A Letter To My Baby

by Dana Boyle on October 19, 2011

My Dear Little One,

There are so many things I want to tell you, and so many things I wanted to do with you and for you in your lifetime.   I was so excited about every part of my pregnancy with you, and I couldn’t wait to meet you and start my life as your mother.  I was looking forward to sharing you with your daddy and watching him teach you everything he knows and love you with all his heart.

When they told us you had stopped growing and living, at first I felt like I had lost my dream to become a mommy – your mommy.  I couldn’t help but think we STILL don’t have children, and now it’ll take us longer and we have this hole that will never be filled.  I was so sad to see your little heart had stopped beating and your little arms and legs weren’t kicking around like they had when I saw you thriving only a few weeks before.

What I’ve come to realize now is that because of you, I am a mother.  My adventure into motherhood started with your conception.  Your existence, even if it was only for a few months, made me a mother and your daddy a father, forever.  While we had to let you go, we will never forget you and we will never let go of the gifts you’ve left behind for us, the most life-changing of them, parenthood and the start of our family .

At the moment when we had so many tough decisions to make as a couple, while I was preparing for surgery and in shock, I had a keen awareness that this was a defining moment in our lives, in our marriage and in our joint parenthood.  We would never be the same.

I have yet to fully understand how this has defined us, or defined me as a mother, and I’m sure that will take many years to realize.  What I do know is that we are already different, in good ways, because of you.  Just one example of our new way of being is that we have already decided that Daddy will come with me to every appointment the next time we are expecting, so that he can be there for every amazing experience, and support me in case of any disappointments or scary moments.

Your life, as short as it was, bonded Mommy and Daddy as a couple in a way that we had not bonded before.  Obviously, this is because we were expecting a child – but now that we have lost you to such a short little life, we share your loss and everything that we have endured because of your loss has given us a deeper appreciation for each other, for our health and for our future together.

I am so proud of your Daddy and the way he’s been there for me and loved me through this.  I knew I was marrying the right person when I married him, but this experience confirmed that for me in the deepest of ways.  He has been my greatest comfort and has allowed me to feel sad, to rest, to tell him how I feel, to talk about and process this experience, and to miss you – even when it keeps him awake and he has to go to work the next day.

The day we had to let you go was the first day that I truly felt like your daddy was my husband.  I can’t explain that any more clearly than to say that.

There is so much more I have to say to you about what you meant to me, what I hoped for you, and the dreams we had for you.  I will leave that for letters to you as I process through it all.

Some have told me that I should write a letter to you to say goodbye.  I don’t feel that is the right thing to do, even though that may have helped other moms to grieve.  For me, I feel like talking to you and sharing with you is best, and you don’t have to go anywhere because even though losing you in the physical is painful, knowing you’re here in some capacity spiritually is comforting.

For now, know that we love you and we miss you, and if you want to come back to us when we have a healthier and stronger body for you to live in, we would welcome you with open arms and give you our very best love for every moment we have you in our lives.  I know because of my deep spirituality that you are not gone, and there is no goodbye.  But oh, how I wish I could feel you kick in my womb or hear you cry.

With love and butterfly kisses,

Mommy

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Cath October 19, 2011 at 10:46 am

Yes, you are a mother already. Not the version you expected to be, but learning to be the parent of a child who died comes with it’s own set of parenting skills and challenges. It’s as steep a learning curve as learning to parent a live child.

There are many kinds of deaths – biological death is only one of them. You’ll relate to your son for the rest of your life so you don’t have to say goodbye. And just as parenting a child who’s alive is a constantly evolving relationship, remembering and relating to your child who died is also a constantly evolving relationship that will grow and change as you grow and change.

Of course, just like with parenting a child who’s alive, your relationship with your child who died is unique, and you get to choose how you want to parent your child. Seeing you though, makes my heart swell – you’re doing it so well and with so much love. And the rich skills you learn now will not just enrich your partnership with your husband (as they already are) – they will also serve you well when you come to parenting a child who lives longer.

Wishing you a blessed “different-kind-of-parenting” journey,
Cath

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Cath October 19, 2011 at 10:55 am

P.S. As a relationship coach and lawyer, I bet you come across lots of situations where people are challenged to learn how to be “different-kind-of-parents” – whether it’s dealing with fertility issues, child custody issues, adoption, surrogacy, blended families with his and her children, grandparents looking after their grandbabies… there are so many different-kind-of-parents that it’s kind of odd that we still think of the traditional 2-parent, 2.5 kids family as “normal.”

Being a different-kind-of-parent challenges a lot of our beliefs about what it means to be a parent, and gives us the opportunity to learn to love more flexibly and courageously. Also, loss is such a strong theme in the family and relationship management arena – especially when you get to the point of mediation and litigation. I’m so curious to see how your experiences and your child’s inspiration are going to inform your work, because I’m sure it will inform your work in powerful and wonderful ways.

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Dana Boyle October 19, 2011 at 11:38 am

Cath, you have so much beautiful wisdom to share. I appreciate you and all that you have to offer the world. Big love to you as I digest all that you have said. Yes, I can’t wait to see how this impacts my work as well. xo

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