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Loving a Child Who Was Never Born

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In my early 20’s I didn’t give much thought to children. I was too busy being a child myself and learning to navigate a life I was unprepared for.

At some point this changed, and by 29, I was pregnant. At the first visit to listen to the life we created, nothing was heard. That un-beating heart tore from my body, and along with it, so did hope itself.

A couple years later, somewhat healed, hope returned and life was growing again. Tragically, this little life was also lost.

This continued for another decade. More losses, more heart ache, and a kind of pain that slowly separated me from the rest of the world.

I stopped relating to my friends. They were busy raising children after all. Like a slow leak, I became the outsider. I watched my loved ones create and experience life, all the while feeling like mine stopped. I was just an observer now.

I approach 40 with the awareness that all I will ever have is five tiny angels in heaven, and many daily reminders of my separateness.

With each new phase of my friends’ lives, I’m reminded more and more of what I lost. I’m expected to celebrate their joys and firsts, and milestones, even though I have no idea how they feel, only that I will never feel it.

I am starting to become aware of traits my husband and I possess that are directly related to having never lived for a child. A kind of self-centered grief. Like two people who never finished growing. We are unfinished.

We live each day searching for the hope we lost in our babies who died. Grasping at things to give us a sense of realness; a feeling that we were here and we mattered.

Daily, often hourly, thoughts of what we would have said, or taught, or shared with these children leave us always grieving and loving children that were never born.

Getty image by ipopba

Originally published: June 3, 2018
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