Emotions and Grief
Different feelings, and reactions...'97-'00
These e-mails valid the all the emotions we feel after the loss of our baby. Please read "Allowing Grieving to Happen to Heal" - Emotions.
Theses are "archived e-mails" but they share the emotions and reactions so very well. They might help you to realize that the feelings you are experiencing are normal and the result of the losses in your life.
Healing happens as we recognize the pain and emotions, cope (see Coping Ideas), and give ourselves "permission to grieve to heal." Marcia McGinnis, 5/02
Marcia's Note: Unfortunately, many of these e-mails are from our early years and the addresses are probably not correct. Please feel free to try some of these. If people have sent me their updated email addresses I have included them. You may send any of your own thoughts to me and I will post them here - perhaps helping someone else some day..Poems describing Feelings and Reactions
"Goodbye '94, Hello '95" by Diane (9/97)
"A Mother's Loss" by Ri (10/97)
"To My Kada Joy" by Selena (2/98)
"Matthew, Our Valentine Angel" by Penny (4/98)
"When I Held You" by Jana(6/98)
"Using Anger Wisely" by Lotta (12/22//98)
"Devastated does not describe the feeling I have experienced." by Tammy (1/4/99)
"Initial Feelings" by Lorri (1/18/99)
"FOR MY REMEMBERING" by Tiffany (2/17/99)
"OUR BABY ANGEL" by Christine (3/12/99)
"Our "Hope" is in Heaven" by Amy (3/17/99)
"CHRISTIAN'S JOURNEY" by Patti (5/8/99)
"THE BOX" by Christie (7/7/99)
"John Matthew"...I still dream of you and feel as if you are here only to wake and relize the nightmare is real and true. " by Jennifer (6/21/99)
"Livvi" by Gretchen (8/6/99)
"Bailey" by Danielle (8/29/99)
"I Held You in A Dream" by Heather (9/14/99)
"I miss you, Kati." by Elizabeth (11/4/99)
"Alijah Keshaun Kingcannon" by April (2/16/00)
"ARELLA" by Nicole (3/29/00)
Diane shares her deep feelings of loss and how grieving takes so much energy - all of which leads to lots of confusion.
Goodbye '94, Hello '95
-excerpted by permission from the diary of Diane C., SHARE Atlanta
Diane and Dan now have a baby girl! 9/97
Ri describes the pain, emptiness and tears that a mother feels mixed with bittersweet memories.
Learning to forgive yourself
Selena has written a very touching poem to her daughter, Kada Joy - 12/31/97.
She gave her a name that speaks of the joy and blessing of her child, and her poem shares the fresh feelings of grief - shock, intense sadness, guilt, and anger (that her body seemed to reject her baby/that she doesn't have her baby with her).
Her great love for Kada Joy is so clear. Her confusion and guilt overwhelming. Time will soften the grief - we slowly learn that we do the best we can when we lose a baby. Forgiveness comes as we realize that our babies love us, and we had so little control throughout our experience.
For it was my body that helped create you, nutured you, and in the end, rejected you.
That I will live with for the rest of my days.
But I will also carry with me an undying love and all my hopes and dreams, of you
--my baby girl.
Kada Joy, I am so sorry my baby girl.
I wish I could have kept you in my body just a little longer.
You were too small to live outside of me in this world. I miss you so much.
I couldn't see and hold you, I regret that more than anything now. Please forgive me.
Know this, your Momma loved you very much and I will forever.
I will hold you and kiss you in heaven one day.
All My Love Forever,
Visit "Friends and Family Share../In Loving Memory Of My Niece Kada Joy Alvarfor the loving poem that Paula wrote to Selena. Visit "Notes/West for more of Selena's thoughts. Selena
"Matthew's Story" by Penny (4/98) and Notes/Midwest/Penny for more thoughts from Penny!Penny
Marcia's note: I was touched by Jana's need to protect herself as she held her sweet baby. Her poem clearly draws a picture of how our emotions are during those first few hours.
Entry #1: (12/18/98)
I just hate myself so bad. Grief sounds so sweet. I just feel hatred. Hatred against parents and children and pregnant women. Hatred against everyones expectations on me to try again. Hatred against my body. Hatred against this candlelighting and cute little bears. Hatred against society that makes you less worth if you donīt have children. Hatred against myself for thinking these thoughts and having these feelings. Hatred against the doctor who treated me with disrespect.
Why is it that when I look on the internet to find some WISE INFORMATION on miscarriage and how to avoid it again I only find these cute, lovely pages. How can I go on!!??
