It happens all of the time, and I still haven’t gotten used to it. Hearing people ask “can I see pictures of the baby??!!” and watching new Moms excitedly take out their newest photos to show off their pride and joy. Every time it happens, I sigh and feel a pain in my heart. People ask me if I have pictures, but no one asks to see them.
These moments always make me uncomfortable. It’s not just my own loss that weighs on me, but also the impact I have on other people. I never want to ruin a new Mom’s happy moment of sharing pictures and moments of her little one—she deserves that happiness and to share it with others. At the same time, it’s so hard for me to be around when that happens, with another reminder of what we’re missing. It’s hard to step away or try to fade into the background so that she can have her time. Inevitably, I make everyone feel bad, which is not what I want. I want her to have her time—I just don’t want to be present for it.
We have every ultrasound picture and a few pictures of Vivienne after she was born, which we feel very fortunate to have. Only a handful of people have seen the pictures taken after she was born. I can’t lie—they are difficult to look at. She’s so small, and she’s bruised from the trauma of the delivery. I look at them and see my beautiful baby girl, but I know not everyone would look at them through the same lens. We had a very talented artist do a charcoal sketch from those photos, which now hangs in our home. It’s a picture I can show people and know that they’ll see my beautiful baby girl too.
One year ago yesterday, we got our very first picture of Vivienne. We were 6 weeks pregnant, and I was so scared at what we’d find because I had some bleeding the night before. We went into the doctor’s office, as nervous as we could imagine. And there she was, with a healthy heartbeat we could actually see flicker on the screen. I thought she looked like a tadpole, but I knew she was the most glorious little tadpole I had ever seen.
So, even though no one asked, I’m showing it anyway. Here’s the first picture of our pride and joy. Taken 1 year ago and 1 day ago.