It never gets old. Overhearing my daughter’s nighttime CD playing from her room while I’m downstairs getting myself and my house re-organized from our day. The disc is a compilation of songs that my uncle put together for Lucia shortly after she was born. Goodnight, My Angel, by Billy Joel is one of the last songs on the disc. It’s so beautiful, and it just gets me every time.
But what gets me even more than the song, is the fact that I have this amazing little 3 year old being tucked into her toddler bed upstairs that is laying there listening to these lullabies. When I’m up in her room getting her settled for bed, about an hour long process lately, I’m in awe. It hits me the most in the evening with her. Her innocence. Her amazement at life. Her ability to draw me in with just a look, a smile.
The truth is, there was a time when the reality of what I have now seemed so far away. It seemed like a distant dream. Five years ago, after I had lost my first baby, Marco, at 29 weeks, my dreams came crashing down. When it took me nearly 12 months to conceive again, I questioned my dreams even more.
And then, a burst of hope came when I found out I was pregnant with my daughter Lucia, almost 4 years ago now. I knew I was in for a long journey. I remember driving to my first sonogram in tears. Tears of hope and fear. It seemed almost crazy that I was taking a leap of faith in getting pregnant again after having lost my son to an unknown genetic condition. What if it happened again? What if something else happened? I was willing to risk it all, just for a chance. A chance to live out my dreams of parenting a living, breathing child.
Those 9 months of pregnancy with Lucia might as well have taken an eternity. In fact, the closer I got to her due date, the further away it seemed. Nights like the one I am living in now seemed almost unreachable. I wanted to believe it could and would happen. But you know, after your dreams have been shattered once, it’s hard. It’s just hard.
On August 2, 2011, our beautiful daughter, Lucia, was born. My world lit up that day, and it has been illuminated ever since. It has been blessed with dirty diapers, sleepless nights, books and toys scattered across a playroom, marker drawings on countless pieces of construction paper, and princess dresses. This vivacious little girl shining in the center of it all.
I share this as a reminder to all of those reading, not to give up on those dreams that you have. I know that they might seem so far away right now, so out of reach. It’s normal to feel that way when you have had a loss of this caliber. But don’t let your dreams scare you, and don’t let fear cover them with its darkness.
I also share this as a reminder to myself to keep dreaming. My dreams don’t end here with Lucia. I dream of more children. My gratefulness for Lucia is immeasurable, and (not but), I want more. I want her to have a living sibling to go through life with. I want to experience having another living baby. It is a strong, visceral desire of mine. The fear is there, and it is real. It’s taken me longer now to try for another baby than it did with Lucia. But, as I walk this journey toward conception again, I remind myself to dream, to hope, to believe.
I dream of a day when Lucia can give kisses to a little brother or sister. A day when she can sit on the couch with a pillow propped underneath her new little sibling on her lap. A day when I get to feel the warmth of a newborn again on my chest for an afternoon snooze. A day when we’ll have an outing with me wearing this new little one in an infant carrier, and Lucia holding her daddy’s hand. This is my dream. And even though it feels just a little scary to actually write it out, it also feels liberating, and it gives me even more hope.
So, I urge you to dream. It keeps us going. Dare to dream.