I never understood the weight of carrying a baby, until I had to carry the baby that I lost.
Standing at my son’s graveside one afternoon, I remember crying out, “Colby! Baby, please help mommy.”
It was a moment of desperation. I needed some relief, but I had run out of solutions. And all that I could do was turn to my baby. The baby that I had lost.
Not only was my heart hurting, my body was falling apart. I no longer felt like myself. I had changed. Physically changed. And I needed some help.
The birth of my angel was traumatic. Pure trauma!
We often share the emotional scars of infant loss, but the physical damage is just as painful. And the weight cannot be measured on a scale.
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The onset of trauma-induced autoimmune disorders has left my body in disarray. From the day that I entered the hospital to give birth for the very first time, my body has been in a constant fight with itself.
And it won’t stop!
But what’s the issue with this weight?
The lingering weight. Am I carrying baby weight?! Or is what I see the weight of carrying a baby?! The baby that I lost.
I’ve tried all kinds of diets and cleanses. Clean eating and exercise. Boot camps and group challenges. But when I start losing weight, my heart hurts. It literally hurts my heart when I lose weight.
I’ve visited a cardiologist seeking answers. As he examined my heart, my tears became a more clear diagnosis for me. It has nothing to do with a scale or exam. The source of the pain won’t show up on my EKG, but it rests in every beat of my heart.
I’ve come to realize that my pain when losing weight, is actually the pain of losing the weight of my baby. The baby that I lost.
My body represents a mom of two. That includes the baby that I lost.
This belly pouch is from that emergency C-section that I endured in an attempt to save his life.
My large breasts produced the milk that I thought he needed to survive and thrive.
The rolls on my back aren’t just back fat, it’s the weight of carrying the dreams of my baby. The baby that I lost.
Related: Weight: When Loss is Heavy
Here I stand at the start of a new year preparing to embark on yet another weight loss challenge. But this time the reflection in the mirror says something more. So I’m extending myself some grace for all of my failed attempts.
This weight that I have isn’t the baby weight that I expected, it’s so much more. And it can’t be counted on the scale.
My weight, the weight that I’m carrying, is the weight of carrying all that I wanted my baby to be.
As I commit to losing the weight and the pain of carrying it all. I’m choosing to let go. Let go of the weight. And let go of the pain. Let go of the baby that I lost.
Photo by: Margo/Flickr CC
Kierra Sunae’ is an infant loss advocate committed to supporting families on their healing journey of life after infant death. As a wife and mom who has triumphed over tragedy, she is a ray of sunshine determined to make grieving hearts smile again… one footprint at a time.