It’s Not You, It’s Me. Well. It’s Kinda You. {on Influence}

I’m going to spill something that I think some of you might be thinking about.

It hurts to see babies. It hurts so, so much.

See – with the twins, seeing babies wasn’t as bad as losing Kaden. Because twins are rarer, so my brain was able to rationalize seeing a baby with, “But you’d have two so it’s not that painful to see one.” That was my comfort mantra until it stung less. Seeing twins still hurts.

Now I’ve lost a full term, single baby. One that I held and sang to and rocked and nursed.

And I can’t get away from it. Babies are all over. Facebook, Instagram, the store, Starbucks, my friends – it’s a continual reminder over and over of what I don’t have anymore. It’s like being smacked in the face every time I turn around. Except it’s my heart that just re-shatters into a million pieces. The hundred thoughts that instantly race through my mind, “He would have had, he would have been, we would have done, that should have been…” until I can’t handle it and just shut my brain off. I find a distraction of some kind that doesn’t have to do with a baby.

So heading to Influence is going to be rough in many ways. I was pregnant alongside so many of the ladies going with their little ones. I was planning on taking Kaden. It’s still surreal that I won’t be. I want to go to see you all and to have a fun few days, but there is the constant thought of, “All of them will have their babies and I won’t.”

Here’s the thing – I promise I won’t avoid you on purpose. Please don’t avoid me if you want to say hi or talk. I want to meet so many of you. But know that if I avert my eyes from your baby until the pain lessens just a bit, if I don’t immediately gush over your child, if it seems like I’m doing everything to hold back tears – it’s kind of you but it’s not because of you. It’s anyone right now – I will be thrilled to see you and so, so glad that your baby is healthy and here. I promise I’m not angry or bitter or going to say something uncomfortable because you have your little one with you.

I just may need to cry a bit. And I don’t expect you to do anything. If you want to hug, that’s fine. If you tell me you don’t know what to say, that’s fine too. If you want to ask me about Kaden, Preston, Julian, Bella; that’s wonderful.

I don’t want or need everyone to cater to my loss or feelings, please don’t go out of your way to make sure I’m ok. Part of this is just how it is, nothing can change it. I just wanted to let you all know, because grief and loss are uncomfortable – even for me still, that it will be very hard this week for me but I don’t want that to come off as something you need to feel sad or bad about.

Then show up forย breakfast on Saturdayย where I’m going to be interviewed (instead of speaking, that was a bit too much after all that’s happened).

I hope this made sense. I just want to have a good time at Influence, but of course there are still the reminders. So hopefully this helps anyone who is about to meet/be with someone who has been through a loss – not just me.

See you in a few days Influence attendees. xo


Comments

  1. Praying for your heart, sweet friend. This makes so much sense…and I completely get it. I cannot wait to meet you!

  2. Diana, I’ve actually thought of this. I have thought about how posting photos of my pregnancy might hurt other women. There are many women who follow me who have had recent miscarriages. I think, gosh, this is going to hurt someone to see this. It’s always on my heart.

    I’m so sorry you have to manage these thoughts and feelings. I wish I would be meeting both you and sweet Kaden at the conference. But I will give you a big hug and if you need to cry or step away I don’t think anyone will mind it.

  3. You are literally the strongest person that I know right now. I started reading your blog just before the twins and I just can not even begin to understand how it is that you get up and write, and breath every day. As a mother myself, the thought of losing one child is beyond imaginable to me, but losing 3; I think I would have completely shut down and probably needed to be institutionalized by now. You have such grace.

  4. Ashley Dowaliby says:

    I wish I could go with you, be with you and help you. Talk, hug and just be.

  5. Christie Gallaher says:

    Hugs to you, Diana. I've been there. The pain for me was nothing short of nauseating. Not in a "yuck" way. More of a "I can hardly breathe and may lose my guts I'm in so much emotional pain" way. It still hits me out of the blue sometimes. But, I'm finally able to smile genuinely when I see, hold, or hear a baby. For me, actively struggling, crying, and dealing with the pain were the only ways to move forward. Attempting to hold it in just held me captive to the pain.

  6. I’ll be there — and I’m always game for a hug. Much love, friend.

  7. I know you say you’re not strong, you’re just doing what you can to get through. But you are. You are a pillar of strength. I hope you have a blast! โ™ฅ

  8. I’m sorry you even have to write about this but I’m so glad you did. It’s honest and so simple. I wish I were going to Influence so I could give you a big hug. Enjoy your time there!

  9. I hear you. Totally. It's hard for infertility as well as loss, and Facebook can be a difficult place to be.

  10. Oh I can only imagine the mixed bag of feelings you are carrying around about this weekend. I pray that with each difficult moment comes multiple amazing and encouraging ones. Hope to meet you and give you a hug if it will help…you are going to be surrounded by so much love.

  11. My heart goes out to you so much. A friend of mine and I were pregnant with twins at the same time (she was a week ahead of me gestationally) and she sadly lost hers at 23 weeks. After that I didn’t post much about my pregnancy or anything as I thought I’d hurt her and even now that my twins are 4 months old I try not to over do it since I almost feel like it would be rubbing it in. But I know she isn’t mad at me, she’s still my friend and I know she is happy for me but sad for herself at the same time. Tough situation and I never know what to say to her.