I had the feeling things wouldnīt work out for me. I over came it and started to be "fine" when the doctor told me everything was dead. I had to go with this dead substance inside me for a week. The most beautiful thing in the world turned in to a lump. IīM FURIOUS!!!! You donīt have to answer. Everything is said already by my lovely environment which I HATE.Lotta
Marcia's Thoughts: Dear Lotta, Hate is a normal reaction to loss...you have the right to hate and to be angry. Hate is part of grief...grief is not sweet.
It is a difficult process to move t-h-r-o-u-g-h and noone...least of me, would say it is sweet. It takes lots of work and responsibility to cope with the various losses(loss of self-worth, role as parent, loss of feeling secure, loss of love of self and others...all normal "secondary losses") and then the emotions of grief(panic, anger, sadness, guilt, confusion, etc.), not to mention the various reactions of others... as they occur after we have a major death or loss.
If you read my article "Allowing Greiving to Happen to Heal." I don't believe that you will find any part of that that implies that grieving is an easy process. The loss of our baby-to-be, of our child, is one of the most tramatic losses. We have lost what we dreamed of in our past, what we are seeking in our present and what we cherish in our future.
I myself had to work through lots of hate and anger on several occasions through my life. I had to learn to forgive myself for hating my body for "letting me down" when I wanted so much to be a mother. I have written volumes in a journal to get the hate and anger out and all of my other feelings and reactions, and it took TIME.
My first losses found me without any support. There were NO support groups. Noone who could understand how I felt. I felt as though I was the ONLY person who could possibily feel as I did. And I WAS the ONLY person who felt exactly like I felt; just as your pain and loss is unique to you.
I don't claim to know how you feel exactly, but I do know that you sound normal and you can decide to learn about the grieving process and choose to survive. Then you can, later, decide if you want to work through your anger and use it in some positive way.
My three babies that I loss will always be part of me. For me, I feel as though by acknowledging them in some positive way I have made that part of me real and lasting and not wasted.
I had to forgive myself and my body and incorporate all of my life's experiences into who I am today. My anger gave way, finally, to peace.
Lotta, I am truly sorry about you loss. I had to reply...
Entry #2 (12/28/98):(with some of Marcia's comments...)
Marcia, Once again I want to thank you. I read your letter over and over. I think Iīve used my anger for something good, actually.
Before I wrote you I wrote a long letter to our health care administration here in Stockholm about how I was treated as pregnant contra how I got the message the child was dead and was virtually let out the backdoor three minutes later with a kleenex in my hand.
My letter caused some action. One doctor and two administrators called me up and promised me to talk to the doctor in charge as well as to inform the rest of the staff.
I suggested there should be a "Plan B" when the ultrasound shows something is seriously wrong. At least they shouldnīt just have let me walk home, without assuring themselves I had someone to talk to. I think I was capable of a lot of dumb things.
Oh well... Who knows what they really will do about it.
Marcia's thoughts: You could point them to this website! I have had numerous "medical folks" respond to the site! They are truly surprised by the honesty that folks have shared as well as how this influences parents' lives!
Where did you get the strength to try again? I think I can try, but Iīm afraid I canīt stand to fail again. Iīm really scared.
Marcia's thoughts: After a loss, we have lost our innocence around "every pregnancy ends with a living baby". So fear is a big isssue. (Fear is also part of the grieving process!!!) That is why our local group has a subsequent pregnancy group and why there is so much information about future pregnancies on the site.
Check these pages out...both "Grief and Future Pregnancies" under Subsequent Pregnancy Menu and "What is Grief?" and "Why are my emotions so intense?" under "Allowing Grieving to Happen to Heal."
How do you turn your anger into something good? Do I dare ask if you ever had any children and if you were able to enjoy your pregnancy again?! I hope so. I really hope so. And if you donīt have any children you still give me hope that I may learn to live with the fact if thatīs the case and fill my life with something else.
I do have two living sons...wonderful sons!!!! It took courage and time for us to get them here, but I count them as blessings every single day.
Most of the folks in our group go on to have other children. We encourage parents to heal some first and then try again.
A few have made other decisions - some have adopted, some have foster cared. Some have gone and made wonderful fulfilling "other" lifetime choices. Most have done this after several losses and really realizing that no medical help was going to increase their chances of having a living subsequent child.
I think most of us support each other in trying to heal, then finding a doctor that we feel confident will "be there for us at every turn" the next time. We become very aware that we must be our own best advocate!! There are Medical Links on my site that link to sites that discuss possible reasons for miscarriages. Maybe helping to form questions for a doctor for you to find one you feel very comfortable with. I believe they are out there.
