Survival

Over the last few months I’ve wanted to sit and write here a thousand times. I always wondered why mothers seemed to abandon their blogs once their rainbow babies came along. I swore I wouldn’t be one of those mothers. But life gets in the way, and I spend every waking moment with my little rainbow. I don’t want to miss a moment of his existence. He is my life. He taught me how to live after I thought I had died.

There isn’t a day that goes by, not a second that passes, that I don’t wonder what life would be like with Everlee here. I constantly wonder how they would compare – would they have hit their milestones the same times? Would she love being a big sister? I could be consumed by the wonder if I let myself.

Tomorrow, October 15th, is Pregnancy and infant loss awareness day. Last weekend we attended the annual walk to remember here in town at Bowring park. Last year I didn’t think my heart could handle sitting there in that room with so many other families who had suffered like mine had. In fact, the crushing pain just about killed me that day (like many other days). There were so many there that were so much further along in their grief journey than me. Some had teeny tiny rainbow babies, other people had been attending so long that their rainbows were nearly grown.

And some had no rainbows.

I vividly remember sitting there wondering if I would ever find myself in the more mature stages of grief, or if I would always feel so exposed and so raw. Some of those women became those that I looked to, an inspiration. I looked at them and could truly see that the raw, all consuming pain was survivable, if I could only hang on just a little longer. Little did I know then I was actually pregnant on Finnegan – barely.

This year I stood in the back of the room and helped rock my fussy baby. I remember how baby squeaks in the room cut me like a knife last year (and gave me hope at the same time). I was acutely aware of how important it was that Finn remain quiet. I listened with tears flowing down my face as they read my sweet baby’s name. I hummed quietly to my little rainbow as they sang “it may take awhile but I’ll get by”. And I looked at the other women in the room, some still further in their grief journey than me, but some in that raw place I was in last year.

After the walk was over one of those women who served as a reminder to me that I could come out of it alive came up to me to meet Finnegan. We chatted for awhile and as we parted ways I thanked her for being that symbol of survival to me. And she looked at me and told me that this year I may very well be that symbol for someone else.
I never thought of it that way.

I am a symbol of survival.

Baby loss is not something you wear on your face or in your heart, you live it with your whole being. Every single day.

I’ll always write here. This is where I don’t feel like someone will judge me, or change the conversation if I say her name. God, I love it when people say her name. It validates to me that she wasn’t just a dream, that she was so real and important. This will always be my space to openly be a mother to my daughter. I want to make time for her. I want to have time to sit with my thoughts and reflect on all that we’ve been through. The only way I can introduce you to my daughter is through me. I miss her. Every single day something is missing. SHE is missing. But as her mother I am proud of her. She was here and she mattered and she left a beautiful legacy of love behind her. I can get through this because her life, no matter how short, was bigger than her loss. I can sit here and say because of her I am strong, even when I don’t want to be. I’m sad all of the time because she’s not here, but that’s natural. I’m living. I’m proud. I’m hopeful. And I will forever be her mother.

Wherever you are in your grief, know this: you’re not alone. Your baby matters. And you will survive.