Losing A Child Is Not A Joke

funeral 108Seven years ago I was getting ready to bring home my third son. I was 37 weeks pregnant. My second little boy was born before my 36 week mark so I expected to hold this new little one in my arms any day.

I was tired. I was huge. I didn’t feel good. But that couldn’t stifle the excitement I had to meet my baby.

My husband and I hauled out the crib and set it up. We moved our oldest two boys to bunk beds to make room. We hung up the new clothes we received as gifts from a small baby shower.

I was getting ready to swaddle him up and cuddle him close.

Then I stopped feeling him move.

The next day he came to us stillborn.

We spend just about five hours with him. That’s it. Nurses didn’t get to bring him to me in the night when he wanted to feed. I didn’t get to hear him grunt or cry while changing his first diaper.

I moved to a different hospital floor where I wouldn’t have to hear other little babies cry. I spent one terrible night tossing and turning in a rigid hospital bed while having nightmares about my deceased child. I had to coach the nurse who assisted me on what type of postpartum treatments I needed because that wasn’t her specialty. I had to ask for my own ice pack.

It is the most tragic experience I’ve had yet. My heart was ripped outside of my body.

Instead of tucking my child tightly inside his new carseat and driving him carefully home in a day or so, we left the hospital as soon as possible. I had given birth to a full-term baby boy but didn’t have time to rest or heal.

I left the hospital the next day and drove to the cemetery we might bury him in to scope out the grounds – I wanted to make sure we somehow could feel right about putting our little angel there.

But there really is no place you feel right about burying your child.

My husband and I made it home empty-handed less than 24 hours after our baby’s birth.

That afternoon I drug my tired, sore body to the funeral home to make arrangements. It was a Friday and we needed to meet with a director before the weekend. We picked out a casket and outlined the program.

The next day I remember clearly standing in a back room at the floral shop picking out tiny blue forget-me-not-type flowers to place on our little one’s grave. My body was exhausted and my milk had started to come in. I was terribly sore – physically and emotionally.

Losing a child was horrible. Terrible. Tragic. It’s the hardest thing I’ve had to do. I have so many hard memories. Carrying a small white tuxedo into the funeral home to dress our little guy for his funeral. Closing the casket – never to see him again. Sitting at home with just my husband and older two boys after the funeral wondering what to do next.

I would not wish the death of a baby on my worst enemy. And yet there are dozens of women – many of them my closest friends – who have also gone through stories of loss. Stories of heartache. They too have lost a piece of themselves when they found out their child had died.

It’s a life-changing experience that no one would understand unless they too have experienced it. And even then, everyone’s experiences are so different. It’s hard to know exactly how someone else feels.

But recently I have discovered that there are people in this world who like to pretend they understand. I have been made aware of some who have lied about losing a child. I can’t even begin to describe how deeply this offends me. I am disgusted to think that there are people out there professing to know what it is like to be swallowed up in grief like I was when I lost my sweet Luca.

What are they thinking? I just can’t understand.

Why would someone want to pretend to go through something so horrible? Are they looking for attention? My mind is blown. I’m completely baffled. And quite frankly it makes me angry.

I have spent the past 6 and a half years dealing with and internalizing my loss. I will spend the rest of my life missing the child I didn’t get to raise with my other four kids. My arms have physically ached for my boy.

So when I find out that other people have said they have miscarried or delivered stillborn babies and I know that they haven’t I am upset. Majorly upset.

No need for attention, no excuse of trying to empathize could ever excuse the act of lying about something so heartbreaking.

Like I said, losing a child has been the biggest tragedy I have faced. But it is my reality. It is not something I asked for nor something I can ever walk away from. I can’t ever change the fact that I buried my boy. This is not a game of make believe. This is my real-life horror story. My heart and my life has forever been changed because of my loss. It is not something to ever joke about or pretend. Ever.

I hope that I don’t hear of any more made up losses. I hope that these people will stop pretending. I hope they realize they are crossing a line.

But what I hope even more than all of that is that someday there will be no real losses. My dream is that all babies get to go home to their cribs. And that they live long after. No one should ever have to experience what it really feels like to lose a baby. No one.

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