesser mommy. But a true mommy just like any other. Except for the fact that you are unique in many ways. You are a mommy who deserves her own very special Mother’s Day! And you deserve it whether or not America, the UK, or any other countries recognize it.

____________________________________________________________________________________

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

 

You deserve your own special Mother’s Day, stillborn mommy. Yes, you should be honored and remembered in a specific way, and on a specific day, that wouldn’t apply to every other mommy. This is not to take anything away from other mommies who have not had the same life experience. All mommies should be honored on Mother’s Day, and every other day of the year for that matter. But you are different, stillborn mommy. You are a unique mommy. And since you are a unique mommy, you deserve your own special, unique day.

And even if you have other children besides your stillborn babies, then you should get two Mother’s Day holidays. One to celebrate you, for all you have done to love and sacrifice for your living children. And another to celebrate you, for all you went through during your pregnancy, and in delivering your stillborn baby. Not only that, but you deserve a special day to recognize everything you still do to keep their memory alive. You deserve it because of the unique pain that you still bear each day. Your sacrifice merits a different kind of recognition. Your story is truly one of a kind. And it’s time we saw some headlines about it!

It is not wrong, or prideful, of you to receive such a special holiday. It is not even wrong to  desire it. You went through a specific pain other mommies didn’t. Yes, you both carried a baby in your tummy. You both went through your hormonal changes. You both got sick. You both saw your babies on the ultrasound. You both heard a heartbeat. You both took good care of yourselves. You both gained weight. You both endlessly shopped for maternity clothes. You both decorated a brand new room for the baby. Perhaps you both had a baby shower and did a registry. You both spoke joyfully, and incessantly, about how excited you were for delivery day. You both cried after the birth (for very different reasons of course). And most importantly, you both love your babies with all your heart.

But…………you didn’t get to celebrate like they did, after all that hard work you put in. I mean, you were eating right and exercising. You went to doctor appointments and birthing classes. You went to all your scheduled checkups. You got sick and were uncomfortable………like all the time. You did all this, and you still didn’t get to celebrate like they did. And after going through all that, you deserve a special day. No one else knows your pain. It is unique. It is not something you can even put into words. Why aren’t you recognized for your suffering? I don’t know. It is a mystery to me why stillborn parents get pushed to the bottom of the pain and suffering totem pole. It’s time that changed.

As a stillborn daddy, I only know a little tiny piece of what you went through. I was there when my Ariana was born. But obviously, I don’t know what it is like to deliver a dead baby out of my body. A baby I felt kicking. A baby who could hear my voice, and could respond to every one of my subtle movements. You mommies do the real work. And I bet you would say that the pain of childbirth was nothing compared to the pain of seeing your lifeless baby afterwards.

Other mommies didn’t deal with that. It is a cruel thing that you had to go through. You had to watch other mommies smiling while looking at their new babies. You had to listen to your co-workers talk about how much fun they were having with their new baby. You heard them keep talking about how fast they go through diapers, and how much money everything costs. Or how they constantly talk about being awakened in the middle of the night because their baby won’t stop crying. Of course, they didn’t mean anything by it. But it still hurts really bad.

Your stillborn baby makes you a true mommy in every sense of the word! Even if you have never have any other children. You deserve your own special Mother’s Day. You deserve it today. Why?

Because………..

 

1) Your stillborn baby is fearfully and wonderfully made by God, and your womb is the place where this miraculous event took place.

2) So few people try to empathize with the pain you have gone through, and still experience. A special Mother’s Day would help people recognize it more.

3) You remember what it’s like to hold your lifeless baby and love them unconditionally, even when they could not love you back.

4) You continue to love your stillborn, even though your baby is not here to return it.

5) The length of a baby’s life outside the womb has no bearing on whether or not you are truly a mommy. A mother of a living baby does not make her more of a mommy than you are of your stillborn. (I’ve written more about this topic here)

6) Your baby is not dead. He or she is alive more than ever! (more on that here)

7) The bond between mother and child begins in the womb and never ends. Is there anyone else in the world as anxious as you are to see your little one again? I think not.

All of these reasons, and many more, make you a mommy. Not a lesser mommy. But a true mommy just like any other. Except for the fact that you are unique in many ways. You are a mommy who deserves her own very special Mother’s Day! And you deserve it whether or not America, the UK, or any other countries recognize it.

____________________________________________________________________________________

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

woman-1284353_1280

 

You deserve your own special Mother’s Day, stillborn mommy. Yes, you should be honored and remembered in a specific way, and on a specific day, that wouldn’t apply to every other mommy. This is not to take anything away from other mommies who have not had the same life experience. All mommies should be honored on Mother’s Day, and every other day of the year for that matter. But you are different, stillborn mommy. You are a unique mommy. And since you are a unique mommy, you deserve your own special, unique day.

And even if you have other children besides your stillborn babies, then you should get two Mother’s Day holidays. One to celebrate you, for all you have done to love and sacrifice for your living children. And another to celebrate you, for all you went through during your pregnancy, and in delivering your stillborn baby. Not only that, but you deserve a special day to recognize everything you still do to keep their memory alive. You deserve it because of the unique pain that you still bear each day. Your sacrifice merits a different kind of recognition. Your story is truly one of a kind. And it’s time we saw some headlines about it!

It is not wrong, or prideful, of you to receive such a special holiday. It is not even wrong to desire it. You went through a specific pain other mommies didn’t. Yes, you both carried a baby in your tummy. You both went through your hormonal changes. You both got sick. You both saw your babies on the ultrasound. You both heard a heartbeat. You both took good care of yourselves. You both gained weight. You both endlessly shopped for maternity clothes. You both decorated a brand new room for the baby. Perhaps you both had a baby shower and did a registry. You both spoke joyfully, and incessantly, about how excited you were for delivery day. You both cried after the birth (for very different reasons of course). And most importantly, you both love your babies with all your heart.

But…………you didn’t get to celebrate like they did, after all that hard work you put in. I mean, you were eating right and exercising. You went to doctor appointments and birthing classes. You went to all your scheduled checkups. You got sick and were uncomfortable………like all the time. You did all this, and you still didn’t get to celebrate like they did. And after going through all that, you deserve a special day. No one else knows your pain. It is unique. It is not something you can even put into words. Why aren’t you recognized for your suffering? I don’t know. It is a mystery to me why stillborn parents get pushed to the bottom of the pain and suffering totem pole. It’s time that changed.

