Today should be one of the best days of my life. My husband and I should be meeting our baby this very day. Ever so sadly, we are not and today is now a day I have been grieving and even dreading.
While we lost Eli months ago, today solidifies that he really is not going to be with us here on earth. Today hardens the pain because I am reminded over and over again in my thoughts of what should be happening and then realizing what actually is. A day hasn’t gone by that I haven’t thought about him. He went too soon but he continues to be a part of my heart, a part of who I am, a part of our family.
People don’t talk about miscarriage. Your whole life is lost and yet you are expected to sweep it under the rug. You are advised not to tell anyone you are pregnant until 12 weeks so that you can avoid the painful conversations if your baby does not make it past those crucial three months. One day, you have this perfect, remarkable process going on in your body and then the next day it is gone and life is expected to move forward just as it was before you saw the two pink lines. These may the norms and standards of our society, but I will not let this be the case for my babies. I will not. I cannot. I will not move on as though they never existed. We have two angels that we never got to meet here on earth but I will not live my life as though they did not change me forever, as though they were not a part of me and as though they did not make a mark in this world.
As this day came closer, I felt the need to connect with others who have struggled the way I have. I wanted to find a book that I could cry over that told the stories of those who have lost their everything and how they picked up the pieces because I needed a connection to hope. Walking through the bookstore, I was disheartened by the fact that there was no specific section that housed books on pregnancy loss and miscarriage. Sure Amazon had a list, but I thought certainly between the parenting section, self help and women’s health there would be something. And ask an associate? Well, I just wasn’t up for crying to them so I left empty handed.
Why is no one writing about this? Why are our babies not getting the voices they deserve?
Recently, Facebook’s founder shared with the world that he and his wife are pregnant but it is actually their 4th baby. The Zuckerbergs opened up about how lonely and painful the process is. They talked about how miscarriage is not discussed and due to this it only makes you feel all the more alone and distant. The thing is though, so many people experience it. Yet the conversations are just not happening.
Most people don’t discuss miscarriages because you worry your problems will distance you or reflect upon you — as if you’re defective or did something to cause this. So you struggle on your own,” (Mark Zuckerberg)
After losing Eli, my entire world collapsed. We had already lost one baby, Josie Florene, so I was certain it could not happen twice in a row. From the very moment the pink lines appear, your baby is your absolute everything. Nothing before seems to exist and every decision thereafter is impacted by the miracle that is growing inside of you. Regardless of how many weeks you may be pregnant, there is no denying the love of a mother. Our babies are ours forever, no matter how long they are here with us on earth.
I did not get to hold my babies and I did not get to hear them cry. There is no nursery and I don’t have a belly to show that these two babies came into my life. But they are my babies. And my babies are not the only ones. So many more burst our hearts with joy and then leave this world before they are ever held in our arms. Let their stories be told. Do not move forward quietly. Do not be distanced. Do not struggle alone. It doesn’t have to be this way.
As this day approached, I decided to start writing letters to Eli. I needed a way to process my pain and these little conversations continued to remind me that he is real and that he is still here in my heart. I needed validation that I am a mother as this seems to be one of the biggest issues I have had throughout these losses. Today, the day that I should be holding my little miracle, I will share with you some of these letters. I want him to be as real to you as he is to me. I want his story to be heard and for the world to know my love for my angel.
My Sweet Eli,
Why? That’s all I seem to ask these days. Why? Why are you not here? Why does it hurt so bad? Why were you taken from me? I have done nothing but love you since the moment I knew you were with me. You were here and then suddenly, my everything was gone. I had everything when you were here and now I am so alone.
Nothing made me happier than being your mommy. Nothing gave me more purpose in life. (Well aside from being Josie’s mother, of course 😉 ) You made me smile and glow in a way I never did before. I walked taller and even through the exhaustion, I had more energy each day. You brought me to life. You made me the best version of me. You made my body even more beautiful because it was your home. What a special gift you gave me. I love you.
I’m so sorry. I’m sorry that I only got to feel you with me here for such a short time. I’m sorry I wasn’t always the parent I dreamed to be for you. I’m sorry for the times I didn’t acknowledge you as my baby, my son, in order to avoid the looks of pity or the pain of telling your story or the feeling of not being good enough or not a true mother. I’m sorry that sometimes when people ask me if I have children I answer no because it’s easier than crying in front of a stranger. I’m sorry for the times I felt so alone because all I wanted to do was talk all about you and everything you mean to me but I stayed quiet because who am I? To the rest of the world, I have no one to hold to show and prove that I’m a mother too. I can’t show you to everyone and I can’t pass you around so that everyone can touch you and squeeze you and talk about how beautiful and tiny and just absolutely perfect you are. I know all of these things and yet I keep them to myself.
From the moment you became part of our family, my yesterday’s became a different lifetime. Nothing else existed. It was you, me, your daddy and our sweet angel already in heaven, Josie. Nothing else mattered. You were our everything. You ARE our everything.
The day I found out you slipped away from us to meet your sister, a part of me died. I thought there was no way I could live without you. We already lost our Josie, and we couldn’t lose you too. I would have done anything, anything at all to keep you here with us.
I love you,
Today I should be meeting you for the first time. Sure I’ve known you so well over the past almost 40 weeks, but the dress rehearsal is supposed to be over this week and opening night should be here.
We should be experiencing the happiest day of our life. The beginning of yours and basically the very first day of what I was meant to live for. I should be holding you close and showing you the warmth and security that I will give to you each and everyday.
I imagine your tiny little toes and your tiny little fingers. You are perfect, absolutely perfect. I wish so badly that you were here right now, so badly that is hurts. I try to remind myself that you are in a better place, but my selfishness wants you right here. I don’t want to wait a lifetime to hold you. We should be celebrating your birthday today, your special day, but I will continue to celebrate you each and everyday, always.
I miss you so much,