I must admit, it sort of always bothers me to have women who have miscarriages to talk about Cora's stillbirth and say "Oh, I can't imagine what that was like," or "I thought this was hard, it must be worse for you." If it truly makes them feel better, well, fine. But in the end, I don't think that it is any "worse" to lose a baby at 38 weeks than it is at 8 weeks. It is different yes. I had to be induced, I went through labor and delivery, I had a 2nd degree tear. I had a baby's body that I had to decide what to "do" with. But I also got to see her, to hold her. I knew that she had my nose and Matt's eyes. I knew that she had red curly hair. I knew that she had big hands for a newborn. I got to, through my pregnancy, get to know her a little.
But, I don't think I grieve for her more than a woman who lost a baby earlier, who didn't get to know whether their child was a boy or a girl, or who they looked like. Who only knew that they were having a baby and nothing else yet.
On the flip side, I do NOT think that a parent whose child dies after birth has it any harder than me. I do NOT think that their grief is more, so it has also bothered me when people have tried to reassure me with "at least you didn't lose her when she was a year or two old." I truly do not believe that I would have been any more devastated had Cora died when she was a couple years old. Either way, I wouldn't have her here. And I would have memories of her to comfort myself with.
I frankly envy parents who got to see their child's eyes open before that child died. Who got to see them smile. Who got to play with them and hear them laugh. I long for that so much. But I also do not envy those parents whose child died after a long illness, who had to see their children suffer before that child died.
Either way it just sucks. Either way, you get through it by doing what you have to do each day and only that, until you can handle adding just a little more to what you can handle doing.
There's no rank to grief. Whether it be miscarriage, stillbirth, or something else, that future that you would have with that child is gone, and that hurts. There's no "better" time to have your baby die. Every person who has lost a child deserves to have that grief validated.