I've heard things. I've seen rude comments and status updates from people who wish people struggling would not post about it on social media. "Just keep it to yourselves," they say.
I am now at such a peace with myself, and what I've been through, that I just do not care that those people are out there.
They don't know what true loss feels like, and they just can't relate. They can choose to unfollow my posts. I'm not writing for them.
The truth is - my son deserves a voice. All babies who left this world early, deserve a voice. They deserve somebody here on this earth to remember them, and fight to find a reason for their death, and to help prevent similar situations in the future.
Bereaved mothers deserve a voice. Women who have lost and have not been able to speak up. Women who can't express themselves. Women who have been told it's not a public matter. We all deserve a voice.
And I deserve to express my emotions whenever and however I want. ALL bereaved parents deserve to express their loss, express their sorrow, their pain, and their love for their lost child, however they want.
When I first started posting and opening up to others about my loss, I felt weak. I felt like this sad person who just couldn't stop talking about the past.
I thought about all the women I had known for so long, who I never knew had experienced a miscarriage or still-birth, and how strong they have been to keep their composure. They don't have to post about it, or publically tell others their story and their struggles. They manage to keep it to themselves and make it through the struggle without making it a big public matter.
I thought that this was the right thing to do, the strong thing to do. Go through a struggle quietly. Don't bother others with your pain.
But the truth is - none of it is "right" or "wrong." We all handle our grief however best we can.
The other day I saw a post from a mother who hadn't told her facebook friends about her loss.
She said on a support thread:
"I am posting about Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, but I feel hypocritical because I am not going to tell them I myself have experienced a loss. I am not as strong as you ladies!"And I thought, Not as strong?
This was the first time that I thought, maybe, I might be strong.
Maybe, we might all be strong.
The mother who has lost a child and never told anyone - is strong.
The mother who has lost a child and posts anonymously about their loss - is strong.
The mother who has lost a child and shares their memory every chance she gets - is strong.
The mother who has lost a child and started a philanthropy in their name - is strong.
We've all overcome the same or a similar loss, we've just taken different journeys.
Choosing to be open about loss is a personal choice. And for me, this a chance to do good.
A chance to let other women see that it's okay to talk about pregnancy and infant loss, and share resources and a warm environment for women who need to talk, but don't how to open up or who to talk to.
You never know who needed to hear those words you shared on your timeline today. Or will see a blog post you share and send it to someone they know who is struggling.
I've found instagram to be an amazing place to reach out to other women who are struggling with a loss and have no one to turn to.
It's a chance to help people who haven't been through anything like this to understand the thought process and the feelings someone goes through, to help them understand how to be there for a loved one who has experienced it.
A chance to provide direction for someone as lost as I was after unexpectedly losing a child.
A chance to prove to the world that every struggle is a blessing.