  12. Stefanie Miller says:

    I remember saying the same things after we lost Chase. I'm so sorry. It does get easier, a little at a time, but it's still so painful. Still praying for you! <3

  13. Wish I was going just so I could give you a giant hug. Praying for you… <3

  14. Oh Diana. I am so very very sorry. Hugs.

  15. Thank you for writing about this. It does help.

  16. I think this will be helpful to so many and not just those in your own life. No one ever knows what to do what to say and I think putting it out there like you have is an incredibly gracious thing to do. Sending hugs. I hope you enjoy the conference. <3

  17. sending you much love, *hugs* and comfort, now and often. I hope you enjoy yourself more than not at Influence. XO

  18. So nice of you to help people with suggestions upon meeting you. I hope you have a wonderful time.

  19. Amy VanKleeck says:

    Still praying for you. You explain the grief and emotions so perfectly.

  20. What I love about you, Diana: you have such clarity about your needs and the language to express them. Telling friends exactly what you need from us (even though I won’t be there) is so helpful! You are so healthy. I had so many fears about what this grief would do, but I should have known that you so strong.

  21. Baby woke up as I was typing, make that: you ARE so strong! ;)

  22. I will be praying for strength for you. I know they feeling…seeing the other babies. My adult daughter and I were pregnant at the same time, due within weeks of each other. She had my grandson, I lost my baby. I like to think I get to love him double this way but it hurts daily looking at him and seeing what I lost. Even today, when my four year old took his hand and led him outside, I am thankful she isn’t missing what I lost because of him but damn…I am missing what we both could have had.

  23. You are the strongest woman I know.. you seriously are an inspiration to me.. you are always so authentic and real in your posts and I really admire you for that! You’ve share your heart with us… my family has been praying for your family by name..and I can’t wait to see you this week!

  24. I won’t be at Influence, but totally get this post. It’s how I’ve felt a million times since my 2 miscarriages. Especially after the first. It was later, I saw the ultrasound, it was much more real. I hid a lot of FB posts, I quit following some people on IG – I couldn’t take all the baby bumps, ultrasound photos and exciting delivery stories. Like you said, it wasn’t them – it was me and my feelings, my emotions, my grief. I still hide behind that at times and I think that’s ok. We have to take care of ourselves first for ourselves, for our husbands and for our oldest child. Everyone else can just wait for the gushing & excitement when we get to that point. I believe it will happen. Just still waiting for exactly when. For now, I’m totally jealous of everyone that has their August baby and hugging my sweet boy extra tight.

  25. Michelle Gay says:

    I love your openness. xo

  26. JusikaRenae says:

    I am praying for you during this time and honestly just on a day to day base. With loosing the 3 pregnancies I felt the same way towards pregnant people and even now after the third loss I am still struggling. Thank you for being so honest and open during this time, it is not the easiest. <3 You

  27. I’m so incredibly excited to hug you and EAT with you and talk with you and cry with you and just be with you. 2 days!

  28. Dear Diana,
    I soooo understand you. after losing my son, it took me months to be able to see a bay without tearing up. Yet, it got better when I pictured him sitting on my shoulder and telling me not to be sad.
    then i had my daughter and my son is looking after her from my shoulder where he sits to this day, 20 years later.

  29. I remember when we were waiting to see our IVF Doctor for the first time. Every single person on the planet, except me, seemed to be pregnant or bouncing a baby. And I would go out of my office at lunch and come running back in tears as I’d seen yet another person I knew who had a bump and was joyously announcing their impending Motherhood. It hurt. Really, really, really hurt. But it was life and I just had to pretend as best I could to be fine.

    I am a Mum now. To two beautiful kiddos. One of whom has ultra rare disabilities. And the other who has an Autism Diagnosis. I still grieve for the ‘normal’ kid/s I would have liked to have. Uni Graduations, Weddings, being a Grandparent and all of those things you dream of when you have kids won’t be in my future. But that is ok. My future is what God has planned out for me and I just have to remember that He knows what it is best for me. Even if it is far from the life that I expected.

    Thank you for your honesty. People need to learn that life throws us all a curve ball (or more than one curve ball in the case of both you and us) and although we are doing our best to function, underneath the faรงade we are just trying to do our best to get through each day. One.day.at.a.time :)

  30. I absolutely absolutely get this, love. Even from my own personal perspective. Proud of your honesty about all of this – I think it lets people in in a way that you otherwise might just be tempted to keep them at arms length. Even if not “in” physically, you are letting them in on your heart and mind, so they can know how to love you well. See you SOON, friend!

  31. I have no doubt that it will be difficult to be there and see the babies and not have Kaden with you. I also know that there are SO MANY women that love you that will be there, and I sincerely hope you can feel the love and support from us all- not that the pain will be gone, that’s impossible, but that you will feel lifted knowing that we bear your grief, too, and love you.

  32. I’ve been sitting here for the last hour writing and re writing what I should say, I am crying for you. I admire your courage for even going to the event, that takes amazing strength. Please know there are plenty of us out there in the world who understand your pain and grieve with you. I won’t be at the conference but I will be thinking of you and maybe knowing that we are all out on the internet pulling for you helps in some small way.

  33. Diana, ever think about getting Kaden’s handprint tattooed on your heart?

  34. Thank you.

  35. After my loss, I found “unbaby.me” for chrome *very necessary*. it helped me “hide” all the babies.

    thinking of you xoxo

  36. You don’t know me , but I am praying for you and your family , thank you for being real

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