“You’re an awful mother. And that’s why your children are gone.”
I fight this lie every single day. Some days though, I just can’t fight it. I don’t have the energy, and I’m convinced that the reason my babies are dead… is because I didn’t love them enough. I didn’t deserve to keep them so two of them have died in my arms, and the other two are just unlucky enough to have me as their momma.
I should have taken the “hint” when my first son died that maybe motherhood wasn’t the right path for me.
Mom guilt comes for everyone, but it’s particularly ugly when half of your children are dead.
My baby girl just started Kindergarten, and I imagined the day before her first day of school is a day of fun; giving the summer a ‘proper’ sendoff. We were going to play games, we were going to snuggle, and I was going to tell her how much I love her over and over until she closed her little eyes that night.
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Well, let me tell you, that’s not even close to how the day went.
I spent most of it on the phone trying to get scheduling errors fixed. I work from home and needed to get some last-minute things finished. I spent most of my day yelling. And when I wasn’t yelling at my precious, prayed for babies… I had my hand up, signaling for them to Just. Leave. Me. Alone. My husband got home from work and then I did some more yelling. I took out every single frustration on my family.
“You see why two of your babies are dead? You can’t even handle the two you have.”
“You yell too much.”
“They’re going to hate you one day.”
“You deserved to watch your boys die.”
I would say I don’t even know how my mind gets there that fast, but I know. I don’t just suffer from mom guilt. I suffer from bereaved mom guilt.
If I just loved them better, loved the two here on this earth better, things would not have turned out the way they have. If I didn’t worry so much about the ‘little stuff,’ if I’d done everything right, if I were a better wife, mother, Christian… it wouldn’t be this way.
If I truly loved my children, they wouldn’t have died.
After my daughter fell asleep the night before her first day, I sat on my couch and cried. God, please don’t take her away because I haven’t been able to treasure every moment with her. I know we had a bad day, I know I yelled, I know I sound ungrateful. But God… don’t take her. I don’t know what I did for the boys to be taken, but please, help me to get the lesson right this time.
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My youngest son died in April of this year, the same month his big brother died 6 years ago. The anxiety that I will lose one of my middle children has been overwhelming these last few months, and I scramble each day, striving for perfection, falling short, and being crushed by the ugliest guilt I’ve ever faced.
I know this guilt is false. I know I did nothing to deserve this. I know God is not punishing me.
But I’m a momma who has helplessly watched two of her children die. I’ve rocked two sons while doctors announced the time of deaths. I’ve handed over two little, broken bodies into the arms of funeral directors. I’ve brought home two tiny urns and placed them on my shelf. I couldn’t save them.
I believe the lie that I should have been able to.
That I deserved this.
And that’s a nightmare.
Photo by Yuris Alhumaydy on Unsplash
My name is Kaila Mugford, wife to Jamey and momma to 4 sweet babies: Samuel, Mira, Edward, and Gabriel. My motherhood journey began and ended with grief, as Samuel and Gabriel were both given fatal prenatal diagnosis at their 20 week ultrasounds. We decided to carry to term and both died within hours of birth in my arms. Mira and Edward bring us joy every single day and we are grateful to be raising them this side of Heaven while at the same time grieving the loss of their brothers. I blog about our journey of joy and grief at kailamugford.blogspot.com.