As a stillborn daddy, I only know a little tiny piece of what you went through. I was there when my Ariana was born. But obviously, I don’t know what it is like to deliver a dead baby out of my body. A baby I felt kicking. A baby who could hear my voice, and could respond to every one of my subtle movements. You mommies do the real work. And I bet you would say that the pain of childbirth was nothing compared to the pain of seeing your lifeless baby afterwards.

Other mommies didn’t deal with that. It is a cruel thing that you had to go through. You had to watch other mommies smiling while looking at their new babies. You had to listen to your co-workers talk about how much fun they were having with their new baby. You heard them keep talking about how fast they go through diapers, and how much money everything costs. Or how they constantly talk about being awakened in the middle of the night because their baby won’t stop crying. Of course, they didn’t mean anything by it. But it still hurts really bad.

Your stillborn baby makes you a true mommy in every sense of the word! Even if you have never have any other children. You deserve your own special Mother’s Day. You deserve it today. Why?

Because………..

 

1) Your stillborn baby is fearfully and wonderfully made by God, and your womb is the place where this miraculous event took place.

2) So few people try to empathize with the pain you have gone through, and still experience. A special Mother’s Day would help people recognize it more.

3) You remember what it’s like to hold your lifeless baby and love them unconditionally, even when they could not love you back.

4) You continue to love your stillborn, even though your baby is not here to return it.

5) The length of a baby’s life outside the womb has no bearing on whether or not you are truly a mommy. A mother of a living baby does not make her more of a mommy than you are of your stillborn. (I’ve written more about this topic here)

6) Your baby is not dead. He or she is alive more than ever! (more on that here)

7) The bond between mother and child begins in the womb and never ends. Is there anyone else in the world as anxious as you are to see your little one again? I think not.

All of these reasons, and many more, make you a mommy. Not a lesser mommy. But a true mommy just like any other. Except for the fact that you are unique in many ways. You are a mommy who deserves her own very special Mother’s Day! And you deserve it whether or not America, the UK, or any other countries recognize it.

____________________________________________________________________________________

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

woman-1284353_1280

 

You deserve your own special Mother’s Day, stillborn mommy. Yes, you should be honored and remembered in a specific way, and on a specific day, that wouldn’t apply to every other mommy. This is not to take anything away from other mommies who have not had the same life experience. All mommies should be honored on Mother’s Day, and every other day of the year for that matter. But you are different, stillborn mommy. You are a unique mommy. And since you are a unique mommy, you deserve your own special, unique day.

And even if you have other children besides your stillborn babies, then you should get two Mother’s Day holidays. One to celebrate you, for all you have done to love and sacrifice for your living children. And another to celebrate you, for all you went through during your pregnancy, and in delivering your stillborn baby. Not only that, but you deserve a special day to recognize everything you still do to keep their memory alive. You deserve it because of the unique pain that you still bear each day. Your sacrifice merits a different kind of recognition. Your story is truly one of a kind. And it’s time we saw some headlines about it!

It is not wrong, or prideful, of you to receive such a special holiday. It is not even wrong to desire it. You went through a specific pain other mommies didn’t. Yes, you both carried a baby in your tummy. You both went through your hormonal changes. You both got sick. You both saw your babies on the ultrasound. You both heard a heartbeat. You both took good care of yourselves. You both gained weight. You both endlessly shopped for maternity clothes. You both decorated a brand new room for the baby. Perhaps you both had a baby shower and did a registry. You both spoke joyfully, and incessantly, about how excited you were for delivery day. You both cried after the birth (for very different reasons of course). And most importantly, you both love your babies with all your heart.

But…………you didn’t get to celebrate like they did, after all that hard work you put in. I mean, you were eating right and exercising. You went to doctor appointments and birthing classes. You went to all your scheduled checkups. You got sick and were uncomfortable………like all the time. You did all this, and you still didn’t get to celebrate like they did. And after going through all that, you deserve a special day. No one else knows your pain. It is unique. It is not something you can even put into words. Why aren’t you recognized for your suffering? I don’t know. It is a mystery to me why stillborn parents get pushed to the bottom of the pain and suffering totem pole. It’s time that changed.

As a stillborn daddy, I only know a little tiny piece of what you went through. I was there when my Ariana was born. But obviously, I don’t know what it is like to deliver a dead baby out of my body. A baby I felt kicking. A baby who could hear my voice, and could respond to every one of my subtle movements. You mommies do the real work. And I bet you would say that the pain of childbirth was nothing compared to the pain of seeing your lifeless baby afterwards.

Other mommies didn’t deal with that. It is a cruel thing that you had to go through. You had to watch other mommies smiling while looking at their new babies. You had to listen to your co-workers talk about how much fun they were having with their new baby. You heard them keep talking about how fast they go through diapers, and how much money everything costs. Or how they constantly talk about being awakened in the middle of the night because their baby won’t stop crying. Of course, they didn’t mean anything by it. But it still hurts really bad.

Your stillborn baby makes you a true mommy in every sense of the word! Even if you have never have any other children. You deserve your own special Mother’s Day. You deserve it today. Why?

Because………..

 

1) Your stillborn baby is fearfully and wonderfully made by God, and your womb is the place where this miraculous event took place.

2) So few people try to empathize with the pain you have gone through, and still experience. A special Mother’s Day would help people recognize it more.

3) You remember what it’s like to hold your lifeless baby and love them unconditionally, even when they could not love you back.

4) You continue to love your stillborn, even though your baby is not here to return it.

5) The length of a baby’s life outside the womb has no bearing on whether or not you are truly a mommy. A mother of a living baby does not make her more of a mommy than you are of your stillborn. (I’ve written more about this topic here)

6) Your baby is not dead. He or she is alive more than ever! (more on that here)

7) The bond between mother and child begins in the womb and never ends. Is there anyone else in the world as anxious as you are to see your little one again? I think not.

All of these reasons, and many more, make you a mommy. Not a lesser mommy. But a true mommy just like any other. Except for the fact that you are unique in many ways. You are a mommy who deserves her own very special Mother’s Day! And you deserve it whether or not America, the UK, or any other countries recognize it.

____________________________________________________________________________________

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

You deserve your own special Mother’s Day, stillborn mommy. Yes, you should be honored and remembered in a specific way, and on a specific day, that wouldn’t apply to every other mommy. This is not to take anything away from other mommies who have not had the same life experience. All mommies should be honored on Mother’s Day, and every other day of the year for that matter. But you are different, stillborn mommy. You are a unique mommy. And since you are a unique mommy, you deserve your own special, unique day.

