Angel Moms · Infant Loss · life after loss

Empty Arms

On December 24th of last year, my husband and I got in my mom’s truck so she could take us home from the hospital.  The drive was short, but felt incredibly long.  I remember staring down at my arms.  Empty.  They felt heavy.  Like dead weight with no purpose….

“There is, I am convinced, no picture that conveys in all its dreadfulness, a vision of sorrow, despairing, remediless, supreme. If I could paint such a picture, the canvas would show only a woman looking down at her empty arms”
Charlotte Brontë

The time that I had with Lincoln was so fleeting.  I knew that I wouldn’t have long.  As the hours passed, I agonized more and more over the decision to send him away with the nurse.  I didn’t want to let him go.  Others needed to hold him: my mother, my close friend and, most importantly, Link’s daddy.  While others held him, my empty arms waited for him.

*Photo Credit:A Storybook Moment Photography 

In the hospital, for just a little while, I could get him back to fill that void.  Upon returning home without him, something happened to my arms.  They ached with a longing for my baby: the pain of my heartbreak radiating from my chest and out through my arms.  The emptiness manifests itself into a physical pain; a dull, throbbing ache.  As I do things that bring me joy, this ache can be numbed for some time.  But it’s not entirely gone.  There are moments when it returns with full force.

I have been blessed with a friend who did some research on a gift to give a baby loss mama.  As she reached out to people on forums and blogs, she discovered the MollyBear.  This is a handcrafted, stuffed bear which weighs the exact amount of your angel baby.  It is made to provide comfort to aching arms.  The thing about MollyBears, is that there is a very long wait list.  Looking at that list is a reality check: each bear is being made for a baby who died.  So many babies…. as my friend looked at that list, she decided that I couldn’t wait 2 years to have comfort for my arms.  So she made her own version.  She made me a LincolnBear.

My LincolnBear weighs exactly 6 pounds 13 ounces.  He weighs exactly what my Lincoln weighed.  And he gives the ache in arms some relief.  For this gift, I will always be so grateful.  If you know anyone who has lost a baby, try to understand that they’ve lost their ability to nurture.  We are moms, without a child here to comfort and to soothe. I cannot know for sure, but I imagine the ache will stick with me until I have another baby to fill the void there.  For now, I will hold this bear and feel so grateful for my friend who did the research: who found a way to ease my pain.

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