Today, several people I know laid a sweet soul to rest; a mother. A mother of only a few hours. I did not personally know her, but I’ve had some “hellos” with her husband through mutual friends in previous years. And although I was not personally involved in this tragedy, I was still very much personally affected.
I cannot imagine the bittersweet moments this man will feel as he looks at his previous and perfect new baby girl and smile, but then feel bad for smiling because he just lost the love of his life. I cry even thinking about the pain he must be feeling. I hope he can look at his tiny new love and smile through tears, and not feel bad about any of the emotions that are running through him.
I saw an IG post from someone recently whose passion is battling postpartum depression. The post stated that even men can experience PPD; that mothers aren’t the only ones. I rolled my eyes and thought to myself, “Did that man have to physically grow that child for nine months inside themselves? Did that man experience the rush of hormones that the mother did? Did he have to handle the delivery of a baby, and then have to have the pressures that society puts on a woman when it comes to bouncing back and post-baby bodies? No, he doesn’t. So in most circumstances, I don’t believe in the idea that men can truly suffer from PPD (not trying to open any can of worms here, so move along). However, this horrible event when a mother passes from the delivery of a sweet, innocent child so unexpectedly and the father is then left to handle it all on his own, this is the moment where I make an exception in my feelings on the idea.
I’ve been very open about my struggle with PPD after delivering the twins, and I hope and pray that this man can battle any depression that will come his way in the months to come. I bow my head and speak to God about keeping a close eye on him and showing him that there is still great joy in this world and being father will still be one of the greatest things that have ever happened to him.
It breaks my heart to know that this man will now raise a daughter as a single father, something that most likely never even crossed his mind. It brings tears to my eyes to know that this woman never got to experience any of motherhood. And it is absolutely gut-wrenching that this couple does not get raise a precious baby girl together and get to experience all of the firsts and incredible milestones together. I pray that no matter the circumstance, that he can see the greatest traits of his late wife shine through his daughter and know that he will get through this and is fully capable.
As a mother with a present and active husband and father to my children, I could not imagine either one of us having to go this alone. The middle of the night wake-ups; the early mornings when I need a desperate hour of sleep even though the kids are already awake; the decisions on what to do when the baby is running a fever or extra fussy; the birthdays and holidays when deciding what gifts are appropriate and what to do for a party; and the family photos.
What else tugs at my heart is how this could have been anyone; this could have been me; this could have been one of my close friends. One of my closest girlfriends was at the funeral this morning and I spoke with her afterwards. She mentioned that she read that the United States has the highest mortality rate of mothers at childbirth than any other developed nation (do a google search for maternal mortality in the U.S.; it’s incredibly scary and something I am thankful I never thought about while pregnant). Why is this? I don’t know, but would love to. How, with all of our technology and money and knowledge we have this problem? Is it negligence? Is it something else? Whatever it is, it needs to be combated. This is a horrible first place seat to be in.
I can’t believe I’m even writing this post because I don’t want to act as though I am an expert or that I have any skin in the game in this man’s uphill battle from here on out, but this tragedy is weighing heavy on my heart and I want to put love out in the universe for this man and perfect little baby girl who shares a middle name with my two-month-old baby girl.
If you would also like to put some love out there, please visit the website below to help assist this strong man and his baby girl financially, as well as say a little prayer and hug your babies tight: