Saturday, June 6, 2020
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My Failings as a Mother

  • I should not have exerted myself so much in the beginning of my pregnancy because I was spotting and cramping for almost two months of my pregnancy, and it increased when I was on my feet and walking for extended periods of time
  • I should have eaten healthier and taken folic acid more consistently and taken prenatal vitamins
  • I should have exercised more
  • I should have done something about all the stress I was experiencing at work because I know that high stress levels affects fetal development
  • I should have prayed more
  • I should have asked for more prayers
  • I should have gone to church more
  • I should have requested to have my follow-up ultrasound sooner
  • I should have called the doctor when I couldn’t tell if Calvin was moving or not
  • I should have been taking better care of myself before I got pregnant
  • I should not have cried and said I didn’t want to throw up anymore the day I was throwing up every 5 minutes
  • I should have called the doctor when I was vomitting all morning
  • I should not have entertained the thought early in my pregnancy when the doctors suspected a miscarriage that maybe it was better if I had a miscarriage because Louie and I aren’t as stable as we could be
  • I never should have felt like I did not want kids
  • I never should have wanted Calvin as much as I did because maybe that’s why he was taken from me
  • I should have accepted motherhood sooner
  • I should have accepted marriage sooner
  • I should have appreciated my pregnancy more
  • I should have taken more pictures while I was pregnant with Calvin
  • I should have shared my pregnancy with more people
  • I should have documented my pregnancy better
  • I should have asked the doctor if my baby was in pain even if I was afraid of his answer
  • I should have looked at Calvin’s whole body when I had the chance and not left him wrapped up in the blankets out of fear of seeing his malformations
  • I should have shared how happy I was to be pregnant and to become a mother
  • I should have been a better person so I could be deserving of my child

I am not asking you to tell me that I wasn’t wrong. Despite all of these inadequacies, I am trying to believe that I tried my best at the time; I am trying to forgive myself. If anything, tell me that it’s okay to feel this way.

Because as much as people can tell me that it’s not my fault that I lost my baby, as much as the perinatologists and the genetic counselor can tell me that amniotic band sequence is not genetic, that there is nothing I could have done to cause it, that it was not caused by anything I failed to do, that it is such a rarity that it should never happen again and that no one I know should have to go through this…. It was my body, it was my womb – I was supposed to keep him safe until he was ready to come into this world. And after losing my son, how can I not feel like I failed my child? like I failed my husband? like I failed myself? like I failed everyone who loves this baby?

Crystal is a mother-wife-writer whose explorations include parenting, grief, food, and semi-crunchy living. She is currently an MFA in writing student, a content editor for Still Standing Magazine, and the technical editor for Switchback.

0 thoughts on “My Failings as a Mother

  1. Life is so unfair. As my OB put it, it’s rotten when you’re the one who gets stuck with the short stick. I am SO sorry you lost your son.

"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." (Ephesians 4:29)

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