With October almost half way over, pregnancy and infant loss awareness month almost slipped by me. It's not that I'm any less aware than I usually am, but sometimes I forget that other people aren't. Being a loss parent is a burden that only those who are burdened know how to carry. Sometimes, it can be all consuming, and you feel so very much alone. Other times, you can blend in, as just a "singleton mom, "not a "lost my first kid mom."
The ramification of being a mother like this, in tandem, hit me during what I thought was idle chit chat, just 3 dance moms passing the time in the studio lobby. All three of us are "singleton moms" (for reference) but our reasons why and our experiences are vastly different. All three of our girls had attended a friends birthday party over the weekend, and with my daughter being who she is, was somehow the very last to leave, as the host just loves her company, and I was enjoying a chat with her mom as well. Abbey had remarked to her friend, " you are so lucky to be a twin, and have older siblings, I wish that I had siblings, especially a sister." Her friend was quick to reply, " no, you don't want all these siblings Abbey, you're so lucky to be an only child." I managed to slip away from the conversation and instead made a joke to lighten the mood (as I'm known to do when things get too serious or uncomfortable.) I relayed this convo to my dance mom friends whilst chatting about the party and how much fun they all had, as more of an anecdote, a segway, meant to be funny. Then one friend quickly remarked she had just apologized to her daughter for her lack of siblings, hoping she would be okay as an adult without siblings to lean on. The other dance mom, who I had sensed was a little out of sorts, then said she had been to the doctor for her yearly that day, and it was thoroughly depressing to visit that office, knowing she would never again go there for prenatal care.
Mom A, who is sorry for the lack of siblings, made the decision freely, due to severe complications and scares during pregnancy, in which her perfectly amazing, brilliant and talented daughter was thought to have life threatening birth defects, to the extent that termination was suggested. Her pregnancy was full of so much anxiety she couldn't think of doing it again. I can't blame her. My pregnancy with Abbey was extremely anxious and I'n not sure I had one shred of joy the entire 9 months, not until she was born and I could see her breathing and hear her crying.
Mom B, suffered through years of infertility, thousands of dollars in treatments, 1 miscarriage, and so many tears before she was able to have her one and only miracle baby. After that, she wasn't able to conceive again, and instead loves her only child with everything she has.
Mom C, (me) lost Josie, due to chromosomal abnormality, did NOT intend to get pregnant, did NOT intend on being a mother, ever. Yet here I sat, identifying with two other moms, that at first glance, couldn't appear more different. Different careers, different hobbies, different upbringings, yet shared a quiet moment of understanding; longing, fear, regret, all mixed in with a little heartbreak.
It's moments like these that make me remember why there are Awareness months, and why we need to acknowledge and remember loss. Awareness can only bring about more understanding. If it weren't for months and days like these, maybe people like me wouldn't be as willing to share our stories of loss, and if I didn't do that, maybe Mom B would have never mentioned her miscarriage, maybe she would think its too sad to talk about, but because of me she feels comfortable sharing. Maybe she knows that if I survived what I did, I can handle her story too.
Three different stories with only one conclusion- but what is it exactly? The simple answer- we are the moms of singletons, by unavoidable choice, by heartbreaking circumstance, and out of fear. The conclusion I choose to see however, is three moms who love their girls fiercely, and protect their hearts unapologetically.
I absolutely loved reading your post! I had a similar-ish situation the other day. I am in a social work program through a Christian university and we had to do a post on a bible verse and relate it to health. I posted about 1 in 4 pregnancies resulting in mortality. I talk about it so much that I don't realize my nonchalant tone. One of my classmates shared that she had a miscarriage and could relate. I agree that Awareness Months are so important, you learn who understands you.
I lost my baby at 21weeks had a Preterm Delivery....Awareness is very important specially for first time mommies to be....in my case I had no idea what to look out for and I felt like I had to take a test before receiving the lesson
My sister had a tough time getting pregnant. When she opened up about it, she found so many coworkers and friends had gone through similar experiences. I think it's so important to talk about our struggles. There's an army of families who understand, and so many who are going through it but can't find it in them to talk about it. I feel like knowing someone is going through the same helps them release that weight. I agree, awareness days make it a little easier to open up and find a group that can relate. Thank you for this post Josie12907!
Hugs and love to you dear friend!!
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