Dear Mommy Friend,
Month after month, I see your milestone updates. I see your photos and development charts: lists of all of the exciting new things that your baby is doing. I’m watching your baby grow, and wishing mine was still here to do the same things. You’ve probably noticed that some months, I put a heart on those posts. Some months, I might even leave a comment. Other months, posts get scrolled passed as quickly as possible, so I don’t have to face my own emptiness.
We were pregnant together. We were nervous, but we cheered each other on. We shared ultrasound photos around the same times. We announced the sex. We picked their names and prepared their rooms. We delivered our precious babies within days of one another. We healed from our deliveries and bonded over our shared postpartum journey. We gave each other advice and compared stories. We held each other’s hands, and dreamed of raising our babies together.
Then my baby got horribly sick, while yours stayed healthy. My baby died, and your baby got to stay. Before anything else, please know that I am so happy that you still have your baby in your arms. When I look at your sweet little one, I feel so many things. I am always reminded of what I should have. Some days, it is a beautiful reminder. Some days, I can look at that thriving baby and smile. I try to imagine what my little boy would look like if he had survived to be the same age. Other days, the reminder is far too painful to bear. He should still be here. This life is so unfair. My arms are so very empty, when they should be full. It can be difficult to admit, but the envy can be overwhelming. What must it be like to be given a life without such pain? My friend, I am so sorry for the times when these negative feelings overshadow the positive ones. I wish I could be as good of a friend as you are to me.
I know that you worry about me. I know that you feel for me more deeply than many others. That you look at your baby and think of mine. For that, I am so grateful. Your friendship helps to carry me, though I am sometimes too hurt to reciprocate. Your compassion and understanding, continues to bring me back to the light. I cherish your friendship. And I cherish your baby, and the connection I feel to my own missing son when I look into their eyes.
Thank you for being there for me, no matter what kind of day I’m having. Thank you for understanding that, though I love your baby, I sometimes need to stay away. I promise that I will never go far. That I will always come back close when I can feel the warmth and joy of that baby’s presence. Thank you for your momma’s heart for my boy, and for snuggling your baby a little bit closer because of him. Thank you for continuing to hold my hand, though our journeys split off onto separate paths. Please know how much I love you. Please know how much I love your baby who got to stay.