“An Open Letter to the UNbereaved From a Stillbirth Survivor,” by Ashley Seymour Felix

My first official blog post EVER will be a copy & paste job of something I wrote a couple years ago. This one is close to my heart, and I feel it is very important…

October 15, 2014

Raw. That’s how I feel today, so I won’t hold much back.

Normally you see pictures of families cuddling with their newborn bundles of joy, all smiles and joy.

Naive. It’s a wonderful word. It protects you from the agony of knowing.

Knowing. After the loss of a child, “knowing” is synonym for words like, “nightmare,” “torment,” and, “broken.”

Have you ever suffered a broken heart? I don’t mean, “My boyfriend dumped me,” Or, “My dog died,” I mean a BROKEN heart. When you cry so long and hard it feels like your heart is ripping in half. Agonizing pain radiating from your chest. You can’t breathe, because it hurts too much to think about moving forward. Every beat of your heart feels like a dagger tearing through your chest from the inside. The only way you can sleep is when your body is so exhausted from sobbing day and night you finally close your eyes and beg God that it will be the last time.

I have. My baby is dead. She’s DEAD. She was alive for almost 9 months in my womb, then one morning she was just dead. Gone.

“I’m sorry, there’s no heartbeat.”

NO heartb…no heartbeat? No! You check again! You check again and you FIND IT! You bring somebody else in here and let them find it!

My baby girl’s heart broke, and with it, so did mine. OUR heart broke. WE were dead. Does that word make you uncomfortable- make you squirm in your seat a little? “Dead?” It makes me uncomfortable. Actually, it hurts me, but if you ever have an empty shell where your heart used to be, because your baby died, you will understand why it’s important to speak the words that hurt the most. After Pregnancy or infant loss, Pain is all you have. It’s the only thing you have that makes you FEEL alive. If the pain goes away, you lose everything.

Lorelei Grace

You see, when you find out that you’re pregnant, and that little Life starts growing inside you, a piece of your heart becomes a home for that new life. Love is woven into the fibers of your very being. When that Life is just gone one day, like a dream you woke up from too soon, that piece of your heart is torn from you and unravels your entire life.

Life. That’s another good word, but only if you truly know what LIFE is. What LIFE means. Sadly, I believe it takes a broken heart to KNOW what life really is-what it really means. Life (as we know it on this earth) means “frailty.” Life means you can be blissfully happy one day then your entire world can be burned to ashes in the blink of an eye.

Ashes. That’s what my baby girl is now. My entire world was burned to a handful of ashes. My world, my heart, my BABY was placed inside a cold, metallic grave, cradled by a burgundy, heart-shaped box. Now, she sits on a bookshelf.

If you take away one thing from my letter, let it be this: Do not take for granted one single second with your child(ren). Cherish every moment of your pregnancy, and your child’s time outside the womb, as though it will be your last.

October 15th is Pregnancy And Infant Loss Awareness Day. 1 in 4 of us have suffered this tragedy. 1 in 4 of us know what a truly broken heart feels like. I am 1 in 4. ” -Ashley Felix (Mother of Lorelei Grace, a child born still)

“Life is not measured by the number or breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.” -Unknown

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