I am done staying silent.
I am done walking through shadows afraid of your judgement, your name-calling, your assumptions.
I am a mother.
A baby loss mother.
I am a wife.
I am a daughter and a friend.
I grieve for my loss the same as you.
And I am entitled to.
I will not be made to feel shame for my choice.
It is a choice I made out of love.
I will not allow you to stereotype me or the strong, courageous, full-hearted women that I call my sisters in loss.
We are not victims.
We are not examples to be judged or pitied.
We were not coerced into making our choice.
We were not too stupid to understand our options.
We are not uneducated, too poor or lacking the ethics or support to make different choices.
And we do not need you to change our minds.
Neither before nor after our choice has been consummated.
We do not need you to pray for us.
We do not need you to try and imagine yourselves in our shoes, for frankly, we often can’t imagine ourselves in those very shoes, and you certainly can’t begin to either.
We are mothers.
We are baby loss mothers.
We made our choices out of love.
The choice to bear a lifetime of pain, so our children didn’t have to bear a moment of it.
THAT was our choice.
And it’s time we come out of the shadows and stand within the circle of the baby loss community with our heads held high.
I am the face of A Heartbreaking Choice.
This piece was written to represent one type of loss; one that is frequently hidden & misunderstood within the baby loss community. It is in no way meant to cast judgements on those that make different choices, as we all make the best choices that we can, for ourselves, our babies and our families. And WE ALL make our choices out of love. LOVE.
Thank you to the 80 courageous, beautiful mothers who have bravely shared their pictures, names and babies for this post. These are women who have reached out to the AHC/TFMR online communities to both offer and receive support and understanding around their losses. They are but a small segment of this community. If you have made the Heartbreaking Choice to end a wanted pregnancy following a poor prenatal diagnosis, please visit the following communities to find support and understanding.
You are not alone.
If you are an AHC mom and feel called to add your name and baby to this list, please do so in the comments below. <3