Fear of Missing out.

Take heart, breathe deep. You have not missed out on what was meant for you - MHN

I know how much it hurts. I know that gut-wrenching, heart sinking feeling when you see where you should be now. I know the pang of pain that comes when you see a beautifully rounded bump that corresponds to the week of pregnancy you should be in. I know the wave of grief that hits when you see the pram you chose with a newborn kicking away while knowing yours will stay empty. I know what it feels like to see endless joyful announcements while you're still mourning yours.

I know what all of these things feel like, but I also know hope. It is so easy to slip into the mindset of feeling like you have missed out while everyone else succeeds and flourishes and while I understand the genuine heartache of having a lifetime of memories ripped away from you in a moment of minutes, I also know that your story isn't over yet. I know fully well that it feels like the end now, but it isn't.

It took me a long time to adjust my mindset, and it is a long journey of restoration but thankfully the path is lined with grace. Often I have been asked "How can you do that?" when I'm talking joyfully with a pregnant woman about their experience or "Is this too hard for you?" when meeting a precious newborn and enjoying those fresh snuggles. For me, I feel that on the most part my happiness has gone but I still live every day in joy. You see, happiness is fleeting and is based on how we feel at any given moment yet joy is gladness not based on circumstance.

When Zachary died, I thought I'd never feel happiness again. In my seasons of deep depression and despair the only thing I was able to cling to was in fact, joy. I thought that every time I saw anything baby-related I would have a fully fledged panic attack and the truth is that sometimes I do, but now I am able to separate my journey from the journey of others.

You did not miss out. I did not miss out. We held our babies for a brief moment, a number of weeks, months or sometimes we even shared in the joy of hearing that newborn cry. I don't know why I was only able to keep Zachary safe for twenty weeks and I don't know why my baby died while other babies laugh, cry, keep their parents awake at night and why I couldn't have that beautiful skin-to-skin moment. Yet I do know that I treasured every single moment, kick, wave of sickness and even every contraction!

I still believe that there is a future for me in motherhood. I still believe that I will parent on Earth and not just in heaven. I still believe that whatever life chooses to throw at me, and whatever tries to keep me silent that darkness will not win and that hope will prevail. I am determined to bring good out of my situation and I know that the wisdom I am gaining regarding grief and helping others could not have been possible if I didn't lose my sweet boy.

I feel that often we don't think it's possible to feel two opposing feels at the same time, but it is very very possible. I have felt moments of joy holding someones baby or looking after a child because my heart just loves to mother, but at the same time I have felt intense sorrow that I won't have those moments with Zach. When we recognise our feelings and acknowledge them we become better and not bitter. I urge you to not let your current season rob you of friendships, honest conversations or even sharing in newborn joy.

You have already flourished and I pray that in your grieving you continue to while you watch others do the same. There is still so much more to your story and it is far from over yet.


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