A Florida mom's devastating Facebook post about her experience with stillbirth is sending a powerful message to moms and dads across the social media sphere.
In a Sept. 21 post, mom Natalie Morgan shared her story of loss and issued a poignant plea to her fellow parents.
"[P]lease just remember, while you're awake at 3 a.m. because you have a baby in your arms keeping you up that late, I'm up at 3 a.m. because I don't," she wrote in her gut-wrenching post. "And I would give anything in this world to have a baby spitting up on me, being colicky for all hours of the day and night, screaming, not letting me put her down, cracking my nipples from breastfeeding, keeping me up all night."
In the post -- which has been shared over 300,000 times -- Morgan told the heartbreaking story of her daughter Eleanor Josephine, who died in utero when she was 40 weeks pregnant. The mom delivered the stillborn baby on Sept. 11, and she and her husband Brian took a series of emotional remembrance photos, which were included in the Facebook post. Michelle Ugalde a photographer from Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep, came to the hospital later that day to take more pictures.
Addressing people who have children, are pregnant or may someday in the future have little ones, the mom wrote:
"There will be times your child will scream and cry any time you try to put him or her down. Or they'll cry even as they're in your arms and you've done everything you can possibly think of to get them to stop. There will be sleepless nights, multiple diaper changes in a matter of minutes, spit up in your hair, pee on your shirt, and poop in your hands, and again -- so much screaming from the baby, and probably from you as well. Every time that happens, every time you feel frustrated and want to run away, please remember my story."
The mom described the emptiness and helplessness she felt. And even after the trauma of Eleanor's death and birth, Morgan said she's still living with painful reminders of the loss in the physical effects on her body -- from "painfully engorged breasts" and postpartum bleeding to "a stitched nether region" and "flabby stomach." Though she is the mother of a young son, Morgan said she still grieves for the parenting experiences she will never have with her daughter.
Ultimately, the mom's plea is simple but powerful. "All I ask of you is when you have your dark moments with your baby -- when you're at your wits' end and feel like you can't go on anymore when you're only getting an hour or two of sleep a night -- instead of begging your child to go to sleep and being swallowed up in your frustration and exhaustion, find the tiniest bit of strength within you to keep going, and say a prayer of gratitude for your child, as difficult as it may be in that moment," she wrote.
"And if you would, say a prayer for me and all the mothers whose children were taken from them too soon," she continued. "Say a prayer for my sweet, sweet Eleanor who never got to know life outside my womb. Please. Do it for Eleanor. And do it for her mommy who loves her and misses her beyond measure."
Also on HuffPost: