It’s been far too long since I’ve written in this space. A little over a month ago, I decided to write about a child I never got to meet. The one that didn’t come into this world to overjoyed parents anxiously awaiting their birth. My baby whose life was cut short far too early.
After I planned to share this story with you, I basically turned off the lights around here. I knew this would be painful and rather than walk through the darkness, I opted to just quit writing. I’m very extreme like that.
The reason I so badly wanted to finally tell you about this precious baby of mine is in honor of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. And since today is the last day of this much needed month of remembrance, here is our story…
My sweet husband held tightly to my hand as we all held our breath waiting to hear the tiny heartbeat. Earlier that day, I saw blood where it shouldn’t have been. I knew at that moment something terrible was happening to my body and that of my unborn child’s.
Even more than what this entailed physically was what I sensed taking place deep in my soul, something I would never fully recover from.
The nurse called the doctor in, hoping his extra years of medical school might miraculously find the lost tempo of my baby’s heart. He tried with no success. My husband picked up my purse, knowing I would be lucky to drag myself to our car.
That moment on the exam table shattered me on so many levels. I wanted to stay there for hours waiting to hear the small pounding all us mommies adore on each prenatal visit. The simple beat that tells us everything is okay. It assures us our little human is thriving.
I left the office knowing the child in my womb was not thriving anymore. This was his or her end and I would never even know what gender to refer to my little angel already in the arms of Jesus.
After the loss of an unborn child, the doctor will often have to remove the fetus from its grieving mother. Unfortunately, our family was leaving two days later for Disney. I think any right minded woman would obviously cancel this upcoming trip to heal from this incredible trauma.
My daughter had recently been diagnosed with diabetes and we were traveling to Florida for a conference for kids struggling with this difficult disease. And now she was dealing with the loss of being a big sister too. So we packed our bags and headed out, all 4 of us, my husband, daughter, me and my womb, so full and empty at the very same time.
The trip was painful, as you could imagine. I tried to keep a smile on my face while my strong, brave daughter learned the ins and outs of a disease we lost her father to only a few short years before. She knew far too much tragedy and I was determined to help her focus on just one at a time.
In moments I hid alone during that 7 days which seemed like months, I laid my hands on my belly and tried to cherish every last second I would be able to spend with my baby. I dreaded going home to a doctor who would empty my womb of this precious child forever more.
But eventually we took the long road home and within mere days, my baby was taken from me.
A year and a half later, we welcomed a screaming tiny boy into our family. Every appointment of that pregnancy I entered with a little less dread and a bit more hope. I started healing, rebuilding my faith, and trusting again.
My little girl who finally had her big sister dream realized, is now pregnant with her first child. As I watch that adorable belly grow and the days get closer to a little one calling me GiGi, I stay positive and overjoyed for her. I try hard not to think about the heart breaking and frighteningly silent exam room I sat in all those years ago.
Those of us who suffered with the loss of a baby fully understand the pain of those memories. We each remember the excruciating details of when we learned our child would never call us mom. Their little arms would never reach around us and squeeze with the power only a toddler could muster up.
We know the sadness of wondering who those lost children would become as adults, what would bring them true joy, how many grandchildren they could have given us… We understand the hole left behind that’s never completely filled again.
This is why I wanted to share my story today. Months dedicated to awareness for these painful life circumstances so many of us suffer through need to be filled with our stories. We need to let those walking through this after us know they’re not alone. We have traveled that dark, lonely road and are here to not only tell our stories, but listen to yours as well.
Shining light on the darkness is truly as simple as sharing our pain. Reach out a hand and whisper, “Me too, sister.” This short, powerful statement can work miracles.
Today I’m praying for every one of us who has felt this deep heartache. I pray for the babies taken too soon. And most of all, I pray we will stand beside each other as women, sisters, mothers, and souls in need of healing.
As always, thank you for being on this journey with me. If you are new here, please subscribe to my free newsletter so we can get to know each other better.