In the past two years I have often wondered what Samantha would be like now.  What color would her hair, her eyes have been?  What features would she have had of her dad’s or mine? What would her personality be like?  Would she be laid back like her daddy or have his sense of humor? Would she have my sense of organization and creativity? Many other thoughts and questions have run through my mind over the many months.

Lately, when I look at Timothy I can’t help but to wonder even more.  Our little guy is irresistibly adorable.  I know, I am his mom…I am supposed to say that.  But I am not the only one who has said it.  I wonder what features he has that his sister would have had.  I also wonder what kind of sister she would have been to her baby brother.

Day by day, I see Timothy’s personality starting to show through and I know that he has a great big sister.  I am sure there would be some similarities, but each have their own uniqueness.  Samantha has a big job…she is a guardian angel to her little brother.  He’s one lucky guy to have someone so special watching over him.

One day we will all visit the cemetery where Samantha is, take a few photos, and reflect a little.  Down the road we will share with Timothy about his big sister.  For now, I get to see a little bit of his dad, sister, and me in him.

 

The other day I was talking with a friend and she told me that someone close to her had recently experienced a miscarriage.  My friend didn’t know what to say to them and turned to my website for insight.  Here’s where I have fallen short.  This is a topic that I have not written on.  Seems a little odd that it hasn’t come out sooner and I apologize to all who have come to the site for help on this topic.  For each person who has suffered a pregnancy or infant loss, what to say and not say can differ a little because of how each of handles situations.  However, I feel like there are some common things that we either need to hear or don’t need to hear.  Some of these have been said to me and some have been said to those who have walked a similar path as I have.

What to not say

  • You can still have other children
  • It’s better this way or This is God’s way of telling you
  • So, when are you going to get back on the horse (the day you are discharged from the hospital)
  • You baby has expired
  • You need to just get over it or move on
  • You shouldn’t dwell in the past or on it
  • You should be done grieving by now
  • Why don’t you put everything that you have out in honor of them away to help you move forward
  • At least you weren’t that far along
  • It wasn’t meant to be
  • Maybe next time you can take extra vitamins

What to say

  • If you need to talk, I am here to listen
  • The child’s name, if there wasn’t a name given you can encourage the family to name their child
  • Your baby is beautiful
  • You are a mom/dad, no matter how many you have lost or even if you do not have other children yet
  • We may not always know what we need ourselves, so instead of asking what can you do do something specific for the family.  Like…bring meals, meet for coffee
  • I’ve been thinking about you. This can still be done months & years down the road
  • Remember their child in some way…especially on their child’s birthday
  • Don’t forget about the father.  A lot of times the men get forgotten about as the appear to be just fine.  Where they are just trying to keep it together and be strong for their partner.  Their grief may not surface until farther down the path.
  • It wasn’t your fault

 

If you are still nervous about what to say or afraid something may not come out right, there are two important things that you can do.  Be there to listen and remember their child.  And don’t forget to still do this down the road.  It’s been over two years for me and in some I am still grieving.  The grieving has changed, but it is still something that is a part of me and I have learned different ways to help me move forward. This is a part of my life and forever will be.

This by no means is an extensive list for either topic.  If you would like to share what has been helpful or not helpful to you after you experienced the loss of your child please share with us in the comment section below.

 

As I am bouncing my new little guy, I am thinking about Mother’s day.  For those facing a loss, Mother’s Day can be hard to take in.  And when it’s your first child, then what do you do.  Is it still a celebration? It may seem weird to celebrate being a mom when your baby isn’t in your arms, but you should celebrate being a mom.  Honestly, it will be tough, it was for me.  Mother’s Day came just a few short months after we lost Samantha.  It felt right to do a little something, but I also wanted the time to reflect a little as well.  We spent that Mother’s Day enjoying the warmth of the sun (after a very long, snowy Winter), enjoying a coffee beverage & pastry from a local coffee shop, and sitting down by the Mississippi River.

That was two years ago.  It was my very fist Mother’s Day and my daughter was in heaven.  Now, I get to celebrate Mother’s day with her in heaven and our new little guy who arrived in April.  I am a mom times two, but it doesn’t look like it to most people.  We are blessed to have Samantha watching over us, like a beautiful angel.  It all just seems a little surreal.  I am a new mom, but yet I am not.  I have been a mom for two years, but have had different responsibilities than a typical mom does.  And yet, right now I am a first time mom because this is our first child that has successfully made it.  Some time down the road we will have the opportunity to explain to Little Guy that he has a sister.  But for now, I am relishing in the fact that I get to watch him grow…a little too fast it seems sometimes, but I get to watch him grow, change, and learn.  He is such a blessing.  We received a photo frame with a beautiful quote that really says it all: “We made a wish and you came true. And we thank god for the gift of you.”  We made a wish years ago to have children.  The path that we thought we would have taken and the one that has been laid in front of us are two very different things.  While there have been struggles, I wouldn’t change a thing.   I am a mommy x 2!

Happy Mother’s Day to all!  Even if you aren’t able to hold your children in your arms, they are always in your heart.  And even if others can’t see all your children, it doesn’t mean that you aren’t a mom.  You are, and always will be.  Be gentle to yourself today and try to find some joy in it.

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