And even if you have other children besides your stillborn babies, then you should get two Mother’s Day holidays. One to celebrate you, for all you have done to love and sacrifice for your living children. And another to celebrate you, for all you went through during your pregnancy, and in delivering your stillborn baby. Not only that, but you deserve a special day to recognize everything you still do to keep their memory alive. You deserve it because of the unique pain that you still bear each day. Your sacrifice merits a different kind of recognition. Your story is truly one of a kind. And it’s time we saw some headlines about it!

It is not wrong, or prideful, of you to receive such a special holiday. It is not even wrong to desire it. You went through a specific pain other mommies didn’t. Yes, you both carried a baby in your tummy. You both went through your hormonal changes. You both got sick. You both saw your babies on the ultrasound. You both heard a heartbeat. You both took good care of yourselves. You both gained weight. You both endlessly shopped for maternity clothes. You both decorated a brand new room for the baby. Perhaps you both had a baby shower and did a registry. You both spoke joyfully, and incessantly, about how excited you were for delivery day. You both cried after the birth (for very different reasons of course). And most importantly, you both love your babies with all your heart.

But…………you didn’t get to celebrate like they did, after all that hard work you put in. I mean, you were eating right and exercising. You went to doctor appointments and birthing classes. You went to all your scheduled checkups. You got sick and were uncomfortable………like all the time. You did all this, and you still didn’t get to celebrate like they did. And after going through all that, you deserve a special day. No one else knows your pain. It is unique. It is not something you can even put into words. Why aren’t you recognized for your suffering? I don’t know. It is a mystery to me why stillborn parents get pushed to the bottom of the pain and suffering totem pole. It’s time that changed.

As a stillborn daddy, I only know a little tiny piece of what you went through. I was there when my Ariana was born. But obviously, I don’t know what it is like to deliver a dead baby. A baby you once felt kicking. A baby who could hear your voice, and could respond to every one of your subtle movements. You mommies do the real work. And I bet you would say that the pain of childbirth was nothing compared to the pain of seeing your lifeless baby afterwards.

Other mommies didn’t deal with that. It is a cruel thing that you had to go through. You had to watch other mommies smiling while looking at their new babies. You had to listen to your co-workers talk about how much fun they were having with their new baby. You heard them keep talking about how fast they go through diapers, and how much money everything costs. Or how they constantly talk about being awakened in the middle of the night because their baby won’t stop crying. Of course, they didn’t mean anything by it. But it still hurts really bad.

Your stillborn baby makes you a true mommy in every sense of the word! Even if you have never have any other children. You deserve your own special Mother’s Day. You deserve it today. Why?

Because………..

 

1) Your stillborn baby is fearfully and wonderfully made by God, and your womb is the place where this miraculous event took place.

 

2) So few people try to empathize with the pain you have gone through, and still experience. A special Mother’s Day would help people recognize it more.

 

3) You remember what it’s like to hold your baby and love them unconditionally, even when they couldn’t respond to any of it.

 

4) You continue to love your stillborn, even though your baby is not here to return it. But one day they will!

 

5) The length of a baby’s life outside the womb has no bearing on whether or not you are truly a mommy. A mother of a living baby is not more of a mommy than you are of your stillborn. (I’ve written more about this topic here)

 

6) Your baby is not dead. He or she is alive more than ever! (more on that here)

 

7) The bond between mother and child begins in the womb and never ends. Is there anyone else in the world as anxious as you are to see your little one again? I think not.

 

All of these reasons, and many more, make you a mommy. Not a lesser mommy. But a true mommy just like any other. Except for the fact that you are unique in many ways. You are a mommy who deserves her own very special Mother’s Day! And you deserve it whether or not America, the UK, or any other countries recognize it.

—————

* This article is dedicated to stillborn mommies specifically because my blog has this emphasis. So just to be clear, much of what is written here would apply to mommies who have miscarried as well. Your miscarried baby also makes you a mommy just like every other mommy! I wasn’t purposefully excluding you by any means. There’s something unusual about people’s responses to stillborn babies that made me want to write this.

___________________________________________________________________________________

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

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5 Unforgettable Moments You Had With Your Stillborn Baby

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“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.

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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

Where Have You Gone, My Sweet Stillborn?

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Where have you gone, my sweet stillborn?
Where have you gone? My heart is so torn.
Why did you leave? Why couldn’t you stay?
For just one more hour, or perhaps a whole day?

You were here only briefly, then you vanished,
You looked frail and bruised, ever so famished.
You could not cry; you had no tear-filled cheeks,
But I cried for you, my baby, for days and weeks.

Where have you gone, my sweet stillborn?
Once with such energy inside mommy’s tummy;
Why do you now look so completely worn?
Why did you leave? Why couldn’t you stay?
I bought you toys. Don’t you want to play?

There was no heartbeat; you had no signs of life,
Original sin causes all of this death, pain, and strife.
My miracle wish was to hear just one single breath,
That wish did not come true; I witnessed your death.

Where have you gone, my sweet stillborn?
What can I do? How can I bear this thorn?
I can’t take you home; they took you away,
Oh to see you again; any sum I would pay.

No place to hide from this painful emotion,
Still so intense, so vivid, like a tearful ocean.
I reach out to God, for He understands pain,
He works all things; your death wasn’t in vain.

Where have you gone, my sweet stillborn?
I tried to pray today, and all I did was mourn.
But there is yet sunshine, even after the rain,
Because what I see as loss is your greatest gain.

Where have you gone, my sweet stillborn?
I know where you are; a place no one will mourn.
No time on earth, direct to the presence of our Lord,
You’re now with Jesus Christ, a far better reward.

They laid you in the ground, yes, they put you in a box,
Your tiny body among the grass, the dirt, and the rocks.
But oh, my sweet stillborn, you won’t remain in the ground,
Your body will rise and join your soul; you will see His face;
the King forever crowned.

His glory will surround! Spellbound!

My sweet stillborn, you will be spellbound!

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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

We Will See Our Babies Move

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Don’t be still, my baby; Daddy wants you to look at him, and to smile,
Please rest your head against my arms, as I look into your beautiful eyes,
Now hold still, but only for a moment. Let me just watch you a little while,
You are created in God’s image, and amazing as can be; I tell you no lies.

