I’m so confused by something. Many times I, or other parents who have lost a child, express certain emotions or bravely tell people that something bothers them or they aren’t comfortable with a situation. And they are often met with a reaction of disbelief or the person they tell will say, “Well that doesn’t make sense to me” or “ I don’t understand why you would feel that way.” These people often also try to give advice. OF COURSE YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND!! Your baby didn’t die! I hope you never do have to understand how I feel. And as for advice, just stop. You have never been in our shoes and you can’t even begin to tell me anything that would be useful. Every grieving parent has the right to handle situations however they want, whatever makes them comfortable. And here’s another personal one that bothers me. When I’m upset or discouraged people constantly tell me to pray. If you think you have to remind me to pray, then you don’t know me very well. Without the power of prayer and the grace of my God, I wouldn’t be functioning. So yeah, I pray.
I was curious to know if an emotion I was having was common among other parents who have lost a baby. So I asked a few other moms and found that I’m not alone in feeling like this. The feeling is that I refuse to hold a baby. The last baby I held was my daughter. Her lifeless little body was still in my arms and I couldn’t do a thing about it. It’s been a little over 14 months since we lost her. 14 months since I held a baby. And I’m 17 weeks along in another pregnancy and couldn’t be more ready to meet this little lady. But I cannot or do not want to hold or be around someone else’s baby. It hurts too much. Maybe it is selfish for me to say that the last baby I held was Lauren and the next one I hold will be the one growing inside me. But if people think that’s selfish, I don’t care. It’s the way I feel and I won’t be put in a situation where I have to be around or hold someone else’s baby. Does this mean I don’t like babies? Of course not! Does it mean that I’m not happy for my friends who have beautiful little infants? No way! I’m very happy for them and enjoy seeing the pictures of their children. I just simply am not comfortable being around or holding them. I’m sure there are people reading this right now that think I’m crazy, selfish, unreasonable, etc. I’m also sure that the people thinking those things have never lost a baby. It honestly think it is absolutely ridiculous that I have to try to explain or justify my feelings on this or any other matter concerning the loss of our sweet daughter.
Over the weekend we attended our second Atlanta Walk to Remember. This year we were asked to speak and share Lauren’s story. We did just that and tried to give some encouraging words to other families that are going through this nightmare that began for us 14 months ago. The event was beautiful! A few other people shared their stories, all just as emotional and touching. There was some great music. We walked around the part in memory of the babies represented there. At the end of the loop everyone had the opportunity to take a few rose petals and walk down to the Chattahoochee River and toss the petals in, reflecting on the oh so short lives of the babies we all miss with every breath. It was so special. After that there was a beautiful dove release. Also very touching. Through out the event people had the opportunity to post messages on a wall for their baby or babies. And along the paved trail people could use sidewalk chalk to write the names or messages to babies. We were blessed to have 14 of our family members attend in memory of Lauren and support us. Among those family members was one of my 10 year old nieces. Today she shared with me the message she sent to her cousin, Lauren. She told me it was OK to share her beautiful words here. Here’s what she said, (tissue alert!!)
I never did get to meet you but I know you are beautiful and I will see you one day. I’m sure you are really happy up there cause you get to see your mommy every day but in a different way and she is beautiful like you. She is a great aunt and she would be a great mommy too. She is pregnant with your sissy now and she will be just as beautiful as you are and mommy loves now and forever and so do I. I love you baby girl, Love your cousin Hannah”
How sweet and beautiful is that?! We are so blessed to have a family that remembers and loves our firstborn.
I’m 16 weeks pregnant today and we found out a couple of days ago that Lauren will be having a little sister! I can’t even begin to describe the way I felt when we found out the news. I cried tears of joy immediately. I will be the first to tell you, and have said so in my blog, that no baby could ever replace Lauren. But part of me thought that God is giving us a second chance with a daughter. Maybe from Heaven Lauren had a hand in sending us her little sister because she knew how excited we were to be preparing for a baby girl. So many emotions that reminded me of our pregnancy with Lauren.
So here is the status of our current pregnancy. Our little lady is measuring a few days ahead of where we are weight wise, and the doctor is pleased. Heart rate is good and blood flow studies on the umbilical cord look good. No signs of HELLP or pre-eclampsia. She was very active during the ultrasound and the doctor showed us her heart which looks great, too!