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The Baby Girl Void: A Grieving Mother’s Revelation

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Grieving Mother's RevelationOne of my dearest friends recently had a little girl. She now has two boys and the precious little girl she’s been waiting for. I cannot express the joy I feel for her and her family. I am so happy that her dreams have come true and that her beautiful daughter has brought her new happiness. I would have been disappointed if my friend would have been given another boy; I wanted a girl for her, just as she did. I am so in love with this precious little girl and felt such excitement to finally meet her. But, as a mom who lost my 48-day-old daughter, baby girls continue to bring on a flood of emotion for me.

Many of my friends and family have had little girls since I lost my (only) daughter.  I love every one of these little girls and I’m extremely happy for their families, but still there’s a spot in my heart that feels sad and empty. I’ve only assumed this is “normal.” I’ve heard stories of women who have miscarried and they find it difficult to be around pregnant women for a while, or women who have never been able to conceive who find it difficult to be around children.

The birth of my friend’s daughter made me realize something, or maybe I’m just now realizing this because I am currently pregnant (with whatever gender God chose to give us). You see, I’ve thought all along that when God chose to give me another girl that maybe my “baby girl void” would be fulfilled and that I’d no longer have this emptiness when seeing, smelling and loving on baby girls, and the happiness they bring. I know I will always grieve Annika, but I thought maybe having another little girl would help, even if just a little. I assumed this void in my heart was there because I wanted a little girl, a daughter, and she was taken from me, along with all the dreams I wanted to share with her.

My friend chose to wait to find out the gender of her baby, so when I finally heard “it’s a girl,” I was ecstatic! I hurried to every store with cute girl clothes, bought them up and smiled ear-to-ear as I strolled the store. I packed the clothes away, wrote a sweet message in the card, watched the video of her husband announcing “it’s a girl” a thousand times and could not wait to get my hands on that princess! But while feeling this high of emotions, I also felt a sadness. Seeing her pictures, her clothes, her headbands and bows, smelling a newborn, seeing the excitement of the parents as they welcomed their much desired baby girl, hearing the excitement among friends and family…it all brought back to me everything I had lost. I don’t like feeling this sadness when I feel such joy. It makes me feel dysfunctional. I ONLY WANT TO FEEL THE JOY!

I have to say that I am extremely blessed to have family and friends who allow me to feel that mixture of emotions, like my friend Audrey. I thank her for allowing me to feel this way without feeling bitterness towards me. Instead, she has been completely understanding and even shed tears with me. Audrey, I love you and your precious baby girl.

I just wish there was something I could do to make the grief stop. Unfortunately, that’s not my reality. The revelation made me realize that this void is not a “baby girl void.”  It is an Annika void.  It will always be a void of her in my life. So, what happens if I get another baby girl? Will this pain and sadness go away? Will I someday not desire a baby girl the way I do now, even if I never get another little girl?

I always imagined it would be pure joy when I finally was blessed with another little girl. But now, I picture myself feeling exactly as I have when every other loved one has welcomed a baby girl. I will be delighted, full of happiness, joy and love, but I will also feel a great sadness. I will wonder what it would have been like if Annika got to wear these clothes first (like she was supposed to), how Annika would interact with her baby sister, how Evan and I would feel differently, and so on.

I will cry with tears of complete joy. And, I will cry with tears of complete heartache. I will hold her and nurse her and kiss her with complete happiness. And, I will cry inside for the moments like this that Annika and I were robbed of.

I wish the pain would go away; it makes me feel selfish and sad. It’s such a lonely feeling. But because sometimes pain and sadness is the only memory of her I’m left with, it’s good to feel it. It’s good to express it. Even when it hurts.

Kristina_HornerKristina Horner and her husband have three children, and are expecting their fourth child in the spring of 2014. Their second child, Annika, died of multiple heart disorders when she was just 48 days old. Kristina always wanted to be a mother and loves being one, but what she didn’t anticipate was the roller coaster ride that her journey has included. She shares her story on her blog Heartfelt Journey, hoping that her story will help or inspire someone else that is going through something similar.

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