One of the first things I said once I found out I had lost my baby boy at 20 weeks was, “Will driving and clenching your stomach while you drive lead to this?”
I had recently driven to visit my parents. I had gone through heavy traffic and it was just my 10 month old son and pregnant me in the car. I felt protective of my baby in the car and my baby in my belly and I was stressed. I clenched the whole drive there.
As soon as I found out I had lost my baby in my belly, my mind raced to figure out where I had gone wrong. What had I done? As a pregnant woman, your job is to bring life safely to the world. I had failed and I needed to know what I had done to cause it.
I had the best doctor. He looked at me with full compassion and said gently yet firmly at the same time, “This was not your fault. You did not cause this.”
Fortunately, I believed him. I trusted him fully and believed him when he said it wasn’t me.
It was not my fault.
I want to be that person for you today.
Your infant loss was not your fault. You did not do this. You did not cause this.
Unfortunately, infant loss happens and it is a part of life. It is not abnormal. It can feel that way because we don’t always talk about it openly. The openness has improved immensely over the years. When I lost my baby thirteen years ago, I remember my friend’s mom sharing with me that she had lost a baby. They put her out to deliver the baby. When she woke up, she asked where the baby was and the doctor’s reply was “What baby?”
Vastly different from my experience where I delivered my baby, held my baby, and took photos with my baby.
People are even more open now than they were 13 years ago. I think moms are more open to talking about their baby loss and how that has affected them. I think people are willing to let moms and dads feel pain over the loss of a baby.
It is okay to feel sad. It is right to grieve. It is not odd to miss someone you never met.
And it was not your fault.
As I write this, it is my 13 year anniversary for losing my son. I always write something at this time of year as a way to remember him. To acknowledge that he is a part of our family. He is talked about openly in our home and my children often tell people they have another brother who died.
This year, I want my message to be:
It is not your fault.
But you will still hurt. You will still miss that baby. My tears still flow 13 years later. This is a somber day for me each year. I know this day is coming as it approaches, even with a busy life with four children. I know this day is here, even with a thousand things to do. Even while life moves at a rapid pace around me, this day hurts. It hurts enough I cannot be distracted from it.
This is painful.
But it is not my fault.
If you are harboring feelings and fears that your infant loss was your fault somehow, please ask. The answer will be no. Ask so you can hear it. Ask so as you process the pain that does not leave you. Ask so you won’t have a lingering fear that you caused it weighing you down. You don’t need that on top of the pain that is the reality of losing a child.
Because it is not your fault.
Related Infant Loss Posts:
- Allow Grief to Be Felt
- Heartbreaking Sorrow Strengthens Us
- The Grief of Losing a Baby Hits You at Surprising Moments
- I Remember Him Still
- Processing Pain of Child Loss
- Not Less Painful–Just Better At Handling It
- Traditions for Lost Child’s Birthday
- What I Wish I Had Known About Having a Rainbow Baby
- What to Say to a Woman Who Has Lost Her Baby