My Dearest Violet: A Letter to My Baby Who Was Never Born

flower in the rainforest in Puerto Rico

My Dearest Violet,
I’m days away from giving birth to your little sister, maybe hours even. I’m so excited to meet her, but I’m hyper aware of the fact that she is only coming into this world because you are not. The hours and days and months have steadily passed since your daddy and I said goodbye to you, but you are still never far from my mind. That’s especially true today as I prepare myself to give birth to someone who isn’t you.

I don’t regret letting you go. The word “abortion” is ugly, but watching you suffer through your first and only hours of life, gasping for air, was never an option for daddy and me. I feel at peace knowing that you died in my womb knowing nothing else but the sound of my voice and the rhythm of my heart. That peace I feel, however, doesn’t keep the waves of guilt at bay. Guilt for getting pregnant again right after you died. Guilt for taking comfort in your sister’s kicks. Guilt for the joy I feel when I hear her heart beating. Guilt for how little I cried on the day you were supposed to enter the world because I knew she was going to live — especially since you could not.

I can’t mourn outwardly, though. It’s not who I am. When you passed, many mamas invited me to join their Facebook groups and other support groups for moms who had suffered loss. Others had suggestions for the best way to remember you, to celebrate you, but I didn’t take anyone up on any of it. I didn’t want to talk about my loss — it was mine and mine alone. I didn’t want to bring all the pain up to the surface. I didn’t want to release balloons, have services, or make some other kind of public display. I’m the kind of person who needs to really feel whatever it is I’m feeling without bringing others into the fold, and that’s ok.

I don’t mourn less, I just mourn quietly. Just because I don’t talk about you all the time doesn’t mean you’ve been forgotten, it just means that I sob in the dark.

I’ll never stop feeling the loss of you, but it’s time for me to be happy that I was blessed with another beautiful being to love. It’s time for me to let go of the guilt and take all the joy there is in hearing her cry for the first time. It’s time to revel in the beauty of her ten fingers and ten toes. It’s time to look forward to all her firsts and simply be grateful that I got to be your mother for those 20 weeks you grew inside of me. Your little sister will be with me soon, but I don’t want you to think that she’s replacing you in any way, because you were, and always will be, special to me. I may have only held you in my arms for a short time, but you are no less my child because of it. I will hold you forever in my heart.

“As long as I’m living, my baby you’ll be”

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