You may be still, you may not be moving, but you are made for a reason,
A reason I don’t have, but there is a purpose for it all; Yes, God made you,
He knew what He was doing, His ways are perfect always, in every season,
God took you to Himself. You are with Him, and He is Faithful and True.

One day you will know me, my baby, you will see me; I will see you move,
I will see you move around. You won’t be still like you are here. I think of this,
I think of this when I imagine meeting you in Heaven, where God will prove,
That your stillness ends. My baby, what’s it like being with Jesus in total bliss?

In the end it all works out perfectly, my little baby, in the end I see you move,
Not just once, but all the time. No longer are you still. Your legs will run to Jesus,
Your mouth will praise Him with the angels. Your hands will serve Him in love,
Your glorified eyes will gaze on the King who loves you, the One who frees us.

So jump for joy when you receive your glorified body, for you won’t be still,
You will worship Him day and night; He is the One we will adore and praise,
You will be still for a moment, when you stop to take in His glory. What a thrill,
When you see His shining face, you will move with great joy! All of your days.

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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

If My Baby Were Alive On Her Sweet 16th

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                                                            Dear Ariana,

 

If only you were still here, we’d soon be celebrating your sweet 16th birthday,
I wonder what gift you would have liked? Would you have wanted a new car?
A safe, but new, car to show off? I know, it must be cute too. A gift to proudly display,
No gift would be too high a price. Not even new wheels; you are worth more by far.

You wore pink the day you were born, born still; the day we all planned for you to stay,
You wore pink. Would you like a pink car? I think you would. Please be careful out there,
I’ve decided to get it for you. But please…..drive safe. And before you leave, always pray,
Pray that God would guide and protect you; and always remember sweetie, I deeply care.

You know what I would do for your birthday party? I’d plan you the biggest surprise,
One that you would never see coming; 50 of your best friends and your favorite food,
Would you be embarrassed? Would you cry, Ariana? Would you have tears in your eyes?
I think you’d be shocked and embarrassed. But I know you; you would never be rude.

Your eyes are glued to the driveway; No cake now, right? But wait….. I baked you one,
And I baked you the biggest cake, with pink icing and a picture of your beautiful face,
Ok, enjoy your ride. But you better drive sensibly. Not too fast. Don’t have too much fun,
And no boys. Yes, I say to you, no boys. I will tell you when. Not now. Carry some mace.

Why can’t I plan your birthday, baby girl? Why is this? Sixteen is supposed to be sweet,
A special moment for you and me, when I should be annoying you about your curfew,
Would you have come home on time? I think you would’ve. Time for your birthday treat,
Can I still plan this? Can daddy imagine what it would’ve been like? If only it were true.

But you are ok. More than ok. You are happy beyond words. For you are with the Lord,
Sixteen is sweeter where you are anyway. Daddy can’t make you happy like you are now,
You are with Jesus in fullness of joy; in a place of bliss; a place you will never be bored,
Happy Sweet 16th! You didn’t think daddy would forget, did you? Oh, how could I? How?

No tears for you in heaven. But daddy misses you. Though I know the best is yet to come,
A really sweet day; a day sweeter than any sixteenth birthday party I could ever throw,
A day far greater than any birthday or celebration; oh to think of what we will become!
We will be resurrected. Christ comes! Your body won’t be still anymore. Don’t you know?

 

* My baby girl, Ariana, was born and died on February 20th, 2002. Her sweet 16th will be here soon.

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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

 

The Day I Didn’t Protect My Baby Girl

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Daddies protect their baby girls. This is what they do. But I couldn’t protect mine. Long before she was even born, I had a mental list of all the things I would try to protect her from. Cuts, scrapes, and bruises from falling off her bike when she was young, to drugs, bad boys, and illicit sex when she got older. Later on, I would have added to the list things like bullies and online predators. But, in a small hospital in Northeastern PA, all these plans to protect came crashing down. All these “would be” teachings never came to pass. There was one thing I needed to protect her from that I couldn’t. I couldn’t protect her from her own strength. From her own lifeline to her mommy…….of all things. That is what she needed protection from. I didn’t do what daddies are supposed to do.

Thinking back to the very moment when I found out she was dead, I can almost recapture the same disturbing emotion……..if I concentrate hard enough. I can still hear the swooshing noises of the ultrasound machine. The deafening silence of the technician. And, even worse, the deafening silence of no heartbeat on the monitor. But my heart was probably pulsating into my shirt. And then……there was the look of fear on everyone’s face, including mine. A nightmarish feeling throughout my whole body. I wanted the technician to say something…….anything. And at the same time, I wanted her to just keep quiet. I wanted to delay what I thought would become a nervous breakdown. I was really scared. Yes, daddies get scared when their baby girl doesn’t move. It means he may never see her alive…….ever again. It means she got hurt really bad. It means he didn’t protect her.

I kept thinking “Are they going to tell me I am never taking her home?!” “Is this for real?!” “Are you telling me that I didn’t protect my baby from harm?! And how can I possibly ever protect her again, if she doesn’t come home with me?!” All of a sudden, nothing else in your life means anything to you. Money, stuff, sports, sex……….. nothing else means anything to you. Someone could tell you that you just won 10 million dollars, and you would feel dead inside. You’d push that green garbage out of your way. No desire at all for it. Money can’t buy back your baby. It cannot work a miracle. All I wanted was to protect her. But I didn’t. Simple as that. And it doesn’t matter how true it is that there is nothing I could have done. That doesn’t alleviate the agony of the whole thing. The agony has nothing to do with fault or neglect, or lack thereof. The agony is simply the fact that I never protected her. And protection is what daddies do for their little girls. And when they don’t protect, regardless of the circumstances, they live with unspeakable heartache. Their role goes unfulfilled.

I will never forget the feeling. But yet, I could never begin to accurately describe what it felt like. To be a daddy and lose your baby girl to stillbirth is a shock to your system. You don’t just “get over it”. Ever. I couldn’t make the darkness go away. I had to continually bear up under the awful reality. The reality that my baby girl is not coming home with me. I first felt the sting of this shock 15 years ago when I lost my precious Ariana. Seeing my baby girl just lying there motionless, it felt like every organ was wailing on my insides. A groaning lament that only I could hear. It wrecks your emotions something terrible. It is like someone sticking a knife in your head and ripping away the joy center of your brain, but leaving everything else intact. Something of this anguish will always be inside of me. Unfulfilled love. Unfulfilled joy. Unfulfilled expectations. And………unfulfilled obligation. And that is the obligation of protection. I wanted her to look at me with those baby eyes. I wanted her to look at me with the God-given instinct that she was safe in the arms of daddy. “I’m sorry that daddy didn’t protect you baby!” is what I would love to say to her now.

