I saw someone complaining on a loss board recently about non-loss moms talking about mourning their birth experience. Their thinking was even if the experience isn’t what you wanted, healthy living baby = success. And that while you may be sad that you didn’t get the experience you wanted, it can’t be mourning because there isn’t a death.
This is something I have thought about since Noah’s birth and death. Before Noah, I was firmly in the healthy mom, healthy baby is NOT all that matters camp, and would get very upset when people would say that to dismiss my feelings about my birth with Owen. With Owen, I had a really emotionally difficult experience. The NP I saw for gyn care when I wasn’t pregnant diagnosed me 6m PP with PTSD and PPD from my birth experience.
With Owen, I was never in labor, and had an emergency cesarean at 33w5d that probably could have been avoided. This meant a loss of everything I had expected from birth. I was never in labor, my birth was terrifying rather than happy, I didn’t get to see or touch him for hours because he was whisked up from the NICU, didn’t get to breastfeed for days, and even then it was very controlled, I had to ask permission, and it was on someone else’s terms. And for me, it was a loss. I can never get back that birth experience, or those first 3 weeks of bonding while he was in the NICU. They are gone, and the loss of that time is something I had to mourn. So I feel like I did mourn my birth experience with my Owen, but that mourning was different than mourning Noah. I’m not even sure I can explain how.
I see it the same was as how many in the IF community talk about mourning the innocence of TTC without treatments. Or people who choose adoption/donor sperm/eggs after IF talk about mourning the loss of a biological child. Is the mourning the same? No. But it is a loss to me.
But I also understand where she was coming from. Mourning our children is the only way we can parent them. And so it is painful to see something you consider “less” to be compared. It’s the same as when someone says “Oh I know just how you feel, I lost a pet/grandparent/friend/etc.” It’s not the same, and the comparison hurts, but that doesn’t mean they didn’t have a loss and aren’t mourning that loss.
What do you think? Is it mourning and loss if there is no death?
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