Thanks Marcia. You were the first one to say something wise in this matter. Iīll never forget that and Iīll have you in mind when I (we) "try again"
Sounds as though you HAVE used your anger to the good...for many folks.
It takes lots of educating and patience, I have found, to help some in the medical world understand that what might be for them, a medical "moment," is for us a loss of a very precious part of us. I have spent many years dealing with this concept(lots of inservices) and, with the help of MANY others throughout the world, we are beginning to make a dent in their comprehension.
Most bereaved parents have to wait to be able to come to a place where they can reenter the medical place and encourage them along the more proper path. So, I send a big hug for what you have accomplished. That, was indeed using anger in a constructive manner.
I went for my routine check-up at 16 weeks, expecting everything to be fine, since I had experienced no problems. The doctor could not find a heartbeat, and an ultrasound revealed my worst fears, my son had dies. He died from a true knot in his umbilical cord.
Devastated does not describe the feeling I have experienced. I am still numb and can not believe it is all over.
To Joshua-you are loved and cherished. No baby could be more wanted than you or more desperatly missed. I will hold you in my dreams until I can hold you in my arms.
We couldn't believe that our third son was dead. We found out three days after his due date. He died only 24 hours before.
Instead of celebrating the New Year with a new addition to our family, we were at the hospital giving birth to and mourning our beautiful, angel baby. He looked exactly like our firstborn. They found nothing wrong with him.
We feel he died from an acute, swift infection. Our older boys were ill and on antibiotics. He was fine on Dec. 28th, and Dec. 29th, but when I went back in on Dec. 31st, he was dead. I keep asking why God took our son!Lorri Jacobs
Visit..."Tiffany's Subsequent Pregnancy Diary" and "The Dragonfly" sent in by Tiffany (3/17/99)
My husband and I found out we were having a child just as we were planning our wedding. So we moved the date up earlier than we had intended. We had a beautiful day and our tiny Savanna, although in spirit alone got to enjoy it with us. We found out we were having a beautiful girl, when we got back from our honeymoon. I have to say we came up with her name, Savanna, just as soon as we found out. It was a perfect pregnancy for nine and a half months. We had everything ready for her to join us in our loving and happy new family. We were so excited!!! One week before giving birth, I had to go to the hospital to have another sono, everything was perfect, said the Doctors. When we were in labor, we went to the hospital, the nurses hooked me up to the fetal monitor and I remember asking "where is her heart beat?". The nurse kept on doing her job. We still had no inkling as to a problem. They then told us the Doctor would be with us any moment. They then did another sonogram, that is when we were told our beautiful little Savanna had no heartbeat. What a horrific cry I had yelled out! I started crying and I don"t believe my heart has stopped crying since. Although some days are better than others, and I do know that we will eventually have another child, which I, we want more than anything, the unanswered question as to WHY??? will always haunt me. So now we live our days stronger than we did before our Days of Savanna. I cherish my husband, and my family more than ever before. But we could have done this had our child lived!!!! Well this is our heart wrenching story and this is the hardest thing in my short years of life that I have ever experienced. Life does go on, and as I have been told so many times since, God does not give us what we cannot handle. These words kept me going, along with the strength of a loving husband and family. To read a beautiful story in memory of Savanna... "The Baby Angel" by Christine's Cousin (3/17/99) and then...and "A miscarriage after a stillbirth...Some how this is easier than my Savanna... and it's also alot harder..." by Christine (6/11/99)
Savanna Marie Mallory
Return to list of Poems about Feelings and Reactions
My husband and I found out we were having a child just as we were planning our wedding. So we moved the date up earlier than we had intended. We had a beautiful day and our tiny Savanna, although in spirit alone got to enjoy it with us. We found out we were having a beautiful girl, when we got back from our honeymoon.
I have to say we came up with her name, Savanna, just as soon as we found out. It was a perfect pregnancy for nine and a half months. We had everything ready for her to join us in our loving and happy new family. We were so excited!!!
One week before giving birth, I had to go to the hospital to have another sono, everything was perfect, said the Doctors.
When we were in labor, we went to the hospital, the nurses hooked me up to the fetal monitor and I remember asking "where is her heart beat?".
The nurse kept on doing her job. We still had no inkling as to a problem. They then told us the Doctor would be with us any moment.
They then did another sonogram, that is when we were told our beautiful little Savanna had no heartbeat. What a horrific cry I had yelled out! I started crying and I don"t believe my heart has stopped crying since.
Although some days are better than others, and I do know that we will eventually have another child, which I, we want more than anything, the unanswered question as to WHY??? will always haunt me.
