Thankful Thursday (10/16)
Yesterday was Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day.
In fact, the entire month of October is dedicated to the loss of babies.
Write-ups have been all over social media trying to bring awareness.
25% of pregnancies end in miscarriage or infant loss.
Those statistics are staggering.
I am the 1 in 4.
A few weeks ago, my mother-in-law came to visit. She brought with her lots of things they had been storing for us.
One box in particular held children's books. I love getting new books for us to read together, but these were different.
These books were given to us at our gender-reveal party for Hadley. We had invited those closest to us to help us celebrate our girl. Each book has a dedication to her in it.
I can read the books, but I can't yet read the words our friends and family wrote. I tried, but as soon as I saw things like, "your parents love you so much," and "hope you enjoy reading this with your mom and dad for many years to come," I had to stop.
I still think of her. Our Hadley Grace.
She would be 2 1/2 now.
I can see her, with her curly hair bouncing, playing with Jack, loving on Ella. Learning and growing and smiling. Her feet dancing and her voice sweet with laughter and song.
I imagine what it would be like to have three wee ones. The joy and the madness. The chaos and the love.
I have always wanted a big family. Maybe it's because I was practically an only child once my sister got married. I was 6 at the time. Before that, she was there, but in the teenage-girl-with-things-to-do-and-people-to-see sense. I played by myself and had a great imagination, but I always wanted a little sister or little brother to play with. I probably drove my mom crazy wanting her to pretend with me.
In any event, my dreams of having lots of children has been altered. And, I'm not thrilled. In fact, a lot of me wishes that we didn't know about my uterus and that we could just go on happily as if everything were hunky-dory. That way, we could go on "not-trying-but-not-preventing" and be so elated if we were granted another one. It almost feels like by actively preventing, we're thwarting God's plans. Like we don't trust him. He protected us through my pregnancies with Jack and Ella, so why couldn't He do it again?
I know many people would say to just be happy with the two healthy children we have. That we'd be greedy and/or stupid to chance another pregnancy like we had with Hadley. And, maybe those folks are right. It doesn't make it easier though.
A friend of mine posted this article on Facebook a few days ago, and it really hit home.
My response was this:
No, our situation isn't quite the same, and yes, we are VERY thankful for the two blessings with whom we've been entrusted, but it's still very possible for me to grieve and to be sad over the very real possibility/probability that Ella is the last baby my body will grow and nourish. Her firsts have become both joyous and sad. I breathe in her baby snuggles as she nuzzles my neck, and I try to memorize that feeling. I hear the coos and see the smiles, and inwardly I want to stop time, so I can have her like this for just a little longer. These baby moments go by so quickly, and tomorrow she'll be starting school. Yesterday, I told The Husband that I want her to always sleep in our room, and I was only half-kidding.
The Husband and I have spoken about adoption on several occasions, so I am comforted some knowing that even if I can't carry another love inside my womb, it's possible for me to love and mother another child. Maybe in a few years we can explore that option.
I started this post as a means of remembering Hadley and for saying what I'm thankful for this Thursday, and now I frankly don't know how to end it.
I guess this will have to do:
She made me a mom, and she gave us 6 months of joy, for which I'm very thankful.
We'll miss her for a lifetime.
If you are the 1 in 4, too, I'm sending you a big virtual hug and hoping that time eases the sadness you feel just as it has eased mine.