Know Your Place

Sometimes I look at myself in the mirror and wonder how my life got to where it is today.

Sometimes that means wondering how I was blessed with an amazing husband, my beautiful daughter here with me, a supportive family, and a job I enjoy going to.

And sometimes that means wondering how I became a loss mom. How I became a woman who had an abortion. How I became a statistic.

I really don’t have anything insightful to say about any of this. All I know is that life threw me some major curve balls, and I don’t know how I feel about them. Simultaneously pissed off and thankful, I guess? I don’t know how that works, but I think that’s pretty accurate most days.

I feel like I don’t really fit in anywhere, either, in terms of being a “mommy to an angel” as most people put it. (Never mind the fact that phrase seems so sugarcoated to me, so I try not to put it that way.) I have a baby from the same pregnancy that ended in a loss, AND our loss was due to a “choice” to terminate (though there wasn’t much of a choice in the matter, believe me). To the loss community, I have what they want AND I’m a traitor for making a choice to end my baby’s life, so I don’t get to be sad about it. To the TFMR (Termination for Medical Reasons) community, I still have a healthy baby from the TFMR pregnancy, so I should be happy about that.

None of this negates my pain, of course. My grief is compounded by my guilt on a daily basis. Never guilt or regret or worry that we somehow made the “wrong” choice. We didn’t. But I feel guilty that I robbed my daughter of a sister; I regret that we were even put in a position to have to make a “choice.”

I really just wish I knew where I fit on the loss mom spectrum. I fear talking about our loss openly in the loss community because I can’t just say “we lost a baby.” I have to say we lost one of our twins, but that one is totally healthy and thriving. I have to say that our daughter was sick and we chose to spare her from the suffering she would have experienced. And I have to say these things because I want my daughter to be brave. If I want her to be brave, shouldn’t I be brave myself?

I don’t know the answers. I’m still navigating this since we’re only 8 months or so out from saying goodbye to our daughter. It’s hard to ask for understanding from others when I can’t even understand it myself. Hopefully one day…

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