As a man, I am supposed to be the protector. And it ought to be a joy to take on such a God-given role. That is how our God designed things to be. But I couldn’t protect her in the womb. I couldn’t stop her from kicking so hard that she looped the umbilical cord around her ankle. Good daddies can, and will, warn their little girls of many things. Not that they will always listen and obey of course, but you still have the opportunity to warn them. Bad things might happen, but you can still at least try to wake them up to reality. You can still do everything under your power to step in and protect them.

And even if you can’t anticipate every possible thing that could happen to your daughter, you can still teach them about safety and common sense. You can be proactive. In fact, you should be. You can teach them how to use guns or pepper spray. You can teach them self-defense. You can teach them about unnecessary risks that they need not ever be taking. You can teach them how a teenage boy’s mind functions. You can teach about modesty in their clothing choices. You can teach them to scream at the top of their lungs “RAPE!!!!” when they are in danger. I would be teaching her all these things. Why? Because daddies are protectors of their baby girl. Even when she is 50!

Through the years, daddies can say lots of things to protect their daughters. These are some of the ways I anticipated protecting my baby……..

“Baby, you are too little for a real bike. You need training wheels for a while. I am buying you the one with training wheels.”

“No, honey, you are not allowed go to that party. End of discussion.”

“Princess, you are staying home tonight. The roads are too slick to drive on.”

“Sweetie, that skirt is too short. Go upstairs and change. Now.”

“Ariana, no Facebook for you today. And I’m taking your phone away for a few days.”

“I don’t care what Tina’s parents are letting her do. You are not going camping when boys are there!”

“I will not allow you to date that boy. He doesn’t love Jesus.”

And my personal favorite (the one I would have said most often)…………

“Repent and believe the gospel!” (If she believes this, it will protect her from hell)

Good daddies can anticipate and plan for all these things, then act accordingly. And although we can’t make her always choose properly, we can tell her why certain pathways are in her best interest to take. But one thing a daddy doesn’t say is……

“Baby, don’t kick so hard in mommy’s tummy! Stop! You don’t know your own strength! You are going to die if you keep doing that!”

I couldn’t give my baby a speech about the proper and safe way to kick while she is still inside mommy’s tummy. She didn’t know any better. She just kept kicking like crazy. Her own strength and perseverance killed her. Her lifeline to her mother was the very instrument of her death. What a handful she would have been had she made it out of the womb safely! A handful I would gladly receive any day.

The question for me isn’t “Jamie, how could you have possibly known she was going to kick like that? And even if you did, how could you have stopped her?” That’s not the issue. I didn’t keep her from harm. That is the issue. Her blood flow was cut off. I didn’t fix it. I didn’t fulfill my God-given role of being a daddy. It isn’t about fault or blame. It is about reality. It doesn’t always mean disobedience toward your role. Sometimes it just means unrealized. “It didn’t happen for you like it does everyone else” kind of thing. In other words, life can really suck sometimes! Move on. Go forward. Right? No, it doesn’t work that way. They don’t have a pain vaccine for parents who lose babies. One day, if we are in Christ, every tear will be wiped from our eyes. But now, pain hurts. A lot.

Every daddy can relate to this God-given “protection” instinct, regardless of whether your little girl is dead or alive. When she gets hurt (either emotionally of physically), you feel that protection instinct take over. And you would take any blame for her 1000 times over if you could. If she got busted for underage drinking, you’d go to jail for her if you could (and then lecture her, and ground her….forever…… after she hopefully bails you out!) You’d take a bullet for her, without even thinking. Trust me, you would. You’d give your only lifeboat to her as you drown. There are thousands of aching daddies who have little girls with cancer. And they can’t stop it from spreading! Some of these girls will never ride a bike, graduate from high school, or walk down the aisle. And I can tell you one thing for sure. If these daddies had the opportunity to take that cancer out of her body and put it into his body………………done. In the twinkle of an eye……………done.

I remember how tight I held Ariana after her stillbirth. I held her like a protective daddy. I had my chance to protect her from harm. But she knew nothing. I remember her body was flimsy. It felt like a rag doll. It was my last chance to hold her though, so I held on as long as I could. They give you time to do this at the hospital. I am thankful for that. They gave me a chance to be a daddy. Daddies are protective of their baby girl. I wanted her attention so bad. I wanted her to look just once. I wanted her to know that nothing bad was going to happen to her now, because I was holding her. I was protecting her dead body from further harm. Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? But that is what daddies do. Even when their baby girl no longer has breath or a beating heart. Then they came in to take her away. Her next stop was the funeral home. Then the cemetery. I couldn’t protect her from being lowered into the ground either. Yes, I know she was dead. But they were still lowering my baby girl into the ground. Do you now see what I mean?

I wanted to teach her to ride a bike. Even more important, I wanted to protect her from falling off the bike and hurting herself. I wanted to show her how strong daddy was, and how much he loved his little girl. That he would never let her fall down and hurt herself. Maybe a little boy could deal with the bumps and bruises. But not my Ariana. I would have done everything I could to keep her from a skinned knee. Right now, I picture what her smile would look like when I catch her before her bike hits the ground. Oh how I can see the look in her eyes! I write that in the present tense because I am acting it out as vividly as I can. Then, I would tell her that Daddy would never let her crash to the ground. I would say, “Daddy loves you and doesn’t want you to ever get hurt. When you hurt, I hurt.” How else would she ever know that I was a loving protector, unless I really did protect her from something? How else would she know why I saved her from the pain, unless I explained my motives afterwards?

But Ariana did get hurt. She never saw any of my protection. And this was long before she ever got to ride a bike. I will never share that moment with her. I can hear her cute little voice shouting, “Daddy, you saved me!!” That has such an irresistible ring to it. And I would have saved her too………every time. No hitting the asphalt and “learning her lessons the hard way” for my little princess. No free range parenting on that one for me. But we never made it to the bicycle stage. I couldn’t save her on the day of her birth. Why? Because I am not her savior. All earthly fathers have limited capabilities. I simply could not help my baby. Where do I turn?

