I am sorry that you have found yourself here, reading this. I am familiar with the journey you now travel. I was on a similar one last year and there are some things I want you to know as you continue to venture through the unknown…
This will be the hardest, the most precious, and the most life-altering thing you do. It is beautiful and heartbreaking all in the same breath. While you never asked for this journey, embrace it, because your baby needs you just as much as you need him/her. Through what seems like an endless amount of tears and heartache, and through the hole in your heart that will never completely go away… you will be filled with love, deep appreciation, and you will find beauty in this along the way, I promise. You will experience love on a level you did not know was possible and the same could be said about the pain. Know that your baby feels every ounce of your love… In both this life and the one that comes after.
I promise that there is a blessing in all of this. It may be incredibly hard to see it now, but it’s there and in time it will slowly be revealed, if it hasn’t already. Whether you hold your baby while he/she is still and silent, or as they draw their final breath, know you have not failed them. You are an amazing mother who has made the most selfless decision any person could possibly make. You are giving your baby a chance to live and to be loved at the expense of your now broken heart. Whether you choose natural birth, a caesarean, intense medical interventions, or comfort care, you are making the right choices for your child. Because on this journey there are no right or wrong choices. You make these decisions from the most important place, a place of love and in the end and all the days after, that is what really matters. You are making the right decisions for you, your baby, and your family. Please, don’t ever doubt that. Don’t let guilt take residence in your heart. It doesn’t belong there, because you are doing all you can do with the circumstance at hand.
The moment you hold your precious child in your arms is one you will cherish for a lifetime and yearn for again & again. As heartbreaking as it is to say goodbye to your much beloved and wanted child, there will be beauty in the day of their birth, even if he/she never takes a breath. It may be hard to see now, but one day you will. You didn’t ask for this sweet Momma, I know, but you will survive this even when you think you can’t. You are strong and you are brave. Even in your weakest moments when the pain consumes you and you are gasping for air. You can do this even though you were never given a choice. You have been chosen to do the unimaginable. I don’t know why you were chosen, or why I was chosen, and I am sorry that we were. But I know you can do it Momma, and you can do it with unimaginable grace and a selfless amount of love.
You will face so many unknowns on this journey and the only thing that is certain is the love you hold in your heart for your baby. You don’t know how much time you will have with him/her.
But know this momma…
In all of the world, there is no love like the love you have for your baby. That love will be the only thing your baby ever knows and that love will never dwindle, it will never fade, and it will never fail. This I know to be true.
A fellow carrying to term momma… now bereaved.
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Jessi Snapp resides in Indiana where she is pursuing her master’s degree in social work. She is married to her wonderful husband, Karl, and she is a mother to one living child and three in Heaven. After enduring two losses to miscarriage, Jessi became pregnant with her son Silas Edison who was diagnosed with Trisomy 18 at 20 weeks gestation. Silas was born and passed on August 20, 2014. Though his life was brief, he is loved for a lifetime. In Silas’ memory, Jessi turned his nursery into an art studio where she creates custom memorial art for other babies gone too soon. You can find her heart-centered work at LuminousLightStudio and on Facebook.