Our life was Merry Bright before kids and after kids, but we didn’t see the transitions in between – how some years were our best turned worst and others our worst turned best.

Carmen and her husband at Christmas - Carmen's Bump Day Blog, Week 31: With Grief, Gratitude, and Grace

Author’s Personal Collection/Carmen Grover

There are no pictures of me:

Leaving mid-present opening because I could no longer take it when my young cousins opened gifts like hockey sticks, knowing my kid wouldn’t get that gift or have those experiences.

Crying in the bathroom, unable to come out at a Christmas party because I should be holding a newborn, and the partying felt useless.

Learning that presents were put back into closets for our baby because no one knew what to do with them.

Me drinking Baileys while pregnant because I knew I would lose our daughter and wanted to give her the gift of a drink as family silently judged, but didn’t know what to say.

The happy pictures with the joy of my son on his first Christmas, yes, those exist, but not the missing my daughter that was dancing around in my brain.

The loss of every year there wasn’t a baby, the loss of having and celebrating babies and then knowing what we were missing.

When that baby was due in December never came home, not once but twice.

Today, we are as joyful as ever because we really are!

Carmen's family with Santa - Carmen's Bump Day Blog, Week 31: With Grief, Gratitude, and Grace

Author’s Personal Collection/Carmen Grover

We are sincerely happy with the life we get to have with the lives we never thought we would get to raise and create these magical traditions with. They are our best presents ever, and we are forever grateful.

Baby's First Christmas - Carmen's Bump Day Blog, Week 31: With Grief, Gratitude, and Grace

Author’s Personal Collection/Carmen Grover

Yes, a lot of pain and hurt came in between. I don’t remember much of the holidays because my grief became my own tranquilizer. It can be so hard, but don’t feel badly or like you need to explain or apologize for drinking, leaving early, not going, or just crying in a room because it is all part of it. The sorrow and pain allow us to get to where we are. Sending so much love to you and yours.

Family at Christmas - Carmen's Bump Day Blog, Week 31: With Grief, Gratitude, and Grace

Author’s Personal Collection/Carmen Grover

I’d like to share a story my Family Doctor told me when meeting him for the first time after recounting our history. He ended the visit by saying, “My Grandma also had seven losses, and then she had my mom. They named her Angela, and that suits her perfectly as she is an angel to me and the seven of her children.”

Family at Christmas - Carmen's Bump Day Blog, Week 31: With Grief, Gratitude, and Grace

Author’s Personal Collection/Carmen Grover

You never know what your story in between the missing pictures may bring.

There’s always so much missing, and yet, there’s always so much too, because there is love and sometimes a secret kind of magic working in between. 

Read Past Bump Day Blogs from Carmen:

More on this topic:

Share this story!