For the Mamas Who Lost Their Babies: You are still a Mother

I wish when my husband and I got married 3 years ago, someone had told me that starting and growing a family can be an incredibly difficult and painful journey. Instead, I felt incredibly ill-prepared for the journey we embarked on last year. In July of 2013, we discovered, unexpectedly, that I was pregnant; although we weren’t planning on starting a family quite so soon, we were thrilled at the idea of welcoming a little one into the mix. But soon after, when I was just shy of 7 weeks, we miscarried our precious baby.

Five months later, we were pregnant again and cautiously optimistic, especially after a healthy baby appeared on our 7-week ultrasound. However, when we went to hear our baby’s heartbeat again at our 12-week appointment, we were met with the worst kind of silence. An ultrasound confirmed that our baby had stopped growing at 8 weeks.

Our second miscarriage changed both my husband and myself in both good and bad ways. We allowed the experience to strengthen our marriage and our faith, but we also felt lost, confused and scared about what the future held for our family. A single miscarriage felt like a fluke; a second consecutive miscarriage felt like the deepest blow and left me weary and wounded, both physically and emotionally.

For the Mamas Who Lost Their Babies: You are Still a Mother | Twin Cities Moms Blog

Post D&C Surgery

Friends and family who surrounded us in the weeks and months following our miscarriage were the greatest blessing I could have asked for. We were showered with flowers, cards, texts and calls, but the greatest gift anyone gave me was validating my motherhood. I remember friends speaking truth into my life when they told me our babies mattered, and even though it was only for a short time, I was, indeed, a mother.

At first I felt uncomfortable with hearing that. Me? A mother? I dismissed their words because I thought they were simply trying to make me feel better. But the longer I meditated on what they said, the more it rang true. The babies we loved and lost are part of our family and those little ones made me a mother.

So to you momma’s out there who have lost a little one all too soon, I want you to hear what I have to say: You are a mother, every bit as much as those moms who have babies here on this earth, whether your baby’s heart was beating for a day or a week or many weeks longer. You loved that little one with all your heart and made sacrifices for them to the best of your ability through what you ate, drank and everything in between. When you’re tempted to diminish your motherhood, remember these things, and when others validate your motherhood, allow them to do so and hear those words as absolute truth.

I’m so thankful that our story and journey to starting a family here on this earth continues to be written. Two months after our second miscarriage we found out we were pregnant again. As I write this, I’m 18 weeks pregnant and just starting to feel the first movements of our little one. Although I don’t know what the future holds for our family and for this baby, I’ve learned to cherish each day that I’ve been blessed to be a mother.

P.S: The story of our third pregnancy is quite miraculous. You can read the full story here and here.

27 Responses to For the Mamas Who Lost Their Babies: You are still a Mother

  1. Becky C. October 14, 2014 at 6:55 AM #

    Wow! Beautiful post. I miscarried my second pregnancy in May (I have a 3-year-old daughter). The pain of the loss and the ways it continues to rear it’s head is all consuming sometimes. This gives me comfort and hope. We’ve been trying since the miscarriage, and I’m hoping for happy news like yours soon. What a miracle!

    • Madison Mayberry Hofmeyer October 17, 2014 at 12:21 PM #

      Becky, thank you for sharing your own experience! I’m praying for happy news for you, soon, too! What a blessing to have a healthy little one to remind you of the joys of being a mother, even while experiencing the sadness of losing a precious baby too soon.

  2. Shelbie Hill October 14, 2014 at 10:47 AM #

    So touching and so good for all mom’s to hear! We had three miscarriages before successfully carrying our fourth pregnancy to full term and welcoming our beautiful son into the world in July of this year.

    I was afraid that having him would diminish how I valued/remembered my previous pregnancies, but the truth is those sweet angels were my babies just as much as he is and I will never forget who they were to me and what I learned from their short time with me.

    Thanks for writing about this!

    • Madison Mayberry Hofmeyer October 17, 2014 at 12:22 PM #

      Shelbie- Thank you for sharing your uplifting story! It’s still sometimes hard for me to get excited about this pregnancy, because the fear of losing another baby is in the back of my mind. Knowing other women have walked this path and are on the other side with a healthy little baby is so very uplifting. Congrats on your son!

  3. emily October 14, 2014 at 6:39 PM #

    Thank you for the thoughtful commentary. I miscarried my first pregnancy 11 years ago and now have an almost 10 year old daughter. Sometimes I hesitate when people I just meet ask me how many children I have. Thanks to discussions like yours – it’s easier to say “Two – one is in heaven.” It opens up some new conversations and hopefully – after the initial shock of honesty – opens people up to feel safe about their own losses.

