‘The grief felt like a full-time job.’ How it feels to be on maternity leave without a baby.

This post deals with infant loss, and could be triggering for some readers.

Three weeks after giving birth, I sat on our couch at home and watched an episode of Survivor with our daughter nestled in my lap. 

I knew how strange it must have looked to anyone but us. The television on and an urn cradled between my legs – but I didn’t want to put her down. 

I Have 108 Pictures of My Stillborn Baby — Only One Person Ever Asked to See a Photo of Her

Like many parents, my favourite moments are when I get to share photos of my daughter, Violet, who was born two years ago. You could call it ‘sharenting’ (using social media to rave about your own children), but it makes me so happy to show people photos of her face and her tiny body in a hand-made outfit.

However, for me, posting a photo on social media isn’t simple — because the only photos I have of Violet were taken on the day she was born, still but perfect. I gave birth when I was 23 weeks pregnant after learning that our daughter had a life-limiting condition. Our first (and last) photos of Violet are not like other parents with their firstborn; the love is there but so is the grief, of welcoming a child who isn’t breathing.

Womb Room Podcast: Still A Mum – with Meagan Donaldson

In this episode Meagan openly shares her very difficult journey with TFMR (Termination For Medical Reasons). Her daughter Violet was born still at 23 weeks after a very rare diagnosis. Meagan gives us her soul shaking recount of making that decision and the days that followed, including spending the weekend with her still daughter. Meagan is courageous in the detail she shares and provides incredible insight into an absolutely heartbreaking experience. This episode is so important and I’m so grateful to Meagan for opening up to us! After the birth of her daughter, Meagan goes on to have genetic testing and undergoes IVF to conceive her son Arlo.

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