“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.” Ecclesiastes 3:1-4
Week 34 was so eventful. It gave us a small taste, or reminder of some of the “seasons” described in Ecclesiastes. Those verses were running through my head a good majority of the week.
On Saturday we had a birthday party celebrating my daughter, Juliette turning 3! It was a wonderful party celebrating 3 wonderful years with an incredible little girl. We celebrated her “time to be born”, but we also celebrated Abraham’s 1st birthday day, too. The only difference is that he wasn’t at the party to celebrate with us, so in recognizing his time to be born we also had to remember his time to die has already passed, long before I ever wanted it to. We sang Juliette “Happy Birthday” with smiles and giggles, blowing out candles and clapping. We sang Abraham the same song at the end of the party but the mood was a bit different. I managed to choke out “Happy Birth..day..” before beginning to cry and being unable to continue. The tear filled eyes of our closest family and friends showed me it wasn’t an easy task for them to finish the song either. Instead of candles, cake and clapping we released heartfelt note covered (“biodegradable”) balloons and sent them to the sky. Both acts of recognizing a birth were beautiful. One was just easier to celebrate than the other. All in one day, there was “a time to weep and a time to laugh”. Since losing Abraham, days like those are a raw and real depiction of my life now more than days where my emotional state is steady and unwavering.
Rewind a little further in our week 34 to last Thursday, we had another day that was full of mixed emotions. My husband and I made the decision to have a fetal echo of this baby done. We had previously discussed avoiding this due to baby looking healthy on ultrasound and having no red flags indicating CHD. We ultimately changed our minds when we learned of two sweet little boys (from different families) that were thought to be healthy while in utero and upon being born both were transferred to more reputable children’s hospitals and have since undergone open heart surgery for different CHDs.
Abraham’s birth was so traumatic even being as prepared as possible for the worst outcome and knowing he’d be taken right from us. I can’t imagine thinking I was having a healthy baby only to find out that my baby would need intense medical intervention and surgery to live. So, we traveled back to the place that holds all parents worst nightmares–the hospital where Abraham died. Also, where he lived. His home. We met with some of the medical team that had taken care of Abraham. To our surprise, they mourned with us even after a year. Not only that, but they remembered little things about our boy and our family that wouldn’t have been just written in my chart. They mourned with us, but they also danced with us upon finding out what we had already expected–our baby is healthy head to toe. The fetal echo was beautiful.
Everyone we talked to said something along the lines of “God wouldn’t do that to you twice”, etc. Being in the child loss community has taught us that that is not the truth. If it can happen once it can happen again and if you are able to conceive a child you aren’t immune to losing that child.