    • Madison Mayberry Hofmeyer October 17, 2014 at 12:24 PM #

      Love that response, Emily! I hope that the more we talk about our losses, the more other women feel the freedom to do so, too, if they want to share. It helps so much for healing and validating your baby’s life.

  4. Kathryn October 14, 2014 at 8:21 PM #

    Hearing stories like this make me realize that my husband and I are not alone. Our first pregnancy ended in stillbirth (full term) in December. For the longest time, I shook my head ‘no’ when people called me a mother. But I have realized during my healing, that I am a momma and now, we’ve just discovered we are pregnant again! I cannot wait to give our angel son a rainbow sister or brother.

    My heart goes out to my fellow moms.

    • Madison Mayberry Hofmeyer October 17, 2014 at 12:25 PM #

      You are absolutely not alone, Kathryn. I can’t imagine the pain of losing your sweet little baby that far along. I will be continuing to think about you as your walk this journey of pregnancy after loss. It’s such a difficult thing, to battle the daily fears and worries. Know there are other moms out there walking that same road day by day!

  5. Lisa lane October 15, 2014 at 8:36 PM #

    Five years ago on September 22 i lost my son i was 19 1/2 weeks. I felt lost, i felt hatred, i felt like i was nothing. I now have a beautiful 3 year old and a 9 month old. I feel the pain and loss still today. I always say i have 3 kids. One who is my guardian angel and do not think my other two would be here if my son wasn’t watching out for me. The loss of a child changes you and nothing can ever take the pain away, but looking upon my children’s faces every day i know love. I know my oldest son is watching over my family with much love.

    • Madison Mayberry Hofmeyer October 17, 2014 at 12:26 PM #

      Thank you for sharing your story, Lisa! What a beautiful story of joy after loss. And I would imagine you’re even more thankful and appreciative of your kiddos than you would have been without that loss. I, too, still feel the losses of our little ones, but I can’t being to express the joy and thankfulness I feel for this baby each and every day.

  6. Monique October 15, 2014 at 9:05 PM #

    Thank you for this post. We’ve been through this heartache and are now childless by circumstance. Even though the miscarriage came early, those weeks knowing we were expecting were the most exciting and hopeful of our lives! And that will have to be extent of my motherhood experience because IVF ending in miscarriage was even more difficult for me than the failed cycles. I wish the rest of the world were as enlightened and compassionate in their understanding of what it means to be a mother.

    • Madison Mayberry Hofmeyer October 17, 2014 at 12:27 PM #

      Oh, Monique, I am so sorry to hear about your loss, especially after going through IVF. I, too, wish everyone was as enlightened and compassionate about what it means to be a mother. Hopefully by sharing our stories to people, it will open the eyes of others to the different ways and forms motherhood takes.

  7. Jessi October 15, 2014 at 9:56 PM #

    Thank you for sharing. I lost my first pregnancy earlier this year. I’m now 32 weeks pregnant with a little boy and I never would’ve imagined the impact my loss would have even on my second pregnancy. It’s been a journey of ups and downs – and it’s a journey I never would’ve expected to find myself on. I’m grateful for a strong community of women that I’ve met online or in person that helped and continue to help me cope with such sadness. Thank you for sharing your story – and for reminding us that we are all mamas. There is always a sense of joy that comes with being called a mother!

    • Madison Mayberry Hofmeyer October 17, 2014 at 12:29 PM #

      Jessi, I just love hearing stories of pregnancy after loss. I’m not as far along as you, just shy of 21 weeks now, but it’s so helpful to continue to hear stories of encouragement as I battle the daily fears of losing this baby. You’re right, the losses have a huge impact on pregnancy going forward. Sometimes it makes me sad because I’m not blissfully ignorant about pregnancy loss, but rejoicing in the fact that us momma’s of rainbow babies can be even more thankful for the babies we do get to carry!

  8. Gal October 16, 2014 at 12:59 AM #

    Thanks for sharing your story!
    We lost 5babies and words can not explain how this has changed our lives, but I’m still grateful to have the best husband in the world. We do not yet have children, but at least find true love! God bless you all.

    • Madison Mayberry Hofmeyer October 17, 2014 at 12:30 PM #

      Thinking of you, Gal! Praying that you are blessed with a little one, too, and that you and your hubby had plenty of strength for the journey ahead.

