By Angela Williams Glenn
I knew as I awakened in the dark silence of the night earlier that the baby was gone. I could feel my body physically rejecting its presence, but the ache in my heart at the confirmation that my fear this baby would be lost too, would last long past the physical pains and discomforts.
I cried silent tears in the night at what was lost. I’d have to tell my husband and daughters that we lost another baby again. This was the second baby in five months we had just lost. Were we ever going to be able to complete our family or was it time for me to let those dreams go? Like any other tragedy I’ve been left with wondering why and feeling like there’s some explanation I’m missing. What was I not seeing? I always imagined the third baby being a baby boy, and how that moment after his birth with his two older sisters would be like that happily ever after moment every little girl imagines of her future adult life. Why was that moment not mine to have?
My husband and girls would be sad in the moment when I told them, but they wouldn’t mourn the baby’s loss on the dates ahead that would have marked the baby’s growth. They’d never think of April as the month we would have learned if it was a boy or girl or that in August it would have been the baby’s birth date. The knowledge of those moments, as well as this one, the date the baby’s short existence ended, are a burden a mother alone carries.
I will go about my days as if nothing is amiss while I quietly mourn what was not meant to be. Some will know and understand my loss while others may wonder how I can miss someone I never met. But a mother begins to sense and connect with her baby shortly after conception. I knew you, my baby, though I never saw your face, and it was only for a few short months. I imagined our future together that will now never be more than a lost dream.
Others will just know of the children I birthed and will never know or wonder about the ones I lost. Others won’t know to miss you but a part of me will always miss you and what we never got to have as mother and child.
I will join the ranks of those women that mourn babies they never got to meet. These lost babies stay with us forever. They define each mother’s journey of motherhood just as each baby that came before and after them define her.
Though there may be more babies that follow- a rainbow baby they call it- for me to love, a mother never forgets the babies she has lost. I will often wonder what you would have been like. How you would have fit into the dynamics of our family and the relationship you would have had with your siblings? Few will ever know of your existence but know your short time with me left a lasting impression, and I will never forget you, my sweet angel baby that was never meant to be a part of this world.
Angela Williams Glenn writes about the struggles and joys of motherhood on her website Stepping into Motherhood. Her book Moms, Monsters, Media, and Margaritas examines the expectations verse the realities of motherhood in our modern day digital era and her book Letters to a Daughter is an interactive journal for mothers to their daughters. She’s also been published with Chicken Soup for the Soul, That’s Inappropriate, Her View From Home, and Perfection Pending. You can find her on her facebook page Stepping into Motherhood.