Thursday, January 31, 2013

WWY week 4

WWY Week 4
One area so many mothers struggle with is guilt, especially those who experience the loss of a baby/child. We want to address this struggle in this post. It will help mothers quietly battling guilt for living life and experiencing joy to know they are not alone. Other moms silently battle this as well. Whether it is the startling first time you really laugh after losing your child, or whether you have experienced the healing balm of joy for years, share your thoughts on this week’s post.

Guilt. It's become a close friend after losing Caleb. Thanks to the grace of God I really do not struggle with this as much as I could. God gave me so many small mercies with Caleb's death. I think one of them was the doctors appointment we had the night before he died. Nothing wipes the guilt away from my heart as much as remembering that appointment and hearing the doctor say "everything looks great, see you next week or earlier if you go into labor!" I mean if they couldnt find anything wrong, and they are professionals, then how could I? Also, there were so few signs, if any. He had hiccups that night, but that was not uncommon. I think if I showed up in labor and delivery saying my baby had hiccups they would have laughed and sent me home. Really, it all appeared fine and then in a few short hours it wasn't. 

I did struggle with the guilt that my body didn't tell me at all, that my instincts did nothing. I wrestled for a long time with the thought "what kind of mother stands by and does nothing while her child dies?" I felt profound peace when I brought this question to Mary in prayer. She answered "I do. I am the kind of mother that stands by while my son dies because it was God's will." That gave me peace and took almost all the guilt away. I mean if God had wanted me to do something or Caleb to be saved, perhaps he would have given me more knowledge about the situation. But he didn't and that's the truth. I did the best with the knowledge I had and in the end it still wasn't enough to save him and Im ok with that. I truly feel like I gave Caleb the best shot at life and there is nothing more I could have done.

One area that pops in and out from time to time is the guilt over not dressing him for the casket. It was all such a blur at the time and the funeral home said they had something to put the babies in. It still makes me sick to my stomach that I have no idea what he is buried in. I mean we have a whole attic with tubs and tubs of boy clothes for him and we didnt think to give him one outfit to be buried in? It seems strange to me that we could have overlooked that one huge detail. But we did. I have guilt that I didn't dress him and can never get that back.

As the months turn into years since he has been gone I struggle with the guilt of moving on. Of forgetting him, not memorializing him properly. Guilt that somehow this tragic story is part of Abigail's now. That she will have to go to school one day and when asked if she has siblings she will say "one in Heaven," and get those weird looks. Guilt. It will always be lurking.  I will always feel guilty that I could not bring my baby boy into this world alive. But then I remember that I am not the Lord of life and death-that God is, and that puts the guilt right back where it should be-not on my shoulders.


  1. I think many of us moms worry about forgetting and not honoring our babies they way they deserve. (They prolly think we are silly!) I just hope to make her proud!

  2. "But then I remember that I am not the Lord of life and death-that God is, and that puts the guilt right back where it should be-not on my shoulders."... I loved this last comment on your post. So much power and truth in those words!

    I liked when you mentioned Mary speaking to you, and speaking, "I do. I am the kind of mother that stands by while my son dies because it was God's will."... That would definitely bring about a strong peace in me too.

    I have never shared this with a soul, but here goes... I too, have been bothered by not picking out something special to put on my son. The NICU gave me a couple of gowns to pick from, but honestly, it would have been a lot more special to me, if I had bought or picked out something more "boyish" for my son. I did have him wrapped with the blanket that I was holding him in. That gave me a little peace, but I completely understand where you are coming from.

    Thank you for sharing some very intimate details about your loss.

  3. Thank you so much for sharing about your guilt. It always comforts me to know that I'm not alone in feeling regrets and wishing things could have been different. My son was cremated in only a diaper and a blanket, because I didn't think to bring him something to be cremated in and we decided we wanted to keep the onesie he had been wearing. Deep down, I know that it doesn't matter -- you don't need anything when you're going to be cremated, but still, I feel bad that I didn't have the foresight to plan ahead. I try to remind myself that it was a very difficult time for me and it's hard to do everything right when it comes to preparing for something you never think you're ever going to have to go through.

    Love and peace to you...

  4. Great post, RyAnne. I definitely can relate to the guilt, even though my baby died so early in my pregnancy. I constantly think things like "maybe I shouldn't have drank that diet pop...or maybe I shouldn't have exercised... or maybe I didn't take enough prenatal vitamins...etc." I love the thoughts on Mary standing by watching her son die. That is how I felt when I bled for several days. There was nothing I could do about it. I saw so much blood every time I went to the bathroom, I could feel myself bleeding, and I held back tears constantly. I was somewhat relieved when the bleeding stopped. Guilt set in hard after the miscarriage. But there was nothing I could do to stop my baby from dying, and I have to trust in God that He has big plans for our little girl. Thank you for this post. God Bless. :)

  5. Thank you so much for sharing... I feel guilty about not bathing, dressing, or giving her an outfit to wear. She got to wear the outfit I made her, but the hospital gave her one to wear to the funeral home... Sometimes I feel guilty that it wasn't an outfit we choose for her.

    Sometimes I feel like I do too much to remember her and other times it feels like I am betraying her because I don't do enough... I don't think one will ever be fully free of guilt.

    Much Love to you and many hugs and prayers!

  6. I love your post! I wish we could all hand over all our guilt to God. But, it is easier said than done. I am so happy that you are finding peace through God and His grace. Thank you so much for sharing, and hugs to you!

  7. I wish I could help ease that weight of guilt for you, dear sister. For all on this path, really. It is heavy to carry. Too heavy for a momma's shoulders. Praying God will continue to speak truth and send peace to ease the guilt. We do the best we can. And, in those moments that were such a blur, you did the best you could. You are a wonderful mother to Caleb and are the best mother they could have...God chose you to do the job.

    And, He will pour His grace over you...