10 Ways to Support Your Friend Through the Loss of Her Baby
What to say and do this Mother’s Day.
A version of this originally appeared on Pinch of Yum. Follow Lindsay on Instagram @pinchofyum and @lindsaymostrom.
Mother’s Day is coming up and I’m thinking about this a lot because I am that friend. The one who lost a baby.
I am probably the friend who you’re tiptoeing around. I might be the friend who has become a major social weirdo and cancels plans last-minute. I am the friend who you’re not sure about inviting to a baby shower. I’m the friend who might have unfollowed you on social media when you announced that you were pregnant (read: I did. I definitely did. I just need to be sad right now.). I can’t relate to your normal-mom conversations about late-night feedings and nap schedules and which jogging stroller is the best. The truth is, I have experienced motherhood in a unique and powerful way, but I feel left out and confused about my identity as a mom.
On January 1st, 2017, in Room 44 of the NICU at Children’s Hospital, I became this friend. I held my first and only son, Afton, as he died in my arms. He was just one day old.
In sharing his birth story on my blog, many people have reached out. The obvious ones are from women who have experienced similarly life-altering losses, whether through miscarriage, stillbirth, SIDS, or premature infant loss, like my son, Afton. But you know who else has come forward? The friends. The friends have come forward saying, “my friend, too.” And then the question that follows closely behind is: “What can I do for her? What can I do for my cousin, my sister, my friend who has lost her baby?”
You are asking the right question. You can and will help your loved one through this.