  9. Marilyn October 18, 2014 at 6:46 PM #

    Revised comment :
    My story began 43 years ago when I had an IUD ( interuterine device ) placed. My then, husband didn’t want any more children. We had a boy and a girl.
    Well, to male a very long story short; the IUD caused PID ( pelvic inflammatory disease ) which created an unhealthy uterus. I had remarried in the again and we wanted children and I had the IUD removed. In the next ten years I had 13 miscarriages and two ectopic pregnancies. A complete hysterectomy and loss of health. We were nearly destroyed.
    We went on to have over 50 foster children. We raised my two children and many others crossed our doorstep. I am and always will be a proud mother. There are many children out there who need a good home.

  10. Rolene October 20, 2014 at 12:38 PM #

    I loved this 🙂 I lost a baby 2007 and I often wonder how he or she would have been . Thanks for sharing

  11. Hopeful March 23, 2015 at 10:34 PM #

    thank you for you’re beautiful story,as many of the other one women hereI have two lost a child at five weeks due to an ectopic pregnancy. The loss of a child was so heartbreaking to me and my husband. I have now been told I am unable to have children, and it is the worst feeling in the world. All these wonderful stories are so nice to hear and so happy for everyone who has been able to carry a child full term! Thank you for this beautiful story and post of encouragement for all unless mothers!

  12. Hilary April 1, 2015 at 9:09 AM #

    Madison, thank you for sharing your story (I went back & read the miracle of this little baby growing in your tummy as well). I will be praying for you & the continued health of your baby & for the grace to trust Jesus daily with this little life. We recently had 3 consecutive miscarriages in 16 months (after having 3 healthy children). We just surrendered this to the Lord thinking that this was not His will for our family right now. We sold & gave away all of our baby things & began looking to this next season of life – and surprise!! We are now 13wks pregnant with a baby boy who seems to be thriving (praise God), but as you & many others know, it is a continual fight for faith. (The only thing I did different this time was the baby aspirin as well). I appreciate women speaking about miscarriage, & about these babies who are ours but kept in heaven for us until we meet them one day. It has helped strengthen my heart & I pray everyone who has walked this road knows that not one ounce of this sorrow & trial is wasted, God desires to use every ounce for good.

  13. Anna May 10, 2015 at 9:38 PM #

    This is beautiful and just what I NEEDED to read to today. I love you sister for your courage and for sharing your story.

  14. Kelley May 10, 2015 at 11:42 PM #

    Thank you for this. As today is Mother’s day I was going to announce I was 12 weeks pregnant with identical twins after years of fertility treatment and surgeries. I miscarried at 7 weeks on Easter. I have come to realize the more I talk about this the more common it is to miscarry. love to all!

  15. Nicky September 1, 2015 at 2:17 PM #

    Thank you for this article, it has really helped me. I had an ectopic pregnancy 7 months ago and have struggled to accept it ever since, it gets harder as we approach what would have been my due date and I find myself feeling increasingly depressed.

    One of the hardest things to accept is that I have been left with nothing to remember my baby by, I went from being so excited to my world falling apart in a matter of days, it is the worst thing I gave ever been through

  16. Dolores May 21, 2017 at 11:52 AM #

    You just re-told my story. I pray your baby continues to thrive and that you are blessed with that joy that comes with seeing and holding your baby for the 1st time. Our 3rd pregnancy finally brought us our beautiful baby girl, who is almost 6! It’s hard to dismiss the pain and heartache of those previously lost even now (proven by the tears currently rolling dowm my face), but time softened my heart and prepared me for this amazing joy I get to see everyday. Big hugs to you and prayers over your little one growing in that belly. Momma loves you little one! ❤ Blessings!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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  3. “Rainbow Babies” – When the Healing Hasn’t Come Yet | Twin Cities Moms Blog - April 17, 2015

    […] Rainbow Babies. If you haven’t heard the term, it’s one sometimes used to describe a baby that is born after a family has lost one too soon, just as a rainbow follows a storm.  I’m actually not a big fan of the term.  For me, I remember my youngest brother, at a very young age, asking my parents if they wished for the “other baby,” and I often wonder how I’ll answer that question if/when my son asks me the same.  I wonder if the term puts something on a baby, before they even arrive, and I’m not sure how I feel about that.  I almost hate to share these thoughts “outloud,” as I know that the term Rainbow Babies is one that brings a lot of healing to many people.  To be honest, I’m so glad it does.  It’s just that for me, it doesn’t, but then again, can anything really and wholly heal the loss of a baby? […]

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