Three. You might have been three years old today. We planned and wished and prayed and worked hard for you, but you couldn’t stay. You were gone before we ever had a chance to know you. We miss you every day. You’re inked in our skin, and written on our hearts. You have a sister
Today is a day of remembrance for so many in the infertility community, including myself.
Share, support, grieve, and celebrate with those parents who hold a child in their hearts instead of their arms.
Please join me in lighting a candle tonight at 7pm as we remember our little ones gone too soon. ❤
“April is a promise that May is bound to keep.”
I’ve always loved springtime.
There’s just something about the smell of the earth and rain and new green things poking through the decay of fall; something about the symbolism of a colorful rebirth after a long, cold season of gray hibernation. Thunder and lightning burst open the skies and settle the earth, and warm rains wash the whole scene anew. The runoff from April showers wind their way in pretty little ribbons and streams down the streets and sidewalks. Birds and rabbits lend their songs and scampers to a blossoming seasonal backdrop in a state of perpetual forward motion.
There’s something about the spring that just makes me feel at peace in the midst of a great turbulence.
Spring gives me roots, just as it gives me wings.
It grounds me, and gives me hope.
Emerging from the cold darkness makes me appreciate the warm sunshine, and the happiness I feel this season helps me better understand the despair I’ve felt in seasons past.
Gratitude for a warm day or a stubborn crocus poking through the last of the snow does not come from a general appreciation of these beautiful things, however.
Gratitude comes from want, from need, from being without.
I’ve been without. I’ve struggled. I’ve wanted and needed and cried and pleaded for things outside of my control. I’ve been denied, I’ve been angry, and I’ve been on the verge of quitting so many times.
Once I was even given the gift of a wish granted, though it was a short-lived dream from which I was forced to awaken.
Mine was a dream that was meant to be fulfilled in April.
This month is not an easy one for me for so many reasons. While it may be a month of celebrating life, rebirth, and growth, for me it also symbolizes grief, death, and loss. The loss of a dream, of innocence, of hope, will stay with one for all of time. I certainly have not fully recovered, though time has passed by, and life has gone on.
Even being an eternal optimist does not shield a person from a lingering sadness and a strong association with a date, a month, or a time of year. Storm clouds may bring showers that help the whole world grow, but sometimes it can be so hard to see the silver lining for the rain driving into your eyes.
Spring is that time for me. Hope and despair marry, and one becomes the other; a tornado of contradictory feelings from which there is no shelter.
April always leaves me confused – sad and happy, hopeful and grieving, warm and cold – but one undeniable fact about this time of year is that it never fails to remind us of what could be, what may be, and what will be.
The rain and the sunshine gently clash, and though one could easily destroy the other, they sometimes strike a compromise and find balance. Out of that balance comes a rare beauty, a symbol of strength that’s meant to be appreciated, a promise that’s meant to be kept.
I may spend this month feeling like I’m being followed by a volatile spring storm cloud, but I know that hope is still alive, and that the sun will still shine. As time passes, and we hurtle on toward warmth and growth, the world will explode into a riot of color, I will find gratitude again, and I will know that peace may find me yet.
And if I’m lucky, maybe my dream is still out there in the breeze…
If there’s a chance that April’s promise can still be kept, I will turn my face to the wind, embrace every blustery day, and remain open to whatever the chaotic, ever-changing seasons of life blow my way.
And for all the wild and unpredictable weather of life, one thing is for certain:
I will flourish.
I will bloom.
My Dear Little One,
It’s been a year since you left, and I think of you every single day, but today especially.
You are a part of who I am now, as you have been since the moment I discovered your tiny existence… Since before that, really. You color my vision both of the past and of the present, and you will forever alter my outlook for the future.
Sometimes the thoughts of you come back unexpectedly, like when I’m digging for some trinket in my cedar chest, and your first photo catches my eye. There are times I think you have some control over my thoughts of you; it can’t just be coincidence that a feather will find me when I’m upset.
Other times though, I conjure images of what you might look like today, what your laugh might sound like. I know you’d be a funny little thing – that’s just genetics. I’d be so proud to introduce you to everyone I know, and many people I don’t know in person who hoped and prayed along with your dad and me. You’d be my absolute pride and joy today.
Still though, I am proud. Proud that I have the honor of being your mother, if maybe not in the traditional sense today. I’m proud that I carried you for however long I was able, and I’m proud that having loved you then exposed a whole side of me that I never knew existed.
I’m proud too that your loss broke my heart, but not my spirit. When you left, it forced me to rebuild, forced me to be strong in the face of so much grief and what felt like injustice at the time. Losing you taught me things about myself, and about your dad and me, that I could never have learned otherwise.
And I’m proud and grateful that you helped pave the way for those discoveries. A helpful child, just the kind any mother would be proud to have.
I hope that you’re proud of me, too. I know that things weren’t pretty at first; it took me a long time to really grieve you in a way that created any peaceful resolution. In fact, I am still working through that today. For the longest time, I put on a brave smile and went about my life all fierce and full of defiance in the face of tragedy, when in reality, what I needed was to truly feel, accept, and let go.
Once I wore myself out with all that bravado, I became fixated on getting answers as to why we lost you. To say that I was obsessed might be a bit of an understatement, and probably not my proudest moment. It took me some time to realize that answers wouldn’t bring you back, and that maybe you were part of a greater plan that I would never understand fully.
I’m living in that acceptance now. I understand that it wasn’t my body that rejected you, and it wasn’t you that failed either. You just weren’t meant to be my child on this Earth.
And that’s sad, but it’s okay.
You were meant to be my feather on the wind, my accountability, my hope. My angel.
You were meant to come and go from my life in a way that would teach me what it truly means to be a parent.
You were meant to be the inspiration for many changes that I would make, and some that I am still making in life.
You were meant to be my child – my daughter, I think – who will forever carry around a piece of my heart, while mine is still trying to mend itself.
I think that’s part of the amazing trajectory this journey has taken: a piece of my heart went missing, and you have it; yet somehow, I’m regenerating that loss. This only proves that becoming a mother, no matter in what way, causes your heart paradoxically to grow and become impervious to lasting damage, while also being more sensitive than ever.
Losing you broke my heart, but having you still has somehow mended it.
I’ll never forget you, dear one, for you’re imprinted in my heart, my soul, and my very skin. I only hope to make you proud by proving every day that I am worthy to be called someone’s mother, and to use what you’ve given me to be a better person in every way.
I love you every day.
Thank you for being mine.
I’ll love you forever,
I’ll like you for always.
As long as I’m living,
My baby you’ll be.