It is one of my favorite months, if not my absolute favorite. The leaves have been falling, coating the sidewalks crispy colors of orange and brown and red and yellow. The mornings are brisk and fog filled, skies blue by noon, evenings cool and clear to the stars. Walks with warm coffee in hand? Yes please. Walks pushing a stroller of two babes? All the yeses. The privilege is not lost on me.
October is also Baby Loss Awareness month. Whether it be through miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant death...we are invited to take a moment and remember the little ones gone too soon.
Last October I should have been 8 months round, nearing my due date in November. But we said goodbye to that little one, so wanted and so loved, so precious and so cherished. It felt so undeserved, losing that little baby we tried so hard for.
I was pregnant, though. With Ira. Barely, only 5.5 weeks in, but I was pregnant. I remember being slightly confused about it all - if I had not miscarried our first baby, I would not be carrying this baby (Ira). That was and still is an odd reality to process.
We had just finished our expensive homestudy and were in the thick of pursuing a baby through domestic adoption. We knew it was possible I could become pregnant during these months since we weren't avoiding it by any means, wehoped for it actually, but didn't actually expect to. So many questions and fears, so much hope and excitement when those two pink lines revealed parallel. The vastness of all of the feelings we experienced seem like too much, looking back. But...I'm learning that feeling things is never too much.
And so, because feeling offers fullness of life and remembering slows us down and gratitude freezes time, I am choosing to remember the baby we lost as well as so many other babies I know who left this earth too soon. I am remembering them, in their brief existence here on earth leaving their eternal impact on those of us they touched.
In remembering our baby gone too soon, I now feel a sense of calm peace. Steady. I didn't think I would ever come to a place of calm, steady peace over this dear loss. The true peace may have to do with the fact that I have Ira to smooch and snuggle, that I have Sage to tickle and squeeze..this undeserved life brings me to a place of pure gratitude.
Healing may also have a lot to do with time.
Time heals, doesn't it? I didn't want to be told that, because I didn't actually care in those moments...in those raw, dark moments, no one wants to hear about how one day they'll be fine and uncover peace. I could not bring myself to see past the trauma of losing our first baby; it felt that by doing so, I was being asked to pretend he didn't exist or that it didn't matter. I wanted to be validated exactly where we were at, given permission to just be. Some people did that for me, for us. They validated our loss, the darkness we seemed to reside in, the pain we felt. They were patient with me as I honestly navigated that loss.
SO here we are. October 2016. My heart couldn't be fuller. I feel as though I am finally running in the lane I was created to run in: mama-hood. Too many of my friends, virtual and real-life, are still aching to join me in this lane. As we walk through this month, this month that shouts to remember babies gone too soon and bring awareness to the 1/4 pregnancies that end too soon...I promise to continue praying for all of my dear friends who are still grieving the loss of their little ones and also the friends waiting to conceive (for the first time or again).
I give you my word, that as I am tempted to be frustrated in the face of exhaustion, I will slow down to remember your baby and mine, gone too soon, and choose gratefulness for the ones in my arms.