Conclusion

God Almighty is the only One who could have truly protected my baby from harm. But in His perfect and infinite wisdom, He chose not to. Sure, I have questions. But I trust Him. Yes, it is difficult. But I trust Him. No, my trust isn’t perfect. But He is perfect and I trust Him. He is the only all-sufficient Protector.

Psalm 20:1 says, “May the LORD answer you in the day of distress; may the name of the God of Jacob protect you.”

And in Isaiah 41:10 we read “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Ariana is now with her true Protector. Ultimately, I could never fulfill that role perfectly. But now she is with the One who never fails, not even for a moment. If I had been a Christian when she died, I would have certainly grieved. But I would have grieved very differently. There would have been a peace in the midst of the storm. A peace that comes from knowing that there is no event outside of God’s control, and that Ariana’s death did not catch Him off guard. And knowing that no harm can ever again come upon her, for God is her refuge and strength. And one day I will see Ariana under the mighty protection of Jesus Christ!

I do grieve that I can never play a part in her earthly protection. Daddies long to be fulfilled that way. But now, truly I can say, nothing bad will ever happen to her again. Ariana was released from my faulty and limited protection to God’s everlasting and perfect protection. She is far better off.

I had a vague notion of heaven around the time of my baby’s death, even though I myself was headed the other way. But I had no clear understanding of the character, power, and magnificence of God. But now that the Holy Spirit has taught me some amazing things through the Word of God, I have a certain expectation of great things to come. I will see the same King whom my baby now sees.

I will see my Savior. I will see my Lord. I will see my Protector. And all of my unfulfilled love, joy, and expectations will be eternally and infinitely fulfilled in Him!

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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

Babies Dancing On Streets of Gold

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A glorious day is coming, when our babies will dance on the streets of gold,
They will hop, skip, and jump towards the throne of Jesus Christ our King,
We will hold our beauties in our arms, not an ounce of love will we withhold,
As we make up for lost time, we will hug them, & laugh and dance and sing.

As we gaze upon their beautiful faces, and kiss their little, bubbly cheeks,
We will shout to everyone in heaven that our babies are here to stay,
Our days together will last forever, not just days or months or weeks,
This is the New Heavens and New Earth, our baby’s favorite place to play.

A place with no more stillborn babies; our littles will dance like no one’s watching,
On earth we never saw this, no chance to see them display their wonderful graces,
We saw the horror of a life extinguished, nothing but death, bruises, and blotching,
Oh to see our precious littles dancing! And to one day see their tiny, beautiful faces!

They will rejoice in the presence of King Jesus, and upon His face they will be gazing,
And for all the mommies and daddies who believe in Jesus, this will also be our story,
We too will dance on streets of gold; all of our movements will be a glorious praising,
Yes, one day mommies, daddies, and babies will all rejoice, being amazed by His glory.

So remember, as you’re feeling overwhelmed at the loss of your precious, little baby,
And you can’t understand why this would ever happen, why this sad story would ever have to be told,
When you can barely speak or get out of bed, and your painful loss feels ever so weighty,
Know that your baby’s soul is with the Savior, and one day they will, with body and soul, dance on the streets of gold!

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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

 

 

 

10 Things Parents of Stillborn Babies Want You To Know (Part 7): Ask Us About Our Baby

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There was no blood flowing in her little baby body. There was no healthy glow. Her little skull was sunk down. Her eyes were closed. And the bruises were too devastating to even imagine. If you are the parent of a stillborn baby, you know exactly what I’m talking about. You can get to the point where you’re not even sure if you want people to visit you in the hospital. You’re afraid they may be traumatized. That’s how bad it is. But yet, he or she is still your baby. Despite all the pain and chaos of that fateful day, you miss your baby something terrible. You have hard memories. Really hard memories. But you still want to keep them. God keeps your baby now, and He gives you precious memories preserved in thoughts and pictures. Thanks to my parents, I still have a beautiful picture of my Ariana. And she is beautiful. Bruised and beautiful. How often do you ever see those two words put together? Yes, bruises and all. She was my baby. And I wanted to show her off.

As I continue with this series of articles dealing with parents of stillborn babies, we move to point #9.

Parents of stillborn babies want you to………………….

 

#9 We want you to ask questions about our baby (eye color, hair color, height, weight, did you get to hold the baby, did they look like mommy or daddy, do you have pics, etc.)

 

An Unforgettable Supervisor

“Do you have pictures? We want to see some pictures of your baby!!” These were nearly the exact words spoken from the lips of my supervisor a little over 15 years ago. It was a phrase so shocking that I never, ever believed that someone would ask it about my baby girl, Ariana. And although it was shocking, it was also a breath of fresh air in the midst of intense suffering. Shocking because……..well……..I didn’t think anyone would want to see pictures of another person’s stillborn baby. Too disturbing, right? At least this is what I thought at the time. I mean, according to the world’s standard of “cute”, a stillborn baby doesn’t quite pass the test. No soft, color filled cheeks. No developing facial features. No healthy glow to make people say, “Awww, would you just look at how beautiful she is!” In fact, sometimes your stillborn baby’s most noticeable features are the bruises and the blood red lips. Not exactly Facebook material, is it?

She Knew a Secret

What my supervisor said to me on that day was a breath of fresh air. I needed to hear that someone……anyone……. wanted to see what my baby girl looked like. Yes, my dead, already-decaying baby girl. Other than perhaps your immediate family, most people would never think to ask you for pictures. I suspect she had her fears about how disturbing the pics might look. Anyone would be apprehensive of such a thing. Not only that, but what if there was a really awkward reaction when she looked at the photos? You know, something totally out of her control. Like she might cringe, or look away really quickly, or even make a sound expressing her shock. I don’t know if she thought through all of these possibilities beforehand, but in the end her decision was to make much of my baby. And it is every parent’s joy to have people make much of their child. So just having the courage to ask me for pics was worth more than I can put into words. She knew how disturbing the pictures would be to look at. But it didn’t matter to her. She knew that my stillborn was created in God’s image, and that I loved her. She instinctively caught on to the fact that I wanted to show off Ariana, but there was no way I could ever initiate such a thing. She took the first difficult step, and did the work for me.

One Reason You Don’t Ask

You may not ask us for pictures because you’re afraid of what you will see. You may not ask us questions about what our baby looked like because you’re afraid it’s going to conjure up horrible images in our mind. Both may be true. Depending on how soon after birth the photos were taken, they may be extremely difficult to look at. Especially for those who are a little squeamish. And yes, when you ask us about what our baby looked like, our brains may recall some of the more broken aspects of his or her physical appearance. But guess what? We wish you would ask anyway. It would mean more to us than all the money and gifts that could ever be sent. It would mean more than a thousand words of good counseling. Often times, it is the simple things that mean so much. Simply asking me if I had the chance to hold my baby would run circles around all the books on “how to grieve the loss of a stillborn baby.” 

