Friday, August 26, 2011

I Feel Robbed

I realized as I was watching the video of the Baby Remembrance Ceremony at Rachel's walk that I completely forgot to include our 3rd baby that I miscarried.  At first I felt really guilty.... how could I forget that baby?  I have gone to the Angels Walk for Wishes in Strafford in order to hear that baby's name spoken, and we didn't even give him or her an official name, just "Baby Aube #3".  How could that baby not come to mind in all my planning for other peoples' babies??  In all my talk about miscarriage and infant loss, how did I forget my baby who at one point was the biggest loss I had ever experienced??  I was tempted to beat myself up over it.

I talked to a friend the other night who has lost many babies.... She has had early miscarriages, 2nd term miscarriages, and has held her full term baby as he unexpectedly left her arms and slipped into the arms of Jesus.  It was so comforting to hear that she knew where I was coming from.  thank you Jesus for giving me friends who really get me.  I hate the reasons we understand each other, but it was such a relief to hear her say that the baby she delivered and held until he died was different  than her miscarriages.  We were both being careful with our words as to not underestimate what we went through with our miscarriages, and we both agreed that at the time we had miscarriages it was the most pain we had ever felt and couldn't imagine anything harder.... but our full term babies were a completely different ball game.  As a mom, it can feel really wrong to say that out loud.

I remember when I was pregnant with Rachel and people would email me and say something like "I've only had a miscarriage, it doesn't compare to what you're going through" - I disagreed every single time; literally hundreds of times.  I knew the pain of a miscarriage and I knew that wasn't accurate... however, I only knew what I had experienced so far.  I knew the gut wrenching pain of having a baby ripped from my womb.  I knew how long and hard I cried and that I didn't sleep for nights on end.  I remembered saying it was the worst pain I had ever felt.  I remember the comments,,, "well, at least it happened now"...."there was probably something wrong with the baby anyway".... "you can have another one"....  and the list goes on and on. 

If you ever sent me an email telling me you had a miscarriage and couldn't imagine what I was going through, I can pretty much guarantee that I told you that I thought a miscarriage was harder... because that's what I believed.  I'm sure I said, "with a miscarriage it's all pain and no joy and at least with Rachel, I've had the joy of feeling her move and bonding with her longer and will be able to deliver her and I will have the joy of holding her in my arms".  This belief stemmed from the root of my pain with my miscarriage which was that I felt robbed.  I guess I didn't realize that I was going to feel robbed with Rachel too.... just much more so and for way longer.  There was no way to know and since what I had experienced with my miscarriage was so horrible, I didn't think this could be much worse, even though I was going through it myself.  It's just the way it is, until you really experience something for yourself, you have no idea how it feels.

After my miscarriage, I got pregnant with Samuel and immediately started to heal from the pain of losing the baby before him.  I guess I was naive in thinking that would happen getting pregnant again after Rachel.  And I've heard that expectation from so many others telling me how healing it will be for me to have another baby.  I'm guilty of saying the same thing to other baby loss mamas, even after I had lost Rachel, when I heard they were pregnant again.  All I knew was what I knew...  I knew what it felt like to carry a baby to term and watch her die and I was looking forward to getting pregnant again.  I didn't know how hard being pregnant again would be or the roller coaster of emotions that would come with it.  And so I said stupid things to people like "oh, come on, be excited!  I'm excited for you!" - boy do I eat those words every time someone judges me for not "rejoicing over my gift" (which by the way, I do daily, it just doesn't look like they think it should) or when people insist on switching the subject from Rachel to Asa on me even though I don't want to yet.

In the middle of writing this post, Matt & Isaiah started putting together Asa's crib.  Matt called me upstairs to tell him what needed to be taken out of Rachel's room and put in the attic.  I decided I would start emptying out her dresser.... the first drawer was no problem - all the newspaper articles and hundreds of cards that I got while pregnant.  I put them in a bin and planned to read them tomorrow before I put them into her hope chest downstairs.  OK, this is not so bad...  Then the second drawer - the ribbons from the first thing I made for her grave, the guest book from her funeral (which I filled out like most people would fill out a baby book) and all the left over programs...OK, I can handle this... then I pulled out the blanket from my pregnancy pics that I originally planned to bury with her but decided to keep.  I slept with it through my pregnancy and brought it everywhere with me thinking that she could be buried with something that had gone to all the special places I went with her.... Still alright... and under that was the receiving blanket that they first put her in (I forgot I even had it) and it had blood on it from her poor head....I started crying, but tried to keep going.... I opened up the last drawer to find all her clothes, a quilt that a friend made for her and her little blanket with a teddy bear head....And I was all done.  I tucked my head onto Matt's chest and just cried.... I had to put it all away for another day.

