This post was written by Still Standing Contributor Tova Gold.
Editor’s note: As a reminder – Still Standing is a place for all grieving parents. All. If you grieve the loss of your child, no matter the circumstances, you are welcome here. We ask that all conversation be kept respectful and civil.
I am done staying silent. I am done walking through shadows afraid of your judgment, 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 the strong, courageous, full-hearted women that I call my sisters in loss or me.
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 weak 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 carry 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 judgments 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 and received support and understanding of 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.
AHeartbreakingChoice – forums
Featured image: pixabay/chiisaihana20200