We understand your hesitation. Really, we do.  Well……..at least to a point. I mean, when our loved ones die, we typically don’t walk around showing pictures of what they looked like after they died. We show them when they were vibrant and alive! But there is something unique about our situation. We don’t have any pictures of our babies when they were vibrant and alive. The day of their birth is also the day of their death. Parents of stillborns have such a hard time with this. The day of our baby’s birth is a joyous event and a tragic ending all at the same time. It is a cruel irony.

Don’t Be Shocked

We only had one day we could take pictures of our little one. That’s all. And not even a full day. We are talking hours here. Maybe not even that much in some cases. So, why wouldn’t we want to take pictures of our precious time with them? Why wouldn’t we want to preserve whatever memories we possibly could? And why would we not want to share our pictures of them? We understand if you can’t bear to look at them. We don’t want anyone to be uncomfortable. But please don’t be shocked that we love our baby’s pics. Don’t be shocked that we want people to bring up the subject. Remember, the only living pictures we have of them are ultrasound images from inside the womb. But who shows off their ultrasound pictures after the baby is born? No one that I know.

Grief Happens

There is another reason you don’t ask. It is because you think we will feel more hurt to be reminded of that fateful day of birth. Well, my response would be that we are already reminded of our babies every day. And we are ok with that! It is automatic. You don’t forget people you love. Nor do you ever want to. God has created such a beautiful bond between parent and child, that not even death can destroy it. As long as the memory centers of our brain are functioning, we will constantly remember our baby. That is why I believe Alzheimer’s is one of the most devastating of all diseases. To forget loved ones is such a heartbreaking thing to imagine for families.  So asking us to see pics isn’t going to create any more pain that isn’t already there. It may bring tears, but that is what grief does. Tears are healthy. In a fallen world, grief is essential. So remember this: what hurts far more than being reminded of our baby is not being reminded of our baby.

Daddy’s Hair Color

“She has dark hair just like her daddy” was the first thing my supervisor said after I showed her Ariana’s picture. But it was the way she said it that I remember more than anything. You know that kind of teasing voice that someone uses when they are trying to make you laugh? Especially when laughing is the furthest thing from your mind. She said it something like this, “Jamie, I see dark hair on Ariana, hmmmmmm……..(with a slight smile on her face)………….I wonder where she got that from??!!” (I actually still had some hair at that time!) It is a moment I will never forget. She knew that Ariana mattered to me. And she gave me some precious few moments that I cherish to this day. She asked for pictures. She made a reference to my baby’s hair color. She personalized Ariana for me. Priceless.

Wish We Had Cuter Pictures

People go crazy over cute pictures, especially baby pictures. And now that we live in the age of social media, it is easier than ever to satisfy everyone’s visual itch. And this quest for “cuteness” starts long before the baby is born. Mommies all over the internet are taking pictures of their baby-filled tummies. Tummies at 6 weeks, 10 weeks, 20 weeks, 30 weeks, and on and on. And it is completely innocent too. It is all about the baby, a little preview of what’s to come. These mommies are giving everyone an appetizer before the meal. They are simply displaying to the world that an adorable, tiny human being hides just beneath the surface.

The anticipation of birth increases with every picture of her growing tummy. The day inches ever closer. Family, friends, and co-workers are all getting excited for that special day when the baby will arrive. They can’t wait to see the baby pics. And when that day finally comes, all of the anticipation is so worth it. The joy is overwhelming. Except, that is, if you are the mommy of a stillborn baby. Now, every time you see those old pictures of you looking preggers, you feel the pain of loss. The pain of what could have been. You never thought your only pictures to show off now would be ones that people would quickly scroll past- in horror – if you put them on Facebook. Tragic. My heart goes out to all you mommies.

Conclusion

Society places way too much value on outer beauty. Beauty that contains perfect skin, with no blemishes. No defects are allowed for. Even little babies do not escape these cultural thought patterns. No, blood and bruises are not beautiful. They are disturbing. Especially when you are looking at a baby. But here’s the thing. The beauty comes when you look past the bruises and realize there is so much more to your baby. The beauty comes when you realize how much love you have for your baby despite the bruising. The bruises are temporary. Love is not.

I saw Ariana up close and personal. I held her flimsy body tight. I saw her placed in a casket. I saw people lower her into the ground. But she is not just a dead body buried in a grave. She, and all other stillborn babies, are with God as living souls. And one day, when Jesus Christ returns, they will have their physical bodies join their souls. But for now, they live in our memories with the physical traits that we saw them with. Even as damaged as they were, they are the memories we have. They are preserved in our hearts, our minds, and in pictures. Would you consider asking us about them?

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Our Stillborn Baby’s Greatest Gain

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The next time you visit your stillborn, and you’re crying at the site of their grave,
Remember: your baby is more alive than ever; they have no crying, no tears, no pain.
He or she is now in perfect joy with all the saints, those whom Jesus came to save,
You must remember that the day of our greatest loss was our baby’s greatest gain.

Jesus has a special love for babies, and He knows each one by name,
Right now they are with Him in spirit, and one day with glorified bodies.
They can’t stop being near our Savior, for in heaven He is worth all the fame,
Our littles are well taken care of; no need to worry daddies and mommies.

So for those of you in Christ, you will one day join your baby at the throne,
And see for yourself the majesty, beauty, and wonder of His glorious Name.
At that moment all your heartache will be lifted, and you’ll finally be at home,
And you’ll realize that the day of your greatest loss was your baby’s greatest gain.

They are now with their Lord and Savior, far better than being here on earth,
God has many plans for them, and an infinite number of days to work with.
Our babies love to praise our God and King, for they have been doing so since birth,
You may or may not believe this, but I tell you the truth; heaven is no myth.

The joy of heaven is Jesus Christ; our babies know this and experience it every day,
They have just begun to enjoy His glory, and I hope one day you will do the same.
For when we finally see His face, shining like the sun with beams headed our way,
There will be no question, that the day of our greatest loss was our baby’s greatest gain!

