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“Leaving the hospital without your baby is not something you expect.”

Leaving the hospital without your baby is not something you expect.

Frantically searching for answers on the Internet, I stumbled upon a group on Facebook. It was filled with mothers with empty arms. These mothers understood.

How he had perfect hands and perfect feet and how I could see he looked like me.

How I felt like a mother, even if no one else could see me that way.

How important it was for me to hear people mention him by name.

How the perfectly reasonable question "Do you have any children?" could feel like a punch in the face. I once responded with "I do not know how to answer you," and walked away.

Sometimes in the beginning I could not breathe. And sometimes I had no hope. But our group of sisters in sorrow clung together, though we were spread across more than ten countries. There was always someone to talk to, someone who understood.

There was always someone to talk to, someone who understood.

Sometimes I helped them; they always helped me. And together we learned to carry our babies in our hearts, and came to understand that our hearts grow stronger and bigger with each baby we carry with us.

For six years, I have had one baby missing. For six years, I have had these incredible mothers in my corner. Through this unimaginable loss I found everlasting friendship, and for that I will always be grateful.

Now, thankfully, most of us are raising our rainbow babies together. Something beautiful and full of light has appeared in the midst of the darkness and clouds. But the beauty of a rainbow does not negate the ravages of the storm.

We’ve learned that the capacity to love does not end once you walk out of the hospital empty-handed. Örlygur, Daniel, Orson, Tilly, Brayden, Matilda, Ilyas & Amira, Freddy, Maeve, Aubrey & Archimedes, Nicholas, Finn, Frederick, Jordan, Aiden, Claire, Jack, Willow Anne, Hazel Jaymes, Brandon, Isaac & Samuel, Camellia, and many more. These are the names of some of the babies whose mothers form our special mommy group.

By Anna Björnsdóttir

Grief & Loss