Mom's Postpartum Photo Reveals a Painful Truth About Pregnancy Loss

postpartum photo and pregnancy loss
habe_mccoy/Instagram

We've all seen so many candid, post-baby photos of mothers that they hardly seem out of the ordinary to most of us. From stretch marks to loose skin, we think we've seen it all -- but we should be careful not to box all moms into the same category. While many new mothers are adjusting to their post-baby bodies as they kiss on their brand-new little one, there are others who are grieving the baby they aren't able to hold. Jessica McCoy's postpartum photo after her pregnancy loss shows the harrowing physical reminders women cope with while trying to find the strength to deal with such a heartbreaking situation.

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McCoy, a 27-year-old mom (Jessica has a 6-year-old son named Brennan and two stepchildren), discovered 20 weeks into her pregnancy with her daughter, Evelyn Louise, that her sweet baby girl had spina bifida and a chromosomal deletion that would require numerous surgeries for LO. Fearing their precious daughter would have painful days ahead, McCoy and her husband decided to have a late-term abortion.

"It just wasn't very likely she would be okay," the mom tells Huffington Post. "We were devastated and we still are. But, we knew that it was the kindest, most loving choice we could make, to end her life before it began, so that she would never have to suffer. We now bear that suffering, so she didn't have to."

More from CafeMom: Miscarriage Is More Than Heartbreaking -- It's Expensive

Now a couple months postpartum, Jessica's tearful Instagram post about pregnancy loss speaks to a reality so many women endure in silence.

Mom Jessica McCoy shares the painful process of grieving a pregnancy loss.
habe_mccoy/Instagram

"The fact that I am bigger than I normally am and don't have my baby makes it harder," McCoy writes in her photo's caption. She continues:

I dealt with a postpartum body after Brennan. And I was uncomfortable in my larger body, but it grew my beautiful little man and how could I be upset with it when I looked at him? Every day I get clothes on and they're tight. And every day I'm reminded that I grew my baby for six months and she died. It really is a constant reminder to me. I don't have love for my body. I am angry at it right now. I can't be body positive right now. It's too hard and it hurts too much.

I'm working on losing this weight so it isn't one more thing that is a constant reminder. I really think my hormones are making it difficult to do so with my normal routine. That's why I enlisted the help of a friend who is a personal trainer. I'm really hoping it helps me. Because looking in the mirror at my uncovered body hurts.

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So incredibly sad.

As a mother, I know what it feels like to count every baby kick and track every pregnancy milestone. There's an indescribable amount of joy that fills your heart knowing you're carrying a child you will love with all of your being until you take your last breath. The thought of not being able to fully bask in the joys of being a mother just breaks my heart for Jessica and for other mommies faced with such an unimaginable and devastating situation.

If there's any light that could come at the end of such a dark tunnel, Jessica feels hopeful her message will encourage other women going through similar experiences and reassure them that they aren't alone.

"Sharing Evie's story has been SO helpful for my healing journey," McCoy tells Huffington Post. "So many other women have been saying that's exactly how they feel and it's nice to feel like they aren't alone, which makes it all worth it to me. Pregnancy loss is such a hard and awful road to have to walk. It is comforting knowing that there are others who share your pain and are traveling the same road as you."

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Though we don't have the power to change certain realities, we do have the power to share our stories and encourage and love other moms for the sake of building up our community of amazing women.

Thank you, Jessica, for your honesty, your truth, and your willingness to share such a vulnerable and painful part of your life.

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