When I first loss Elijah, I wanted to do everything and anything possible to take the hurt away. I disconnected myself from family and friends because I didn't think people truly understood me. In my opinion, some people treated me as if I shouldn’t be grieving over a baby I never met. That’s unrealistic for me to not grieve, for me not to be upset regardless of if I had the chance to meet my baby or not. A mother's love starts when they first find out they are expecting and since I give so much to others, I was ecstatic to be having my own baby.
I remember contemplating adoption or foster care because I was trying to fill a void. I even enrolled in a Doctoral program. I did anything I could to keep busy. That’s all I knew, to work or go to school. I wasn't interested in having fun because as far as I was concerned fun didn’t exist for me anymore. I met Candis, my Soror, a few years ago at the Foster Care Fun Day that the Department of Social Services was giving. I asked her a few months ago about the process for foster care and unbeknownst to me, she too loss a baby. Candis loss two babies and from there she started her journey as a foster parent and later adopting the children. Another thing we had in common is that we both had custody of our goddaughters. I truly admire her because it takes a strong person to be a foster care parent. Candis gave me some great advice about foster care, and yes I am still looking to be a foster parent.Not because I want to fill a void, but because there are so many children that need love and I have a lot of love to give :-). Read Candis's story below.
Name: Candis F.
Where are you from: Baltimore, Maryland
Where do you currently live: Baltimore, Maryland
1. When did you become an angel mommy? June 2008 and December 2007
2. How did losing your baby change your life?Losing my first daughter Skylar was the hardest thing I ever had to go through. After she died of SIDS I was more than anxious to get pregnant again. The void that I felt was unimaginable, like a thirst that would never be quenched. So two months later, I became pregnant with Kaitlyn and I finally felt complete and validated as a mother. But that soon passed when an ultrasound revealed that my little princess had left silently. They searched for about 3 minutes and could not locate a heartbeat. I was in shambles and depression was an understatement.
3. How do you feel the hospitals supported you after your loss?
The delivery nurse was so compassionate and thoughtful. At the time of delivery I was very angry and was immediately depressed. So when she asked if I wanted to hold the baby, I began to say some unkind words and profanity towards her. She gave me a hug and said nothing. Three days later, I had to go back to the hospital to sign some papers and she was there. She asked me to follow her to a room and I complied. She apologized again for my loss and handed me a card. Inside of the card was the greatness gift I have ever received: a picture of Kaitlyn. On the day that I delivered, she took her and cleaned her up and dressed her. Even though I treated her like trash, she still did something miraculous for me. That has stayed with me all these years because I did regret not holding her, but at least I have something to remember her by since I did not do a burial.
4. Did you ever experience negative comments from others?
The negative would be that you can always have another. Even though this statement is true, there is no replacing a child no matter how briefly you had them.
5. How did your loss affect your friendships and relationships?
Because of my depression, I withdrew form everyone and this caused my relationship with her father to end. I cut off communications with his family and completely isolated myself.
6. What are you doing to turn your pain into purpose?
It was after this that I became a foster care parent. I am being a mother to someone’s child even if I did not birth them. And now that they are adopted, I feel like a mom.
7. What do you want others to know about your baby?
They both added to the woman that I am today. They tested my strength, character, and taught me to appreciate the moments given because they end quickly.
8. What advice can you give a grieving mother?
Prayer will see you though the hardest tests if you pray to him. No on woman will grieve the same so take your time and fully go through your process as long as you are making strides to become stronger. Do not get stuck in the mud of life….pull yourself up for there is so much more for you to do.
9. Did you consider yourself a mother after your loss?
Yes, I am their mommy. Parenting starts at conception and although they did not live a full life, I still made it an opportunity for them.