Since becoming a member of the bereaved mom club (against my will), I’ve noticed a common theme popping up frequently amongst mothers of stillborn babies.
Many of them share how the day their child was born was both a joyful and devastating day for them, a juxtaposition of two emotions.
I’m jealous of those bereaved mothers.
I can’t relate to their feelings.
The day my son was born without making a sound was the second worst day of my life (the first being the day prior when we learned he died).
When he was placed in my arms and I stared at his face, all I felt was immense sorrow.
There was no smile at finally being able to meet him.
There was only pain at the fact that I wouldn’t see him grow.
In fact, I actually spent most of my time trying to find something wrong him, trying to find an answer as to why he died.
What I didn’t know was that everything I fixated on; the blisters/peeling skin, the furrowed brow bone, and the cherry red lips, were common for babies who have died in utero.
The outer layer of skin starts to separate from the dermis causing blisters and peeling. Bones in their skull start to overlap.
Their lips are red due to blood pooling in that area (Found on Still Birthday).
I wasted the limited amount of time I had on Earth with my son trying to find a reason why he died instead of just taking in his beautiful face.
It is something I will always regret for the rest of my life.
I see images of other loss families proudly holding their child with smiles on their faces.
They have at least one happy family photo to commemorate the only time they were ever able to hold their child.
I am ashamed that I do not have a similar photo.
I feel guilty that I didn’t feel any happiness the day my son was born.
The photos taken by our hospital do not show either of us beaming proudly as we hold our son for the first time.
Instead the intense sadness is emblazoned across our faces.
Tears can be seen falling down my cheeks and they aren’t tears of joy.
They are tears of a woman who has been broken.
I am so thankful to have had the 32 weeks and 5 days that we did with Asher bouncing around happily in my belly.
They are the moments I will always cherish, untouched by the pain of loss. However, gratitude is not an emotion I felt on the day of his birth.
On his birthday, I felt deep sorrow.
I felt devastation.
I felt shattered.
There was no gratitude or joy.
There was only heartache and colossal loss.
Amy Lied is a wife and a mother to her son, Asher, who was inexplicably born still on February 19th, 2017 and twin daughters. Before losing Asher, she suffered a miscarriage and struggled with unexplained infertility. She has documented her journey from the beginning of her infertility struggles on her blog, Doggie Bags Not Diaper Bags. She is also a co-founder of The Lucky Anchor Project , an online resource for loss families that houses an Etsy store whose profits are donated to loss family non-profit organizations. She hopes to help others by sharing her journey as she continues to navigate the bumpy road that is life after loss.