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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

 

10 Things Parents of Stillborn Babies Want You To Know (Part 6): The Power of Parental Bond

Image result for dad holding baby girl

 

Death does not break the bond between parent and child. God is the one who created this bond. And stillbirth does not, and cannot, sever it………ever. You don’t have to change a diaper to be a parent. You don’t have to be awoken at night to a crying baby to be a parent. You don’t have to suffer through a “Walmart fiasco” when your child can’t have their favorite toy. You don’t need to read stories to your little ones at night to qualify as a parent. You don’t need to have tons of cute pictures and videos to upload on social media to qualify as a parent either. Those things happen for most parents, but they are not an option for parents of stillborn babies. But, you know what, we are still parents. And nothing will ever change that.

As we continue on in this series of posts dealing with stillborn baby loss, we come to this vital piece of the puzzle for those who have lost stillborn babies. It is crucial for us as the parents, and others who are part of our lives, to know that we really are parents. And it is so important to us that everyone clearly acknowledges this. Otherwise, we suffer needless heartache. When people don’t have this understanding for parents of stillborn babies, it makes things so much more difficult than they have to be. As weird as it sounds, we feel like we have to accommodate you. We feel like we have to make you emotionally comfortable in talking to us. Like we have to offer the perfect explanation so as to remove all the awkwardness from you. Like we have to justify calling ourselves parents, or referring to our baby. Strange, but unfortunately true.

With that said, we come to #8. Parents of stillborn babies want you to acknowledge………

#8 We want you to acknowledge the powerful bond that we have with our babies, and want you to refer to us as their parents.

 

Yes…….We Really Are Parents

Should be obvious, ha? I mean, doesn’t a stillborn baby have the mother and father’s genetics? Isn’t a stillborn baby comprised of sperm and egg? Doesn’t a stillborn baby grow in the mommy’s tummy? Isn’t a stillborn baby created in God’s image? If you really think about it, why would we be referred to as anything else besides the baby’s parents? But parents of stillborn babies know exactly why I mention all of this. Sadly, many people don’t think of us as parents, at least not in any meaningful, life-changing way. Well, unless of course, we have other children…….then most folks will boldly pronounce us as “Class A” Parents. Top of the line, real, living, “just like us” kind of parents. But even then, an odd distinction is made between living children and stillborn babies. People don’t want to engage you as much regarding your stillborn. Somehow they miss the fact that your eyes just lit up with the mere thought of being able to talk about your baby! They just blow right by the opportunity. And it never gets easy. It is always frustrating beyond belief. Your baby’s memory gets sideswiped like a car on a hit and run that just drives away like nothing serious even happened.

No Bedtime Bible Stories

I don’t have any living children, but the sense I get from people is that a stillborn baby just isn’t as deserving of all the conversation as other kids are. Why is this? Most people make no favorable comparison between a living child and a stillborn baby. What a crying shame this is. It’s almost like the real reason someone is considered a parent is because they have ongoing celebrations and hardships that parents of stillborns do not have. For example, we can never talk about our stillborn baby as being a 2 year old toddler who is out of control, or a 10 year old who made the honor roll again this year, or how long it’s taking to potty train them, or how enjoyable it is to read them the Bible every night. Parents of stillborns do not have these particular joys, heartaches and stresses. We have different ones. We don’t have an experience that the majority of parents can relate to. And because of that, they do not typically acknowledge us as being like them.

Getting Your Hands Dirty

If you haven’t gotten your hands dirty (so to speak), and you haven’t dealt with all the things parents normally deal with, then you just simply fall short. Even worse, it feels to us like our precious little baby is the one who falls short. If you’ve had a lot of experience (diapers, crying fits at night, cute pics, sports, discipline issues, etc.), then you get acknowledged by others as being real parents. And your baby is acknowledged as a real baby. Otherwise, for the most part, you and baby get overlooked. Yes, there are compassionate people out there who are the exceptions. But sadly, those people are few and far between. Achievement and experience should not be the deciding factor in whether someone qualifies as a parent or a baby. Because if that is the case, then all miscarried, aborted, and stillborn babies have nothing to show. And that is tragic.

The Not-So-Terrible 2’s

But what if you were not dealing with the difficulty of child rearing? What if you were only dealing with the difficulty of not being able to rear a child, because your only baby is dead? What then? Is it your lack of experience in raising children that determines whether or not you should be called a parent? Is it somehow an easier burden to deal with a baby’s death than it is to go through the struggles of parenting? I don’t remember where I saw it, but there is a saying out there that goes something like this: “A new mommy can’t sleep at night because of her crying baby. But a mommy of a stillborn can’t sleep at night because she doesn’t hear her baby cry.” Parents of stillborns would do anything for our baby to be with us, even if that means they would have a screaming fit inside Target when they turned 5 years old. We would do anything to have seen their first poopy diaper. We would have loved for our baby to go through the “Terrible 2’s.” But they never made it to 2 years of age. We would have savored even 2 hours with our baby. This is reality for most parents of stillborn babies. Even parents who have other children rarely hear their stillborn acknowledged in the same way as their other kids. This should not be.

So, How Many Kids Do You Have?

This is one of the hardest, most dreaded questions a parent of a stillborn baby ever has to answer. You might be thinking that this should really be easy for us. But it isn’t. We have to be thinking before we answer. And we only have a few seconds to contemplate how we answer. We don’t have a straightforward, one-size-fits-all answer for every person who asks. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve agonized over the fact that I did not acknowledge my daughter when people have asked me “The Question.” I can’t understand why I even do it. That is the most difficult part. I know I should say something like “Yes, I am a dad. And I have a beloved, beautiful baby girl named Ariana who died as a stillborn. I love her and miss her very much!” But most of the time, I do not say this. And even though I can’t pinpoint exactly why, I suppose it is mostly fear. Fear of the type of response I am going to receive from others. Fear of really awkward silences. Fear of people looking at me like I’m crazy for thinking I’m a father when my baby never even took a breath outside the womb. Yes, all these possible outcomes can dart through the mind at lightning speed when you are the parent of a stillborn baby.

Conclusion

So please remember this: God formed our stillborn baby’s inward parts. And just because those parts were stillborn, God still formed them inside mommy’s tummy. Nothing will ever change that. Not even the most awkward conversation. And not even the failure of a father to acknowledge his beloved baby girl, all because of the social fear and awkwardness involved. If death itself cannot break the parental bond we have with our stillborn baby, then it is absurd to think anything else will. God is the One who creates this powerful bond. It is His design alone. And no one can ever undo what He has done.

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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