Walking alongside a friend when she loses her baby

What do you say when nothing you say will fix it?

Walking alongside a friend when she loses her baby

My husband and I were sitting in the waiting room of the hospital’s labor and delivery wing. Soft nursery colors covered the walls, with beautiful black and white photos of newborns in the arms of their mommies and daddies were scattered throughout. There was a pit in my stomach and a lump in my throat at the irony of these seeing these photos in the light of the reason we were there.

The celebration of new life was all round us, but we were there to grieve the loss of one.

Lindsey was 20 weeks along when she and her husband learned that their unborn daughter had an incurable condition during a routine ultrasound. I can still remember them asking my husband and me to come over on the day they found out. We sat in their dimly-lit living room as they broke the news in broken voices that their baby would live a few hours after being born—at best. My body became numb and my mind went blank.

What do you say when nothing you say will fix it?

So I didn’t say anything. I stood up from where I was sitting and sat down next to Lindsey who was bent over, holding her tummy and crying. I put my arm around her, leaned over, and cried alongside her. “I am so, so sorry,” I whispered. The only sound in the room for a few minutes was the sound of weeping, as it felt like the sky just came crashing down on our dear friends. I couldn’t lift it back up again—no one could. All we could do weep under the crushing weight of her baby’s diagnosis.

After the initial shock wore off, Kevin and Lindsey decided to celebrate every moment they were given with their baby girl. For the next 20 weeks, we joined them for cake when they announced that her name was Sophia Kyla, we looked at photos of daddy-daughter dates, we joined them for parties to celebrate each passing week.

I made a mobile of butterflies for Sophie. Butterflies because just as a caterpillar wraps itself in what looks like death, but then emerges in a beautiful new life, so we believed that there was greater hope than the tragedy that gripped us all.

I had never walked alongside a close friend as they prepared to encounter death in such an impending, unapologetic way.

Even on the bright days of seeing Sophie’s root beer party for 21 weeks or looking for the star named in her honor, an underlying weight of grief remained.

I didn’t realize how a dark cloud forms and stays as a permanent fixture over everything.

Or how much I could play a role in the storm—simply by showing up. Simply by saying, “I don’t know what to say.” By acknowledging that it’s not okay—and it won’t be.

One of the most profound moments of my life was walking into the postpartum recovery room to meet Sophie. Lindsey’s face held the expression of a grieving mother juxtaposed with the pride that every new parent has when they present their baby to someone. Sophie had spent 10 hours on this earth before making her way to heaven. Just like that living room 20 week prior, it was a dimly lit room.

And just like in that living room, I didn’t know what to say.

“Do you want to hold her?” asked Lindsey. Oh my gosh—yes. It was one of the biggest honors of my life that I got to gush over her beautiful baby, how cute her lips were, how sweet her expression was.

“Tell me about her,” I asked. And then my husband and I listened to Sophie’s proud parents share about her loud cries as she entered the world, her birthday cake, the letters they read to her, the prayers they prayed with her, the friends and family she got to meet. Her life was short but it was oh so big. Kevin played us a recording of Sophie’s newborn cries as I looked into their daughter’s face. And we wept.

Infant loss—no matter the form in comes in—is astoundingly painful.

The order of life has been upended and parents who have to bury their babies (no matter the age) will never be the same. They are forced to bury a piece of their heart and soul and forced to live in a new normal that will never, ever feel normal.

Because it will never, ever be okay.

Nothing less than a lifetime with their children will be enough for these mommies and daddies.

To walk alongside these grieving parents remains one of the most sincere privileges of my life. It’s full of awkward moments of wondering what questions to ask or if there’s a topic to avoid. But to provide some sort of companionship in the lonely places of tragedy and point to a very distant hope is worth the stumbling over words.

Because nothing I can say will fix it.

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We're so glad to live in a time when modern baby gear exists. Sure, no one is going to argue that having a baby is easy—but it can be easier with support from some gadgets designed to help your baby and put your mind at ease.

As you build your baby registry, look for products that go the extra mile to make your life a whole lot easier. For example, what's better than a bassinet? A bassinet that can rock by itself. And what's better than a traditional baby monitor? One that allows you to actually take a peek at your baby. Believe us when we say these upgrades can make all the difference.

Here are 10 baby gadgets that will make your life so much easier… relatively speaking, of course!

A bassinet to promote safe + sound sleep

HALO Innovations Bassinest Swivel Sleeper Essenta Series Nautical Net

The safest place for your newborn to sleep is in your room, but not in your bed. Thanks to the swivel function of the Halo Bassinest, you can easily tend to your baby during the night—which means more sleep for you, too. Trust us when we say that is the best gift you can give a new parent.


A smart swing for your baby

4moms mamaRoo 4 Bluetooth Enabled High-Tech Baby Swing - Classic

Believe it or not, many babies are born with strong opinions about how they want to be rocked, swung or shushed to calm down. With the mamaRoo's various motions and reclining positions, you'll be able to find a setting your baby loves when you need to free up your hands for a bit.


A complete travel system for car + sidewalk

Chicco Bravo Travel System - Indigo

No matter where the day takes you—or what mode of transportation you need to get there—getting a complete travel system for your baby will equip you for anything.


A swaddle you don’t have to wrestle

Love To Dream Swaddle UP Original

What do babies and Harry Houdini have in common? A knack for breaking out of tight constraints—which can be a headache when swaddling is the best way to help promote good sleep. Thanks to a breakout-proof swaddle that allows your baby to sleep with their hands up, you don't have to work up a sweat just to get your baby comfortably swaddled.


A nursery wherever you need it

Baby Trend Lil Snooze Deluxe II Nursery Center

During the early days of parenting (when you are feeding and changing your baby around the clock), having convenient access to everything you need with a go-anywhere nursery station can save you serious time and energy.


A little help for stuffy noses

Fridababy NoseFrida Nasal Aspirator

Up until the point years down the road when your child is able to blow their own nose, the sniffles can be a real struggle—but not with a nasal aspirator that makes it easy for you to get that snot out of their nose.


A way to keep an eye on your baby

VTech 5" Digital Video Baby Monitor - VM5251

Trust us when we say you'll sleep better when you know your baby is also sleeping soundly. That's why we're so thankful for modern-day video monitors, which allow you to check in on your sleeping baby without running the risk of waking them up when you sneak in for a peek.


A bassinet for hands-free rocking

Simmons Kids Silent Auto Gliding Elite Bassinet - Odyssey

Babies are soothed by rocking motions. But what does that mean for you if you can't rock them throughout the night? With an auto-gliding bassinet, they can comfortably drift off to sleep... and continue snoozing.


An easy way to contain diaper smells

Diaper Genie Expressions Pail

Sometimes it's the little conveniences that make a big difference in the quality of your day-to-day life. That's why a great diaper pail should not be undervalued: By containing the smell, you will save yourself dozens upon dozens of trips to the garbage can.


A white noise machine that pulls double duty

Hatch Rest Sound Machine, Night Light & Time-to-Rise

A phone-controlled sound machine may be something you never considered until now, but it will be a major lifesaver for years to come, especially as it can also function as a time-to-rise clock that promotes good sleep habits for your child.


And as for securing all these awesome products? Well, a Target baby registry is the way to do it. By creating your baby registry with Target, you will also enjoy their Year of Benefits registry program, which includes perks like a welcome kit with more than $100 in savings and samples, two 15% off coupons to complete your registry, and a full year of returns. The benefits are better than ever right now: Target just launched the Year of Exclusive Deals perk as one of its registry benefits, and this includes a year's worth of discounts on baby essentials (think diapers and formula) and comes complementary when you sign up for Target Circle.

Because while parenting may not be "easy," deciding to register with Target definitely is an easy decision. Start your Target baby registry now and enjoy shopping with a Year of Benefits featuring a Year of Exclusive Deals available via Target Circle, two 15% off coupons, a year of hassle-free returns, a free welcome kit and more!

This article was sponsored by Target. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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I never wanted to be a mom. It wasn't something I ever thought would happen until I fell madly in love with my husband—who knew very well he wanted children. While he was a natural at entertaining our nephews or our friends' kids, I would awkwardly try to interact with them, not really knowing what to say or do.

Our first pregnancy was a surprise, a much-wanted one but also a unicorn, "first try" kind of pregnancy. As my belly grew bigger, so did my insecurities. How do you even mom when you never saw motherhood in your future? I focused all my uncertainties on coming up with a plan for the delivery of my baby—which proved to be a terrible idea when my dreamed-of unmedicated vaginal birth turned into an emergency C-section. I couldn't even start motherhood the way I wanted, I thought. And that feeling happened again when I couldn't breastfeed and instead had to pump and bottle-feed. And once more, when all the stress from things not going my way turned into debilitating postpartum anxiety that left me not really enjoying my brand new baby.

As my baby grew, slowly so did my confidence that I could do this. When he would tumble to the ground while learning how to walk and only my hugs could calm him, I felt invincible. But on the nights he wouldn't sleep—whether because he was going through a regression, a leap, a teeth eruption or just a full moon—I would break down in tears to my husband telling him that he was a better parent than me.

Then I found out I was pregnant again, and that this time it was twins. I panicked. I really cannot do two babies at the same time. I kept repeating that to myself (and to my poor husband) at every single appointment we had because I was just terrified. He, of course, thought I could absolutely do it, and he got me through a very hard pregnancy.

When the twins were born at full term and just as big as singleton babies, I still felt inadequate, despite the monumental effort I had made to grow these healthy babies and go through a repeat C-section to make sure they were both okay. I still felt my skin crawl when they cried and thought, What if I can't calm them down? I still turned to my husband for diaper changes because I wasn't a good enough mom for twins.

My husband reminded me (and still does) that I am exactly what my babies need. That I am enough. A phrase that has now become my mantra, both in motherhood and beyond, because as my husband likes to say, I'm the queen of selling myself short on everything.

So when my babies start crying, I tell myself that I am enough to calm them down.

When my toddler has a tantrum, I remind myself that I am enough to get through to him.

When I go out with the three kids by myself and start sweating about everything that could go wrong (poop explosions times three), I remind myself that I am enough to handle it all, even with a little humor.

And then one day I found this bracelet. Initially, I thought how cheesy it'd be to wear a reminder like this on my wrist, but I bought it anyway because something about it was calling my name. I'm so glad I did because since day one I haven't stopped wearing it.

Every time I look down, there it is, shining back at me. I am enough.

I Am Enough bracelet 

SONTAKEY  I Am Enough Bracelet

May this Oath Bracelet be your reminder that you are perfect just the way you are. That you are enough for your children, you are enough for your friends & family, you are enough for everything that you do. You are enough, mama <3


We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.


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