So now we live our days stronger than we did before our Days of Savanna. I cherish my husband, and my family more than ever before. But we could have done this had our child lived!!!!
Well this is our heart wrenching story and this is the hardest thing in my short years of life that I have ever experienced.
Life does go on, and as I have been told so many times since, God does not give us what we cannot handle. These words kept me going, along with the strength of a loving husband and family.
To read a beautiful story in memory of Savanna... "The Baby Angel" by Christine's Cousin (3/17/99) and then...and "A miscarriage after a stillbirth...Some how this is easier than my Savanna... and it's also alot harder..." by Christine (6/11/99)
Hope Dennington Cady was stillborn January 10, 1999. I was 32 weeks along and at my routine dr.'s appointment when I found out that she had died.
I had several complications throughout my pregnancy, but in the end, it was a cord accident that took her life, along with all of our hopes and dreams. We feel as though a cruel joke has been played on us! She was and will always be our first child.
We named her Hope because we had hoped so much for her, and because she has given us hope for the future. Though, it is hard to feel any hope for anything right now.
She was so beautiful, so perfectly formed. We never knew we could love the way we love her.
We miss her so much!!! I don't know how we can go on without her, but somehow we will. Maybe just knowing that we will see her in Heaven will get us through this life. In the meantime, we just put one foot in front of the other. That's about it. Oh, God, please help us!
Two books that have meant alot are, "Empty Cradle, Broken Heart," and "Mommy, Please Don't Cry." (I can't remember the authors' names, but can provide them if anyone is interested.) "Mommy, Please Don't Cry" is an illustrated book that every mommy who has lost should have! To anyone who reads this because you, too, have lost your precious one(s), my heart breaks with you. Our "Hope" is in Heaven! Amy"The Picture"...thoughts and a poem after 4 months...by Amy (5/15/99)
I was in my fifth month, everything was going well, I was pretty much over my hesitation after having miscarried in September. I went in for a regular check up and they couldn't hear his heart beating.
It was then confirmed with ultrasound that he was no longer with us. I went into the hospital the next day to have labor induced, which to me is probably the hardest thing to do knowing the outcome.
We had a boy, his name is Christian, which was given to him because I felt it was appropiate (meaning: follower of Christ). The only peace I have been able to find is a poem, I hope that this can ease some of the emptiness for anyone who has been through this unexplainable misfortune.
I have this framed "In loving memory of Christian" and hopefully people will never forget and realize that he is my son even though he never had breath outside of me.
You entered my life and my dreams and within an instant you were gone.
I still dream of you and feel as if you are here only to wake and realize the nightmare is real and true. As I held your frail small body in my arms I reailzed my life was changed forever. I have found death to be so very final. No matter what you say or do there is no return.
How I love you so much and dream of our life in heaven together. We love and miss you more and more every day. I love you my little John Matthew. God Bless You! Love Mom & Dad.Jennifer
For Christie's story..."GOD'S BLESSING" by Christie (7/7/99)
Noah William Hoos
June 3, 1999
Guelph, ON Canada
Our little girl, we would have called her Livvi
We knew she was a girl right from the start
She was born at home, right in our bathroom
And her coming then nearly breaks my heart
She would've been our fourth child
We have two other daughters who are living
Gem, her sister, preceded her by 9 months
-A whole full term of love that was worth giving
I know you're up in Heaven, waiting for me
But I can't help that I feel so alone
I'll always remember you, dear little Livvi
9 & 1/2 inches, 1/2 a pound & fully grown
Second trimester loss
Red Oak, TX
For Danielle's story about Bailey...."Bailey" by Danielle (8/29/99)
Bailey William Heider
Second trimester loss
Lost him in Jacksonville, FL
I am now residing in Syracuse , NY
God, where do I start? It has been just a little over 6 months since we lost our daughter, Katherine Elizabeth. She was still born April 3, 1999. Her due date wasn't until July 24th.
I lost so much amniotic fluid that she suffocated.. How could I lose so much of it and not know?
I feel like I let her down. Like I did not do anything to protect her. What kind of mother am I? I miss her so much.
I think about her often. I want her to know that her mommy and daddy love her and miss her so much.
She has a big brother that never got to meet her. I want him to grow up and know all about the baby sister he almost had. We love you and miss you Kati.Kati
I am moved by the "mother's love" that you share in your thoughts.
I have heard these concerns so often in our groups. It is very normal to wonder why, we, THE MOTHER, could miss what was happening to or around our baby. This is so hard to admit and when we do, it hurts so much. Of course, if we could know all - then nothing bad would happen. We wouldn't let it!
