To my loved ones,

Thank you for supporting me through every single part of my journey to motherhood. This journey hasn’t been easy, to say the least, but you’ve been there without a question, without hesitation. I don’t quite know if you will ever truly understand just how much you mean to me.

You watched me become pregnant with our first child, after fighting to get pregnant in the first place.

You knew how special that was for us, especially having to work a little harder to get there. An unexpected diagnosis, a surgery, some medicine, and a whole lot of hope – the day finally came for us to grow our family. You all were present the day we found out we were having a little boy. You planned what was sure to be a beautiful shower. And then you watched our entire world come crashing down. You watched your children, your best friends, your siblings, lose their child. You surrounded us as we delivered an angel into this world, and you wrapped us in love. You grieved with us – you lost someone too, your grandchild, your nephew.

Family spending time with Teddy - The Sound of Silence

Author’s Personal Collection/Elizabeth Michalski

After time passed, and another surgery later, we were cleared for trying again.

One attempt was all it took, and we were expecting once again. You held your breath with us at appointments, waiting to hear the beating of a heart. You cried tears of joy when we found out we were getting to love another boy. Despite the challenges we were facing, you kept reminding us of the light at the end of the tunnel. You planned the most exquisite rainbow baby/woodland-themed shower, which I will never forget. You let us lean on you when the fear of losing another baby felt all too consuming, a reality we had already faced. And you fell in love when our sweet Nathan made his way earth-side. Despite the pandemic, you kept us sane as we balanced new parenthood during quarantine and made sure we knew we weren’t alone. Nathan was not short on snuggles or love when we finally broke quarantine and were comfortable with bringing him out into the world.

Elizabeth and Nathan

Author’s Personal Collection/Elizabeth Michalski

Then came the idea of Delilah.

You knew we wanted just one more because we wanted Nathan to have a sibling here on earth too. So you crossed your fingers for us as we took one more stroll to the fertility clinic, and came out with another positive pregnancy test. The love for another sweet baby who we cannot wait to bring home is pure joy. A beautiful girl to finally love and hold. The journey of pregnancy, and pregnancy after loss, will end on a bittersweet note once she arrives. The many appointments, the quiet fear, the extra steps, and the overwhelming amount of tears. As we will forever be navigating our grief, how we manage our journey of parenthood itself while one of our children is absent from our arms, a sense of relief and calm is going to wash over us soon, as we close this chapter in our story. And you’ve been a part of every single page.

Nathan sleeping on Mama's pregnant belly - Thank you to my loved ones

Author’s Personal Collection/Elizabeth Michalski

In case we haven’t said it enough, thank you.

Thank you for holding our hands. Grieving with us, and not letting the grief consume us. Celebrating every tiny victory along the way. Supporting our decisions when it came to how we wanted to grieve, when we wanted to try again, letting us tell the world on our own time. They say it takes a village, and we have the best dang village there is. Alex and I can never replace the love we have for Teddy, no matter how many babies we chose to have. And you made sure to keep Teddy close to your hearts. You never stopped loving him, honoring his memory, or talking about him as if he wasn’t real. Because he was, he existed even if that time was too brief. He was a part of your world just as he was ours, and we know he loves and misses you, too.

Thank you for being you, and thank you for never forgetting our angel. We love you.

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