Week 35 held one of the most significant anniversaries for our family. One year ago from last Friday our son met Jesus. One year ago I became a member of a parents’ most dreaded group. An awful, terrible community full of stories that most mother’s and father’s nightmares are only made up of. A heartbreaking community full of–hands down–the most wonderful people I’ve ever met in my full 23 years on earth. Some of the women in this community have become great friends of mine. These incredible people are the parents and tellers of their child’s story. I became a member of the childloss community.
I would do anything to NOT be a part of this group. If I wasn’t a part of this group it would mean that my son was still alive. I’m sure I’m not alone in this thought. But here I am. I’ll always be here, so I have to recognize the beauty that lives here, too. These stories (or nightmares, to most) are often so beautiful and so obviously full of a love more unconditional than I’ve ever encountered person-to-person before this. A love so deep that it penetrates the grave. It can also be a strange group to be in..
It’s strange because pregnancy after loss is a “trigger” to most in the childloss community (myself sometimes included) but losing a baby is “normal” (after all, it’s how we ended up in this group). Now I’m pregnant after the loss of my son and I’ll once again be welcomed back into the new moms club, but not for long. I don’t belong there. They won’t want me there when they find out that I hold the reality of childloss in my heart.
This is why I’m so grateful for the pregnancy after loss support (PALS) community. I’m comfortable here (whether I want to be or not). I can mourn my loss and celebrate the life swelling within me without feeling out of place.
…back to week 35 (I’ll go ahead and blame the pregnancy brain for that tangent)…
We did a healthy amount of both mourning and rejoicing this week. We took a trip to the Ronald McDonald House on Abraham’s “angelversary” where we stayed while he was in the hospital last year to deliver a donation that our friends and family brought to our daughter’s 3rd birthday party in memory of Abraham for the RMH.
That was difficult. From there we took our daughter to the Children’s Museum and spent a full day there before doing a little retail therapy and heading home. On the way home my husband and I reminisced about our biweekly drives to the children’s hospital taking the same route during my last pregnancy. We were so full of hope. Losing Abraham didn’t ruin our hope for this child. We’re so full of hope for this baby, too.
I took the photo above after realizing that I have only shared one “bumpie” during this entire Bump Day Blog weekly journey and it was several weeks ago. It brought tears to my eyes (hello pregnancy hormones) thinking about it because I documented both of my previous pregnancies religiously, week by week. It also made me aware of how surreal this pregnancy has been so far. I vividly remember being well aware of my body changing with my other two pregnancies, so you can imagine my surprise when I woke up one morning, looked down and (literally) thought, “oh, sh*t…where’d my toes go?!” Reality struck hard upon realizing that I have let almost this whole pregnancy sneak past me and now suddenly I’m in the home stretch and about to burst and I’ve been holding my breath since peeing on the stick. It’s about time I breathe in. With that I’ll add that I also finally made my first counseling appointment since a few weeks after losing Abraham this week. I’ll call that progress when I’m actually sitting at that appointment.
We ended week 35 at the pumpkin patch, picking out pumpkins for ALL of our little punkins. The one above me, beside me, and inside me.
Overall, we spent week 35 finding and celebrating the beauty among us. The beauty in the thought of our son meeting Jesus, the beautiful new friends dwelling in a heartbreaking community, the beauty in being able to conceive again and carry this baby, the beauty in our family as a whole…