But am I a mom?

I am a wife, sister, daughter, nurse, friend, owner of an insanely spoiled (but adorable) Australian Shepherd, but am I a mother? This is a question that has plagued me since we lost Quinn when I was almost 34 weeks pregnant. To give some background, my husband and I had a normal night at home until we were about to go to bed. I suddenly panicked because I couldn’t remember the last time I had felt her kick. She was always an active baby, especially at night. I felt her kick for the first time at night when I was 14 weeks pregnant. It was so strong that it moved my hand. She would kick me in my ribs and you could see my whole stomach move as she would do her acrobatics. After calling the doctor and doing a kick count for an hour, we were instructed to go to the hospital. The events of the next 36 hours will forever be burned into my brain. As I lay on the stretcher in triage and watched the nurse search for a heartbeat, tears began to fall. For a brief moment she thought she found something but when I looked down at my stomach and saw how deeply she had the monitor pressed in I knew she had to be picking up my heartbeat. In came the resident with the ultrasound, I see our baby flash on the screen. The resident then says I’m going to get the doctor. I knew then that our world was coming crashing in on us. Anytime a doctor says they are going to get another doctor, it isn’t going to end well. The attending physician came in and again performed an ultrasound; again Quinn flashes on the screen. As I stare at the screen I ask the question that I already knew the answer to, is there a heartbeat? The doctor simply says, “I’m so sorry there isn’t.” Nothing in life can ever prepare you for the loss of a child much less the thought of delivering a lifeless baby.

So that brings me back to my original question, am I a mother? I have had many people assure me that I most certainly am. You carried her for 8 months they say. While that is obviously the case, there are times when I don’t feel as such. I am around moms everyday who can talk about their children and show their children’s pictures. They speak of milestones and sleepless nights and those wonderful baby laughs. They get to watch their little ones grow and see how their personality develops. We will never get to experience any of those with Quinn. We got to spend 4 hours with her after I delivered. We held her and dressed her and loved her so fiercely but that was all we got. Those were our moments to be mom and dad to her, the only chance we got to take pictures as a little family of 3. We left the hospital with a cardboard box of memories, but no baby.

In the days and weeks since Quinn left us I have come to the conclusion in regards to my motherhood status, I am but I am not. Right now I have no one to call me mommy. I will always be her mom but for now I have to learn to live with the hole in my heart created by her absence.

8 thoughts on “But am I a mom?

  1. Holly my heart breaks for you and I am so very sorry you had to endure the loss of your baby girl. Quinn is such a beautiful name and you most certainly are a mom! I’ll never be able to find the words to express how sorry I am, but I just wanted to say I think of you, your husband and baby Quinn often. It doesn’t seem fair things like this happen to such good, deserving people. I hope you are finding the strength to make it through and live on for your sweet baby girl💜

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  2. I struggled with this same question and I came to the same conclusion. We know the unconditional love a mother has for her child. We were not lucky enough to be able to raise our daughters but we will carry the love we have for them for the rest of our lives. I am so very sorry for the loss of your daughter.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for reading our story, I have found such comfort in reading other mother’s experiences with loss and stillbirth. It has helped my husband and I feel less alone in our journey.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Holly and Cappy,
    I’ve been meaning to send a card that has been sitting on my kitchen counter for quite some time now. I am guilty of avoidance. Shame on me because when my niece died, it killed me that people would avoid the subject of her with me. I NEEDED people to acknowledge her life.
    So I apologize for not sending that card yet.
    I met someone the other day that worked with you and Lindsay at Mercy. We talked about your tragic loss. He had heard about Quinn through the grapevine.
    All 3 of you remain in my thoughts and prayers. Hugs to you and Cappy. You ARE a mother….your child just happens to reside with Jesus. Love, Shelly

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    • Shelly,
      Thank you so much for taking the time to read what we’ve written. You don’t have to apologize for not sending a card! It’s OK! We hope you are doing well!

      Love,
      Holly and Cappy

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  4. Holly,

    As I write this, tears stream down my face. I’m so absolutely and utterly sorry for the loss of baby Quinn. I cannot begin to take my mind to the place you and your husband have been. I think about you so often and wonder how you’re doing. . I’m glad you have found comfort in writing and keeping Quinn’s memory alive. Again, I’m so sorry for your loss.

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