Note: This is a post that I wrote but never published back in May, just a few weeks after Caleb was born. I'm not sure why I never published it. I'm sharing it now because I know it contains thoughts universal to those who have experienced similar losses.
I know a lot of people don't understand. They don't understand why I'm grieving at all, much less why I'm still grieving. It's not like I lost a "real" baby, you know? But I did. I lost a real baby, a real baby who I held and named. Yes, I was only pregnant for five months. I don't even know what color my baby's eyes were. Once he was born, I was only with him for a few hours - alive for far less than that. If you've never been pregnant, you might not ever understand what it's like to lose your baby like I did. You must think I'm insane to let five months affect me like this. But if you have had a baby, perhaps you can imagine. You must remember how excited you were. How you loved that baby - the idea of that baby, if nothing else - since you peed on the stick. How comfortable you were after that 12 week mark passed. How you fell hard for that little baby doing flips at your NT scan. How all of your future hopes and dreams centered on the little baby you planned on bringing home. The baby was literally a part of every decision you made - what you ate, what you were going to do today, what you were going to do in a week, month, year, ten years. By 20 weeks, you'd made some concrete plans. I was in love, utterly and completely in love with Caleb before I even knew who he was. I was in love with the idea of him, of my hopes for him, of my dreams for us. Once he was born, I feel in love with him - concretely in love with HIM, the tiny little baby I held in my hands, and not the vague future I'd imagined. You loved your baby beyond words the first time you saw him, didn't you? I did too.
I didn't just lose my son. I lost all those hopes and dreams and imagined futures.
I didn't just lose all those hopes and dreams and imagined futures. I lost my son.