Not so Happy of a Mother’s Day: Infant Loss

Megan Tansom | May 7, 2019

I don’t know a lot about this subject. I have not lost a baby. I lost a chance at future children by IVF when none of my remaining eggs could be frozen, but that is a whole different story for a later time. It is nothing compared to what my sister (and so many others) went through with her pregnancy. I know I may not say everything here politically correct, but I am trying my best to be understanding and empathetic to anyone who has gone through something similar. I don’t know your pain first hand. I know Mother’s Day can bring up a lot of emotions. It is supposed to be a time of celebration but for some, it is a painful reminder of what could have been. I can only sympathize with the journey you have been on and offer my condolences and prayers.

My sister lost her daughter over a year ago. I know there are different definitions based on who you are or what you believe as to what stage is a fetus considered a baby/child/soul. I am NOT here to debate that or give my views. All I know is my sister had a life growing inside of her, and then she didn’t. She had a leak in her placenta and there was not enough fluid around the baby. She found this out early on at an ultrasound and decided to continue with the pregnancy. The doctors said there was barely a chance that the baby would survive but she decided to take even that small chance. She was warned that if she moved forward that the pregnancy may ruin her chances of getting pregnant in the future. She took on all the risk and hoped for a miracle. After weeks of bedrest and limited activity, she went into labor at 23 weeks. Her baby was born after a few hours. It was so small and the sex at the time wasn’t clear. We first thought we had an “Oliver” and later after the autopsy found out for sure it was actually a girl. Cora Lynn was born sleeping on August 27, 2017.

Here is what I wrote out for a remembrance service we had for my niece who was born too soon:

Born Asleep (Poem by Ron Tranmer):

I never saw your smile or the color of your eyes

I never heard your laughter and I never heard your cries

You never felt my kisses upon your cheek and nose

Or tickles underneath your chin and on your little toes

You didn’t hear I Love You and you didn’t see me weep

For your spirit left your body and you were born asleep

But there will come a time when in death, my eyes close too

And I know that when they open, I’ll awaken there with you

To my niece, Cora: God carries you in His arms, we carry you in our heart. We only got to hold you and love you for minutes or hours and it will never be long enough. You just didn’t have enough time. As your auntie, I will always love you and wonder what kind of little girl and woman you would have grown up to be. I know your momma loves you and will miss you even more. Every day.

I am sad for my girls for the loss of their cousin, sad for my parents for the loss of a granddaughter, and especially sad for my sister as no parent should have to lose a child – no matter what age or circumstance.

My sister has taken this especially hard (as any mother would) but she is a momma bear – she fought for Cora and did everything she could to bring her safely into the world. It is just not fair, but Cora has given her the gift of recovery, of not going through an awful body altering surgery if the pregnancy would have progressed further, and with that the gift of still possibly having a family in the future if she chooses – and for that, we are grateful and thankful. Cora your short life was meaningful. We love you and will never forget you.

Throughout this experience, my sister didn’t waver. She wanted to be a mother. She was going to do everything she could to make that happen. I have never looked up to her more. I struggle now and at each anniversary or Mother’s Day with what to say. I guess my advice to you with anyone that is going through this is to let them lead. If they want to talk about it, talk. If they want to cry, give them a shoulder. If they want to release balloons, bring the helium tank. If they want to just drink and eat their sorrows at each anniversary, you drive through a torrential downpour storm to be there. And drink. All the drinks. And REMEMBER. Just remember. The biggest thing you can do is to remember. Remember the human that could have been because you know that is what they do every day. I know she had her whole new life planned out from the moment she knew she was pregnant and that was all gone on August 27, 2017. I may not be the best at it, but I try to just remember and make sure she knows I am here for her whenever she needs.

So on Sunday all I can do is be GRATEFUL to be celebrating with my family and my two little blessings. Remember to celebrate all the wonderful mothers in your life, including those who may not have a child with them here on Earth.

Happy Mother’s Day to my amazing momma and mother-in-law! Happy Mother’s Day to my sister-in-law, Alex, who is carrying my future niece and Happy Mother’s Day Cort, momma of my heavenly niece. I love you all to pieces and don’t know what I would do without you. Thank you for being there for me during my motherhood journey thus far. Cort, I only hope I can be there for you one day on a new journey when the time is right. For now, I hope you can celebrate Mother’s Day with us knowing that it is your day too and we remember. 

Happy Mother’s Day to all of you wonderful mommas! 

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