Motherhood After Loss


As I begin writing this, I’m snuggled on the couch with my second healthy, living child. He’s fast asleep, and his older brother is also napping in the next room.

They’re both incredibly healthy, full of life, love and laughter. They sing, dance, run, make HUGE messes, they love to cuddle and kiss.

They like cars, fire trucks, flowers, chasing birds, playing drums, playgrounds, the beach, Curious George, blocks, books, and making music on the piano with Dada.

Brothers | Jerin | Coastal Bend Mom Collective

Sometimes I feel like I could physically implode because I love them so deeply.

In moments of deep reflection and brutal honesty, I think there have been times I’ve been afraid to enjoy them and love them as much as I do, because I’m fully aware of how quickly tragedy can strike.

My first two pregnancies ended in the early second trimester. The odds of pregnancy loss happening in the second trimester are extremely low, but it happened to me.

Playing at Sunset | Coastal Bend Mom Collective

They both ended with two tiny, precious, baby girls in my hands who had distinguishable features, with the first looking more like me, and my second definitely favoring her daddy.

My first pregnancy loss at 14 weeks, 3 days was an absolute shock. It never occurred to me that I could lose my baby. No one in my close family had ever had a miscarriage or any issue with fertility. I had just been to the doctor two days prior and everything was perfect.

With my second, I was very afraid the whole time. I decided I’d feel safe sharing the news with everyone once I got to that 15 week mark, but I lost her at 15 weeks. I never really embraced her, because I was so full of fear the entire time she was in my womb.

When I became pregnant for the third time, my husband and I decided we would not make that mistake again, so we shared our news immediately and asked our friends and family to carry us in prayer.

This one made it! Our “double rainbow baby,” born on Rainbow Baby Day. And just twenty months later, his younger brother was born.

Double Rainbow | Coastal Bend Mom Collective

I’ve done some online research and believe I’ve figured out the cause of my struggles with loss, and I don’t believe it will be an issue for me again, but the sting of death changes a mother’s heart.

I didn’t know it at the time, but  after delivering my first son, I was struggling with postpartum anxiety while I was still in the trenches of grief.

Everyone and everything felt like a threat to my baby. When I struggled to breastfeed, I felt like an absolute failure and that I didn’t deserve to have this baby if I couldn’t even feed him properly. (We overcame that, thankfully, but it was very heavy to say the least) I struggled with basic decisions for my baby and almost everything felt like life and death. This was beyond the normal first time mom nervousness. I needed to process these thoughts and feelings. I wish I’d gone to counseling for it, but I just didn’t know. I didn’t understand how much of my stress and anxiety was caused by grief.

Jerin and Baby | Coastal Bend Mom Collective

My oldest is now 3 years old, my youngest 1.5. I learned so much about motherhood when I had my second baby boy, and realized how heavy my heart had been the first time around.

Our sons are truly the pride and joy of our lives. They are wild, sweet, smart, and adventurous little boys.

I spend most of my days playing, cleaning up messes, wiping booties, making toddler-approved lunches, having dance parties, and enjoying nature. I love, enjoy, and adore my sweet boys so deeply now, but it didn’t always come so easily for me.

At some point, I had decided in my heart that my motherhood could never be truly full, and that I’d have to strive every single day to do it the “best” and maybe I’d be worthy of these precious miracles. If you relate to this, please let these words sink in, mama.

You’re already worthy.

You’re already a good mom.

You can’t change the past, and you can’t control the future. Mostly everything is out of your control. But you can absolutely relish in every single moment with the babies you have on earth. Being the “best mom you can be” is just being a daughter of God and loving on the babies you’ve been loaned. Enjoying these babies doesn’t mean you’re forgetting the ones in Heaven. Grieving doesn’t make you a bad mom, and being happy doesn’t mean you forgot the one(s) born into the arms of Jesus.

Jerin and Baby 2 | Coastal Bend Mom Collective
Let your heart be filled with joy again.

You aren’t dishonoring their memory by living with joy and experiencing the beauty of life.

“Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy.”  Psalms‬ ‭126:5‬ ‭NIV‬‬

We can and should do our best to keep our children reasonably safe, but we can’t let our past pain dictate their childhood experience. We can’t protect our children from everything. Deciding to allow reasonable risk into the mix is a loving decision. Risk will always be there, and we are learning how to live in that tension of loving freely and letting them be wild when we’ve walked through death’s shadow. The depth of a mama’s heart and love truly know no bounds, and yours is no exception.

Motherhood is a journey, and our babies in Heaven are part of it.

The first “Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness” day after my first miscarriage was filled with unimaginable grief. I’m sure this one will have a few tears, but I rest in the knowledge that my sweet girls are growing up in Heaven, and we will be reunited one day. While I’m here, I can lean into the tension and beauty of motherhood.

I will wrap up my sweet boys.

I will drink in their scent and sink into their snuggles. I won’t be afraid to let them see me shed a few tears, and with a grateful heart, I will relish in the joy of being their mama.

Kissing baby on the head | Coastal Bend Mom Collective
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,” Ecclesiastes‬ ‭3:1-4‬ ‭NIV

“…a time to mourn and a time to dance..”

For me, there is still time for both, and there probably always will be. I don’t believe we get over grief, but we heal and we adapt to life. I will honor my daughters by living my life honestly, without striving. And while I’m raising these precious, precious babies I’ve been given, I want to spend more time dancing.