The Let Down

I had a million other things I wanted to write but none of them quite seemed like the right thing. So I’m just going to see what comes out today.

Four weeks from today I should have been starting maternity leave (if not earlier). Now I am not. I had prepared myself for three months off with my new baby and then to become part time at my job. Now, the let down: my baby is dead. Everything changes, and yet nothing changes.

In all honesty, I’m finding it very hard to enjoy my job because I wasn’t expecting to be there. I like what I do, I like the people I work with, I like getting out of bed and having some sort of purpose, especially now. But I don’t like that my baby is dead.

Just saying those words, “My baby is dead.” Each time I see them written on my screen my heart hurts. Each time I think about those words my heart breaks again. Adding to that I am now disappointed that I have to just work and not also be a mom: a let down.

Sometimes on social media I see people complaining about being a mom. Maybe not complaining so much as listing the woes of parenthood. And those woes are valid, of course. But at the same time, all I can think is what I wouldn’t give to trade places with them. I would love to be the mom who is super exhausted because her baby was up sick all night. I would love to be the mom with endless loads of laundry and a teething baby and rambunctious toddler. So many of the “woes” of parenthood are things that I would like to be doing and would love to have the chance to experience. A let down.

I am a mom — mind, body and soul. I carried Joanna her whole life. I held her body in my arms. We are connected forever by our bond. But the problem is I have no baby to hold now.

To raise.

To mother.

I would trade sick-baby sleepless nights for my restless-sleepless nights. The ones that come often because I can’t shut my mind down — the what-ifs and the how-could-you-have-fixed-this and the whys?!

But there is no trade. There is no do-over. There is no bargaining.

There is just life, continuing on, even through the let down: the heartbreak and ache of baby loss.

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