To Those Whose First Baby Was Stillborn

Whatever your story of loss is, the pain is incredibly intense and feels insurmountable. For this article, though, I want to talk specifically to those whose first baby was stillborn, because that’s my experience and that’s what I know.

Being pregnant for the first time (or making it past earlier miscarriage dates for the first time) is just indescribable. You really don’t know what to expect, and no amount of reading can prepare you for all the crazy feelings you’ll go through. Until you’re experiencing the hormones, the morning sickness, the sense of your uterus and skin stretching, the tiny flutters of early movement, and the rolls and kicks that come later. It’s honestly something you have to experience to understand.

Related: Books About Stillbirth That Saved Me

So, we head into pregnancy doe-eyed and excited. Maybe we’re a little afraid of what’s to come, but we soldier on and watch our bellies swell.

This is where each of our stories differs, but yet are similar: We’re given the tragic, world-ending news that there’s no heartbeat. In that instant, everything we thought we knew about pregnancy is turned upside-down. We have to experience the miracle of birth for the very first time, but we have to do it to bring a baby with no heartbeat silently into this world. This becomes our only experience with pregnancy and birth: a deceased baby. That’s it. That’s all we know.

It feels so cruel, doesn’t it? We’re robbed of absolutely everything to do with birth, except the physical pain. Then, we watch our bodies slowly recover as our hearts break more every single day. Our bellies, our arms, and our homes are empty.

Related: 6 Ideas For Naming Your Stillborn Or Miscarried Baby

Yet, we go on. We’re ripped open and gutted and somehow, made new. Whether we choose to try again or we’re unable to, we figure out how to make life matter. The scars on our hearts grow flowers. The audacity of the human spirit is untouchable, friends. We find friendships with others who’ve been broken, and they’re some of the strongest we’ve ever had. We’re new people, all because of that one short but most meaningful of lives.

Image Credit: StockSnap

  • Jolissa Skow

    Jolissa Skow is a wife to Colin and mom to Jonah, born sleeping at 30 weeks gestation due to a heart condition in January 2017. She blogs at Letters to Jonah and is the creator of a new community for bereaved moms called Courageous Mothers.

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