((trigger warning – this post is about infant loss.))
For Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day, I invited Lauren Robinson to share her story.
My name is Lauren Robinson, I am a believer. I am a mentor. I am a speaker. I am a wife. I am a loss mama.
This is my journey.
I knew my baby would be coming soon- After all, I was 40 weeks and 3 days pregnant. I had everything ready to go. Bags packed, nursery set up and car seat securely fastened in the car. All I needed was my baby.
That morning, I woke up excited hoping today would be the day I went into labor. As I was getting ready for the day, I noticed I hadn’t felt her move at all so I pulled out all the stops and went into operation “get baby moving.” I chugged a tall glass of apple juice and started bouncing up and down on a medicine ball to wake her up.
After a few hours of failed attempts, my husband Keenan and I decided we should head to the hospital to see if everything was okay. The entire ride to the hospital was peaceful. Keenan kept assuring me things were fine and I continued praying silently to myself fully expecting to see a very healthy, very sleepy baby on the monitor, because why else would my baby be so still?…I had convinced myself she was resting and saving up all her energy for her birth.
I had no idea what was about to unfold in that ultrasound room.
After a squirt of warm jelly, multiple dopplers and ultrasound machines later, the doctor spoke four words that would change my entire life forever.
“There is no heartbeat.”
These words were quickly followed by, “I’m sorry but you still have to deliver the baby.” In that moment, I felt a type of pain I had never felt before and cannot even try to put in words…
My induction began and after 30+ hours of labor later, it was time to push.
For most women, this is the moment they have dreamed about, but for me this was the moment I had been dreading the most. It would be the last time my baby and I would be together on this side of eternity.
With the last bit of strength I had left, I pushed my baby out and they laid her lifeless body on my chest. Through my tears I fumbled out the words, “it’s a girl…” and looked up at my husband. He nodded through his tears.
We had waited 9 months to find out the gender of our baby and this was never the way we thought this moment would look.
After spending some time with our beautiful daughter, Haven, it was time to go home.
Together we arrived to the hospital but apart we would leave.
It was absolutely horrific.
So I left, with an empty womb, empty heart, and empty arms.
Where do I even go from here… I was never warned about the uphill battle every single day would bring. I didn’t realize how much of a blow it would be for everyone else’s world to continue spinning while mine stopped. I was completely done.
I heard a quote from another loss mom that stated, “I always said the one thing I couldn’t survive was the death of a child and I was right, I died when my child died.” I have never related to anything more.
I’ve been through a miscarriage at 11 1/2 weeks and a 40 week + 3 day stillbirth and I STILL cant believe babies die. Like what?! Babies die? It’s so hard to even write that out because it feels so wrong.
When I lost Haven, every single thing came to a screeching halt in my life, yet life was still going for everybody else. Flowers were still blooming, people were celebrating anniversaries, pregnancy announcements were still coming up on my feed. all while I was still bleeding, crying over my empty belly with engorged breasts full of milk with no baby to feed and nurture. My own body went on with life not even realizing the baby I had carried inside of it had died. It was still functioning as if it had a baby to take care, what a blow.
Small things every day were also a reminder of my loss. I would go to the store and see everyone going about their business and I just wanted to scream, “My baby died! Don’t you know what I have been through?!” It was so weird to me that I could be suffering so deeply yet everything around me kept going on as is.
Everywhere I went it felt like I was the big elephant in the room. At friend hangouts, everyone knew my story and I felt their energy when I received the nervous hugs. It was almost as if they wanted to say something but didn’t know how, so instead of acknowledging what happened, they pretended nothing happened. This made me feel more alone and ostracized.
In the rare moment someone would say something, it was usually along the lines of, “everything happens for a reason.” The world’s worst response to someone grieving.
This was my “new normal.” (Gosh I hate that saying…)
Every part of my life was now a moment I had to live without my baby and relearning how to do life. It didn’t feel right. It wasn’t right. Why did my baby have to die… This didn’t have to happen for a reason. There was no reason to justify this type of pain.
This left me with a blank slate on where to go next.
Where do you even begin to pick up the pieces of your life when the pieces look like particles of sand?
I had to stop and take an honest look at my life. I was holding on by a thread (rightfully so). Anything would set me off because I was living in such a fragile state. I couldn’t keep living life this way- this was not living, this was surviving. My mental, emotional and physical health took a hit and I knew enough was enough, I needed to start healing.
The only way I knew how to get through the moments of grief was to either stuff it inside using a distraction as a coping mechanism or by pretending I was strong enough to not be effected by it. Both of these sent me into deeper despair. I could not keep making it to the next episode of grief but actually start healing from this.
One night, I laid it all out to God. I begged him to take away the pain or at least tell me how to deal with it, and He did, He helped me.
The Lord says in His word,
“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”Psalms 34: 18
I was the definition of brokenhearted and crushed in spirit, so yes, sign me up, Lord, for saving.
And He did in the most gentle, beautiful way. He showed me through parenting my daughter, Kaidence. When my 4 year old falls and hurts herself, what do I do?
Do I tell her to ignore the pain? No, it still hurts.
Do I tell her to just suck it up? No, that also doesn’t remove the pain, it just minimizes the reality of her problem and isolates her.
Neither of those options make it better. What makes it better is when I openly embrace her. I tell her I see her “booboo” and I know it must hurt really bad. I am so sorry she hurt herself and that it is okay to cry and be upset.
From that moment, I began to handle my grief differently. I realized it would be life changing to do the same for myself. Because the grief was so heavy, I thought the best thing to do was distance myself from my grief. But instead I found relief through embracing and nurturing it.
Because of this, I was able to finally get over that hump I had been trying to get over for months, I was finally able to begin to heal.
This was not a quick fix solution nor is it guaranteed to take the pain away forever.
I believe all of us who have experienced loss are on a journey for the rest of our lives. Most people think time heals all wounds and after enough time has passed, you should be “over it.”
The truth is, we will never be over it because we loved our babies. Love holds space in all time. I will never stop grieving because I will never stop loving my baby.
I pray everyone reading this begins to find healing. Our babies are in Heaven looking down at us cheering us on.
Our babies love us. In the same way they will forever be ours, we will forever be theirs.
Love holds space in all time.