When You See Me Smiling

By |2018-07-16T21:42:02+00:00July 16th, 2018|Parenting After Loss, Pregnancy|8 Comments

You see me smiling in my pictures and assume I am not afraid. You assume I am over it. You assume all is well.

I have never ever been more afraid in my life. I have never ever faced a fear of this magnitude.

Yes, this is my second pregnancy after loss. But, would you believe me if I told you I remember nothing from that first pregnancy after loss?

As a matter of fact, my life was such a blur that I actually had Leighton, my Rainbow baby, in the same exact hospital where I lost Leilani (my angel) with the same exact doctors.

So today I am actually mentally, spiritually, physically HERE on planet earth in my body. Don’t ask me where I was before because I honestly don’t know. All I know is that everything that I am feeling is brand new to me, and it feels 100 times deeper.

Although my fears of losing another baby are always with me, I feel blessed and shocked at the fact that I am here again.

I haven’t smiled this hard in a long time. But, I also haven’t cried and felt this hurt in a long time.

I miss Leilani, and sometimes wonder how I managed to save all my other children and not her. But one thing is for sure, I am FEELING it all. As hard as it is, there’s no other place I’d rather be. I haven’t been this alive in a long time.

My smiles are real. But know that behind that smile, there is also fear, anxiety, lack of sleep, hope, and a praying mad woman that is only focused on bringing her baby home alive.

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About the Author:

Ingrid Santana
Ingrid Santana is the Instagram Manager for Pregnancy After Loss Support and resides in New York City. She is a mother of her first son Liam, her daughter Leilani who was stillborn, a rainbow baby son Leighton, and her double rainbow Langston Leander. She is a stay at home mom and a motivated self-employed fitness coach. After the loss of her daughter Ingrid felt hopeless, alone, and empty. She didn’t understand how in this day and age things like this still happened. After getting back on her feet, she decided she wanted to help others know that stillbirths can still happen today. Ingrid also, when inspired, writes occasionally on her blog Staying fit for my L's, about her experience and thoughts on life as a mother/wife before and after her pregnancy after loss and fitness journey. You can also follow her on Instagram at @stayingfitformls.


  1. Anna July 17, 2018 at 3:53 am - Reply

    Yes, so true! Smiles and joy are real but so are fear, grief and heartache. I had that happen to me very often when we first had our rainbow son a year ago after losing our firstborn daughter Linna a year before. Everybody would say, “you guys look so happy!” or “I’m so glad to see you smiling like this” and I would feel so missconveived. Yes we were happy about our rainbow son, just as any other parent would be, but we were still grieving and feeling sad simultaneously. I wish people would get that joy and grief can coexist and being thankful and happy about a rainbow child (or anything else great in life really) doesn’t mean you are over the child you lost or will ever get over it.

    • Ingrid Santana
      Ingrid Santana July 17, 2018 at 4:41 pm - Reply

      I couldn’t agree more. That is exactly how I feel. People treat me as if I should be over it because I am having my second rainbow but it doesn’t change anything I still miss my daughter and I always will. Sending you love and light. There are so many feelings involved it is sometimes so hard to explain.

  2. Kateryna John July 17, 2018 at 7:33 pm - Reply

    We tried for a couple years, then were told by doctors that we could never have kids. For eight years, I watched all my friends have kids… Finally, I decided to get a second opinion from a fertility clinic. Now (even though I’m old) I have a healthy 4-mo-old baby!

    You’re not alone! And I truly hope it works out for you guys, with minimal stress and expense. Sending good vibes your way.

    • Ingrid Santana
      Ingrid Santana July 19, 2018 at 8:57 am - Reply

      Thank you so much. I hope so as well! I won’t give up. Age is just a number you aren’t old. I think you are amazing for not giving up! I commend you and pray all women can be as patient! Xxxx

  3. Michelle (Camilas.mommy) July 19, 2018 at 6:05 am - Reply

    Currently stuck in a fog, similar to how you felt when you had Leighton. My rainbow baby is almost 4 months old now… it was a longggg journey to get to where we are now. I thank god everyday for this beautiful blessing but I feel like I’m not 100% here and I hate it. I want to be able to feel EVERYTHING. I don’t want to forget a thing. I just don’t know how to snap out of this uncomfortable stage.

    • Ingrid Santana
      Ingrid Santana August 17, 2018 at 2:24 am - Reply

      I went through this with my first rainbow…I can totally understand this. Honestly you can start by joining a group therapy! Being around women who have been through the same thing we have been helps so much. If you aren’t ready for that you can always chat with me I am willing to listen and help you through this. xxx

  4. Megan August 7, 2018 at 1:48 pm - Reply

    I know exactly how feel. I have suffered 2 losses and with this pregnancy, although everything looks to be going as planned, my fears are outweighing everything. It is so hard to not be scared when you have suffered a loss of a child, let alone 2. No one understands, as you said. It is a lonely process. I found this website today, and it feels great to know I am not alone. Keep your head up and thank you for being an inspiration.

    • Ingrid Santana
      Ingrid Santana August 17, 2018 at 2:22 am - Reply

      I am so sorry for your losses. And I agree it is totally scary and so lonely..but you are definitely not alone in this community we help each other out no matter what. We are the only ones that truly understand each other. Sending you love and light and praying for you!

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