“I’m pregnant!” Words that should bring happiness sometimes brings just the opposite. When you are a loss mom, hearing of someone else’s joy can bring you hell.
The news can bring you back to a time before you lost when you only knew the joy and none of the pain. Hearing pregnancy news from someone close to you who has not struggled with losing a child can be a source of envy, sadness or even anger. I never want anyone else to know the pain of holding their child still in their arms –
But I also have mixed emotions being so near to the glow of new life that stands in such contrast to my reproductive story.
But, what does it feel like to hear a loss mom is expecting?
Somehow, hearing a loss mom is pregnant brings me such joy. The feeling that this new momma is in such need of support, of community, of care overrides any negative feelings that innately rise in me otherwise. There is knowledge that she has seen the worst things life has to offer and yet she stands defiantly against all the odds and decides to try again.
The burden of knowledge now lies on her shoulders, so I do all I can to champion her. Hear her worries, listen to her fears and try to reassure her to just live for now. To count every kick; and even if I thought it was foolish when people told me, to try to enjoy every moment.
You see as loss moms, we know. We have all been burned in one way or another, so we do all we can to lift a rainbow mom out of the flames. We stand together, in unfailing support and cry tears of joy as they welcome their newest little one. If tragedy should strike again, we lay in wait to help carry her through the darkness.
We are a community bound by heartache and love for each other. We are tethered with our shared experience of knowing the very worst that this world has to offer: we have lived without our children. That bond means community, means unfailing support, means I will hold your hand while you carry your rainbow without a single ounce of worry or sadness for myself.
And I know that you would do the same for me.
I know that only a fellow loss mom could truly know the joy, fear, anxiety, hope, love and worry that comes along with this journey, who better to be by your side as you ride the roller coaster to a rainbow baby than another loss mom.
A rainbow pregnancy is difficult and more emotional than one could ever prepare for. There is no “What To Expect When You Are Expecting After Loss” edition. It is vital that a loss mom is able to find her people who will support her through arguably, the second most difficult task in life: being pregnant after loss.
Hearing about another person’s pregnancy, rainbow or not, can elicit strong differing emotions from a loss mom depending on their journey. As a loss parent, I can’t help but see a rainbow pregnancy as a mother making her last stand against the storm. We must come together and help her to the end of her rainbow, where hopefully, she will find a beautiful, healthy baby on the other side.
We are the shoulders to cry on, the ears to listen to worry, the mouths to provide advice and in the end the community to help carry through.
To the rainbow mom, I know your struggle. Although you may worry about announcing your pregnancy to a loss mom in fear of hurting her, remember they are the only ones who know your pain. Reach out to them.
In my experience, loss moms are the best resource in a rainbow pregnancy. Always remember: you are strong; you will make it through this too.
It may not all be rainbows, but perhaps, we can all give a little sunshine.
Photo credit: www.emaphotography.com