Losing my daughter was undoubtedly the hardest thing I’ve ever experienced. Her loss was completely unexpected, and happened in what felt like the blink of an eye. I was five months pregnant and everything was "normal." There was no indication that I was high-risk in any way. Sometimes life throws you a really difficult, really terrible curveball, though. I went into preterm labor and she died just hours later. However, just because she is gone doesn’t mean she is forgotten. There are many things I want everyone to remember about the baby I lost.
Because my pregnancy was cut short, I didn’t really get to know my daughter very well. I learned, just a few weeks prior to her birth, that she was female. I had only just begun feeling her kicks in the month prior to her birth and death. The few things I know about her, though, have remained. She seemed to enjoy The Little Mermaid. I watched the movie just days before I lost her, and she was happily kicking in my belly most of the time, especially during the songs. I craved lots of root beer and pizza and garlic bread during my pregnancy, so I assume these were her favorite foods. She liked when I started reading The Little Prince to her. Sadly, we never got to finish the book.
These memories about the baby I lost are more personal, though. These are the things I want other people, including you, dear reader, to really remember and understand about my daughter.
That She Was My First Child
It’s so hard when people ask me if my son (my rainbow baby) is my first or my only child. I don’t always want to go into explanations about it, because I don’t always have the energy. However, I do hope that those close to me, those around me, always remember that she was the first one.
The She Was And Is Very Much Wanted And Loved
I want folks to know that my daughter was very much wanted and loved. That even though she was only around for a brief time, that love continues. That no matter how much time passes, we still remember her fondly and wish we could have her back to really complete our family.
That She Can Never Be Replaced In Our Hearts
Since the loss of my daughter, I went on to have a son. That said, the love I have for him does not replace the love I have for her. I want people to know that she is completely irreplaceable.
That She Has A Name
My daughter’s name was and is Margaret Hope Blossom. We chose it in those few hours of her life, while I was still half sedated and fully distressed. Margaret is a family name on my husband’s side, but I also relate her name to the many Margarets, Maggies, and Peggys before her (Peggy Olson from Mad Men, famed anthropologist Margaret Mead, Meg March from Little Women, Meg Murray from A Wrinkle In Time, and even little Maggie Simpson).
That She Has A Birthday
My daughter was born (and died) on Sept. 30. Many loss moms remember their lost baby’s birth date or due date. It’s a special day in my heart, and more importantly, a difficult time every year. I need folks to understand why I might retreat into myself in those days leading up to, and on, her birthday. I also want people to know how much I appreciate so those who do things to remember her, like light a candle in her name, on that day.
That She Was A Premature Baby
It’s important to me that people know how my daughter died. That she was simply born too soon, but that preterm labor can sometimes be detected early and even prevented. Since losing my daughter, one thing that is of utmost importance to me is educating others on how they can prevent potentially losing their babies.
That She Is One Of Many Babies Who Didn’t Make It
I also want folks to know that just because she might be the first baby they know of to die so early, she is certainly not alone. I want people to remember her and all the other babies who have been lost due to various reasons. I need folks to understand that her loss is something that could happen to anyone, and they should always be kind and respectful toward such losses.
That You Can Make A Donation In Her Name
If you’ve seen This Is Us, you know the quote, “You took the sourest lemon that life has to offer and turned it into something resembling lemonade,” which pretty much started the show. I like to think that, at least for now, my way of making lemonade out of my tragedy is by spreading awareness and raising funds for organizations like the March of Dimes. Someday I hope to do even more, but for now, donations in her name to any organization supporting pregnancy and infant loss, or premature babies, is helpful and appreciated.
That She Made An Impact
I want folks to remember that my baby existed. I want them to always remember that she will never be forgotten, no matter how much time passes. Not long ago, I met an older woman, a mother who lost a baby over 40 years ago. She still remembers her loss. I know that I, too, will always remember my first baby. On top of that, it was after losing her that I truly began putting all my heart into my writing. Were it not for her existence, I wouldn't be writing this article to help other loss moms.
My Maggie changed my life without even knowing it. For that, I’ll be forever grateful.