Of course, we would never purposefully hurt our baby. The "whys and the what ifs" are part of the grieving process. We feel guilt. Guilt is our way of searching for a way to "fix" the situation.
We come to realize that we did the best we could - given what we knew from our experiences in life.
I know we "replay" over and over the situation. We work through it all. At some point, we come to understand that we DID DO all we could. In our hearts we know that they know that, also. Then, the next healing moment is when we love ourselves and our baby enough to forgive ourselves for any perceived "wrong" that might even be lurking there. This is a step that many of us move through.
At six months, you are at what we consider the "regrouping" place. This is often the hardest time of the first year. Shock, denial and the initial pain gives way to the reality of the whole situation.
Many folks come to our group at this time because their pain seems different than before, and they need a little more support for awhile. We talk about this in our groups alot! Under Sharing Stories, "The First Year - Month by Month", I discuss this concept with letters from moms point this time out.
It is a VERY normal part of the grieving process. Please be gentle with yourself as you continue to heal...remember the grieving/healing process is just that - a process! (More about this under "Allowing Grieving to Happen to Heal")
I recently lost my first son, Eugene Tilman IV, on the 28 of September he was born at rest.
I think about it everyday and it is very hard for me to deal with it. I long to hold him and tell him I love him. I work in a supermarket so of course I am around other NEW mothers all the time.
I am only 18, but I long to have my son. I just hope I am not being too selfish because my husband thinks he is in a better place and that I shouldn't cry about it.
But I am a mother. I feel like I should have been able to do something.
It makes me happy though to know that there is somewhere I can turn and talk about my loss and actually have people understand. Love, SandySandy
Marcia's thoughts: Your thoughts about your baby are very normal for a grieving mother...no matter what your age. Grief is there because you lost someone you loved.
Please read the letter and my answer to Kati right above your note. Also, if you haven't, spend some time reading what I have written on the site - especially under "Allowing Grieving to Happen to Heal" and then, any of the notes from any of the moms. Everyone feels very similar.
Your husband's reaction is normal, also. He wants to make things better for you and him by his words and thoughts(that is all he can offer right now).
We all know our baby is in a safe place and that gives us some peace, but we wanted our babies in our arms. We miss our child and grieve his loss. In a couple, each person has to deal with his/her pain in the way that helps - at each step. We fear pain and grief and it is hard for our loved ones to see us - moms in tears and grieving.
>This is a normal part of grief for us. It will not last forever...but it is one way of coping for awhile. Read some of the "Father's Grief" information under "Father's Grief Menu". Men and women grieve differently. We have to realize this and let each grieve his/her way.
I never thought about not leaving with my child, but the reality of it was he was gone. I felt so powerless over it all. My heart is broken, and I pray everyday that god heals it so that I can be there for my 2 year old daughter.
Alijah had a birth defect that was unseen until after he was born. I really don't understand with all the advances in medicine why this happened. I mean not only was I seeing a obgyn but also a perinatologist too. So between the both of them I thought he was covered.
How do you watch your baby take his last breath in your arms and not loose you grip? Then people say its ok you can always try again. What do they know?
My husband is so afraid, because of all the problems of both my pregnancies. Trying is really not an option. It just makes me angry that people that don't really want babies have them and I can't have my son. Alijah's MotherAPRIL
Marcia's thoughts: I have had many people express similar feelings of confusion and pain in our groups and on this site. It is hard for those who haven't been there or even for some who have, to appreciate the intensity of our emotions after a loss such as this.
As you can see as you read through the site, others feel very much like you. Please consider reading "Allowing Grieving to Happen to Heal" also read about Coping Ideas.
Wanting to heal, as you have expressed in your poem is the first step to surviving and healing. I have written over and over that I believe our babies would want us to survive and do positive things in their memory. Children want their parents to be happy. I believe our babies would want us to grieve them and to find ways to remember them that would show our love for them.
Also, consider reading about the entries under Sharing Stories "The First Year". The time frame from seven to nine months after a loss can be very intense. It is different than the first raw grief, but the reality of our loss becomes very intense. Often by understanding this time frame, parents can realize that what they are feeling is normal for this time.
If you havent already, please consider e-mailing some of the other folks who have included entries on the site. The purpose of the site is one of support, and helping each other through e-mails is very special. Many moms have shared that they have made supportive friends this way. No one need to feel as though they are walking this difficult path alone.
Also, know that their are professional counselors that can often help parents through difficult times. It takes a strong individual to know when it is time to seek extra support. Consider looking for a local group to atttend. National SHARE has listings of such groups.
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