Still Standing {International Bereaved Mother’s Day}

I am still standing, though the ground feels very shaky at times, and putting one foot in front of the other is more than I can manage on some days.

I am still standing, while a part of my heart is held forever in a ceramic and copper urn on my bedroom shelf.

I am still standing, while I am selling the cloth diapers that I lovingly purchased for my stillborn daughter, because I need rent money more than a box of diapers that I may never use, and it feels like it’s ripping a hole in the already fraying fabric of the peace I have managed to gather close to me.

I am still standing, while our excitement over a positive pregnancy test turns into that familiar ache of cramping and blood that means we will not be adding another child to our home in 2013.

I am still standing, though this is the first year since I became a mama in 2001 that I have not thought of Mother’s Day with joy and happiness. Instead, I feel sad, and a little lost, and more than a little guilty for feeling this way. I keep asking myself if I have the right to be sad, even though I believe that I have earned that right, and that it does not diminish my gratitude and love for my older children.

I am still standing, because I have two beautiful daughters here who will shower me with handmade cards and hugs and love. I know that I am so lucky to have them, the loves of my life.

I am still standing, but I miss my baby, more than words can say.

It has been 10 months since my youngest daughter died, but I am still standing.

Mothers Day CarlyMarie

Sunday May 5th is International Bereaved Mother’s Day. This is a day to honor the mothers who are not able to celebrate with one or more of their children, but still deserve to be honored. Let’s #BreaktheSilence

For more about International Bereaved Mother’s Day, please be sure to visit the CarlyMarie Project.

To honor the bereaved mothers, including myself, several bloggers have joined together to host a linkup. We encourage anyone who has suffered a loss of a baby or a child to link your story. Share your grief. Or how you have healed. You can share successes and how you have moved on or dealt with your loss. It can be an old post or a new post, or several posts if you have more than one you’d like to contribute.

This is our opportunity to share what is on our hearts. Our day to share with other mothers who understand and for those who may not have experienced this to read a little more into our hearts. #BreaktheSilence

Please be sure to visit the co-hosts!

DestinyManifest15x150 after Photobucket

Beautiful Mothers
The link-up has {unfortunately} expired and can no longer be viewed. Thank you to those who linked up… your stories are beautiful!

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I'm Heather, a married mama of two teen girls, a stillborn baby girl (7/1/12), and a sweet and wild preschool girl (4/2/14). I've been blogging at The Destiny Manifest since 2001. I like to write about appreciating all of the beautiful little things that surround us, particularly in the face of grief, infant loss and mental health issues. Every day is an adventure!

Latest posts by Heather O. (see all)

  • This linkup is truly a wonderful way to help each other with your losses. I wrote about my chemical pregnancy on Hubpages when I first started writing and can tell you that I will never forget. I do remember how hard it was to get my period after it and not be pregnant. Truly would gut me and can feel for you on that one. And as much as time heals all wounds, this one (even though it was only 5 weeks) still has stayed with me. Thanks for always be so honest and sharing here Heather. I truly am thinking of you.

    • Thank you Janine. We just went through a chemical pregnancy this past couple of weeks. I was very early, 5 weeks like you, but it’s the loss of hope and excitement that it hardest to deal with. I am sorry for your loss, and I appreciate you sharing your experiences with me, always. You are a good friend. <3

      • Oh I am so sorry Heather for your loss and I totally remember feeling like someone let all the air out a balloon on me. I spotted first, then got a positive pregnancy test and found out a week later when I was not progressing properly that it was indeed a loss. If you need to talk, please feel free to message me. I am a good listener πŸ™‚

        • I appreciate that so much… and I might just take you up on your offer to listen. πŸ™‚

          • I am going to hold you to that!! πŸ™‚

          • Loved this post the first time and just had to say I was so happy to see you co-hosting Raising Imperfections today!! πŸ™‚

  • Kathy at kissing the frog

    Heather, I am so glad I “met” you through this. I am so sorry about your baby. I know the feeling of still standing when you just want to curl up and do nothing but grieve and mourn. We embrace our living children, but can’t help but think of how the one we lost would fit in. Hugs to you, Mama – you’re imprinted in my heart now forever. xo

    • Kathy, your blog and your story are beautiful, and though I wish we could have met under different circumstances, I’m glad that we did meet. Much love and gentle hugs to you and your family.

  • Proud mommy of ChloΓ«*

    Number 11 is from me. Sorry, it’s a dutch site. But also in NL there are a lot of parents ‘Still standing’ and I really want to break the silence!

    • I’m very glad that you shared your page and Chloe’s story, Maureen! She is a beautiful baby. Thank you for sharing her with us. Much love to you!

      • Proud mommy of ChloΓ«

        Thank you Heather! Much of love and blessings to you and all parents who had to experienced the imaginable…

  • Chris Carter

    Beautiful. I am so sorry for all you have endured. Praying for you and although the grief is so so difficult, I am proud of you for still standing…

  • Maria

    This would also apply to a birthmom who has placed her baby for adoption, too. Thank you for sharing this…

  • melovy writer

    So sorry for your loss. I think it must be so, so hard to carry a baby to term and then have death instead of birth. How great that there is a day in honour of mothers in your position.

  • I am so very sorry for your loss. I lost my first-born son when I was just 16 years old; he suffered from a rare chromosomal disorder. His 17th birthday would have been this July and not a day goes by that I do not wish he was here with me–living a happy and healthy life.

    • Thank you Carin. I am so sorry for your loss, as well. I wish that neither of us (none of us!) had to feel the pain of losing a child. {{{hugs}}}

  • Katina

    Lots of love to you, from one stillbirth mom to another. <3 Here's the story of my angel, Rachel.
    http://katina128.blogspot.com/2009/10/all-about-rachel.html

    • Thank you for sharing Rachel’s story, Katina! So much love to you!

  • Stella

    I am the only woman in my very large family to give birth to a stillborn baby. When I did, I felt so alone and isolated. I have kept that hurt to myself for 2 years now, I wish I had sought out other mothers that knew my pain and could understand my tears back when it happened. I am stronger now, and most days happy even, but I am glad to have discovered the shared prayers and love of all of you beautiful mothers. Please read my post How I’m moving on, albeit slowly about a small effort I have made to help others and myself.
    love to you all, Stella http://www.arunningperspective.com
    http://wp.me/p2RoA1-6g

    • Thank you for sharing your story, Stella. I am glad that you have found support now, and please feel free to contact me any time if you need (or want) to talk. Much love to you, mama. xoxo

  • Stephanie Sprenger

    You are doing great things for the community by writing this- thank you for your brave, beautiful words.

  • Thank you for writing this and co-hosting. I’m with Stella. I’m the only one who has had to endure the pain of losing a child and I did so alone. I know that you will find your peace one day.

    • Thank you, April. I am sorry for your loss, as well. xoxo

  • Beautiful post, Heather. I totally missed Bereaved Mother’s Day this year, but I love the idea and your linky.

  • What a sorrowful and beautiful post to come across. I’m visiting today from Raising Imperfection, and I’m following now. Thank you for sharing,

    • Thank you for visiting and following. πŸ™‚

  • I’m sorry for your loss, I hope that you’re on the way to healing… I know it’s hard to remember and heal at the same time.

    • Thank you, Camilleta. Healing comes and goes, but I’m still standing, and that’s the best I can hope for some days.