Today I did something that is pretty monumental for me, and in my life in general. I handed over my baby, “Tiny Angels Project” to someone who has the motivation and energy to carry it on. It feels good. I feel like I made the right decision, and I look forward to seeing what is done with it. But it got me thinking… I haven’t really spoken about loss in a long long time. As someone who used to have a blog dedicated entirely to the topic of loss, this is kind of a big thing. So here I am…. writing… on loss.
I have a few different personal experiences with loss, but the one I will briefly share is my most recent loss. In July 2009, I lost twins in the first trimester. I went to the hospital, but of course there was nothing they could do for me, so I went home to wait for them to be born. Labour was shockingly just like labour. The pain and the contractions, and the sadness that ensued was unbearable. But you know what? When you’re having a miscarriage, it’s no big deal. Your partner may still go to work, and you may still be left with four children in the house to tear it apart while you labour and grieve. That was sarcasm… it is a big deal. Although a huge portion of our society would not believe it.
Before I was miscarrying, I had had two out of hospital births, which is why I didn’t see any point in going to the hospital to birth my two dead babies. It was surprisingly more like labour and birth than I had anticipated, and I locked myself in my bathroom and did what I needed to do… alone.
After that experience, I went through several emotions. I was angry that the hospital didn’t send me home with any information whatsoever. I felt guilt for breastfeeding my then 2 year old. I felt sadness of course for the loss, but also for my other kids who were all very excited for the new arrival. Oddly enough, I felt embarrassment and shame. Embarrassed that my body had failed. Embarrassed that I was experiencing my loss far deeper than anyone else. In reality, I wasn’t experiencing it any deeper. It’s just that miscarriage and stillbirth have become such a taboo topic, that I had no idea what other women were experiencing.
And that is why I started Tiny Angels Project.
I wanted to tell other women, “it’s okay to talk about your loss, it’s okay to scream from the top of your lungs about how hurt you are, it’s okay to share your story, and you deserve love, respect, and a motherfuckin’ care package dammit!” And so I did, and it was beautiful.
It has been nearly 7 years since my loss, and things have changed. I don’t cry all the time anymore, I don’t even really want more babies, although it took me years to get over the fact that I would not get my “rainbow baby”. I can now be in the same room with twins, hell, I can even hold them without crying! I have a lot of friends with twins, and I have not cut any of them out of my circle. I even teach new twin moms how to wear their babies. I have come a long way. What is left of me is stronger, more compassionate and unwavering.
Someone posted a picture to the Tiny Angels Project today, and I thought it was really cool. In the UK, they have an awards night entirely focused on loss and bereavement. They nominate people for their blogs, volunteerism, organizations, bereavement work they’ve done, just to name a few topics. It’s called The Butterfly Awards, and it looks amazing. I would LOVE to see something like that happen here. Something that spreads awareness, unifies the community, and praises those who have helped the babyloss community. Oh, and it should be classy like The Butterly Awards… and serve wine.
I will leave you with this. Show love to those in your life, because you never know when they might leave us. But most of all, show love to yourself. Honour your losses and know that many others are silently walking that path with you. And lastly, try to find some happiness and peace with whatever is left of you, because you are beautiful, amazing, and you deserve it.