It's like I'm robbed multiple times a day.  I feel robbed when I wake up holding her empty blanket, when I get in the van and only load 3 kids, when someone asks me how many kids I have or how old they are, when I look around my house and see foot molds and pictures and try to imagine how big she would be now, when I pass each "first", when I realize how few people around me still care about her, each week when I go to the cemetery to visit her grave, in every shopping trip as I pass the baby isle, and in every conversation where the person I'm talking to is gloating over the baby they got to keep and I smile for them.  I felt robbed last week at church when our friends dedicated their beautiful baby boy....When I see someone nursing... I feel robbed when I'm trying to keep her memory alive and have to explain yet again, why I'm still sad.  I feel robbed when I open up any drawer in my house to find either a playground shirt with the big "43" on it, a 5K shirt with the word "Legacy" on it, or a drawer full of baby girl clothes that still have tags on them.  Every day of my life since her diagnosis has been painful without exception and it's been almost 13 months.  Some days the pain lasts longer than others, but they are all hard.  And as I laid in bed crying again in the early hours of the morning, all I could think was I just want to feel normal again....and that will never be.  I grieve the simplicity of my old life along with the loss of my girl.  My life as I knew it was torn from me last August and it's never coming back. This far exceeds anything I had to endure after my miscarriage, although I would have never believed it until even recently.

All that to say that I am not going to feel guilty for forgetting about my 3rd baby.  Not that he or she didn't matter to me or that it wasn't a huge loss - if you've had a miscarriage, you know that our babies do matter and it is a huge loss (and please know I'm not trying to diminish any of your pain) - but for me, it wasn't anything like losing Rachel and that's okay.


  1. Oh Stacy, I'm crying with you! Praying for you. Hugs, anja

  2. Stacy,
    I have been reading Rachel's blog for quite some time now, so long that I dont even remember how I got started on reading it and I am so greatful that I did. Sometimes I sit here and ask myself why it means so much to me and why I feel like I have to read every new post, why do I care so much about a beautiful baby girl and her momma that I have never even met? I have never come up with an answer for myself so have decided to stop trying, i've come to realize that it doesn't really matter why I read it, it matters that if you've touched my life all this time you have touched many others as well. I am so proud of you for the way you have honored Rachel's beautiful life, so proud of what you have done in the short time since she has been gone, so proud of the beautiful words that you write so well everyday-I will never judge you, I will never forget Rachel, I will always pray for protection over your feelings and Rachels. Please continue to write Rachel's Legacy, you are an amazing woman and Rachel is truly blessed to have you as her Momma. Tiffaney

  3. I def understand what you're saying. For me, losing Carleigh was totally different as I got to feel her kicks and hold her in my arms. I have memories with her and keepsakes to cherish and pictures to remember her by. I don't have those w/ Jordan.

  4. Yesterday I went to the park with Hunter and his dad, who has moved back to the area after 5 years. They are getting to know one another. His father asked me what is that on your shirt. I was wearing my shirt from the walk. Hunter looked up at him and said thats baby Rachel's hands. He is 4 and knows the things we have done in Rachel's honor and that makes me proud to be his Mama. ~Bridget~

  5. Stacy, unlike you, I despised every time someone tried to relate their miscarriage to my loss of Stella. I have never considered miscarriage to be a loss even remotely close to the same magnitude as losing my Stella. I didn't just lose a baby, I lost my little girl, my daughter, and I feel robbed every day. This pregnancy has not been a continual source of joy as everyone expects because my heart is still saw raw with grief. I can identify so much with almost everything you write about, and it helps not to feel so alone. Thank you for writing. Keep doing so! Lots of hugs, Jennifer


We so appreciate your words of encouragement!
Thank you! ♥ The Aubes