Friday, October 19, 2012

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day

Oh, wait. That was two three four days ago.

I knew that October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month. I also knew that Monday was Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day. But, until I got on Facebook at about 11:00PM Monday night, I completely forgot about it and was way too busy all day to write the kind of heartfelt blog post that I would have been certain to write a little over one year ago (In fact, I’m writing this one on my lunch break at work . . . with The Sis in daycare.). (Now I’m writing it in bed with The Sis [finally] asleep next to me a day after I meant to post it.) (No, I just couldn't get it done last night, either. Now I'm writing while she's asleep in her carseat.) (. . .writing it at work during some rare unoccupied time)

I felt a twinge of guilt when I read a few other mommies’ posts, viewing their treasured pictures that they post over and over because there are no and never will be new pictures. I used to view his pictures over and over again, write about the same feelings over and over again, do anything I could to be thinking about him over and over again, to make sure you were thinking about him over and over again, too.

Do I still do that? (I’m asking myself.) Do I still think about him over and over again? What if the answer is no? What does that mean? I’m not being a good mommy? What if the answer is yes? What does that mean? I still have to live with the pain? 

The truth is I’ve never shown Cassidy her brother's photo album. You know, the one I carried with me everywhere I went for three months and made anyone and everyone look at it, smiling proudly, showing off my beloved son, while tears streamed down their faces because, let’s face it, most people haven’t seen a picture of a dead baby before. It hasn’t even been purposeful that I haven’t shown her. I just never got around to it. She sees his picture on the wall and some of his photos around the house. I tell her the story. You know the one: “Mommy dreamed a big, big dream . . .“ She knows that one sweet day we will run to her brother and scoop him up and say, “I love you, Gabriel!” and we’ll spend forever and ever and ever telling him how much we love him and thanking God for him and for reuniting us. And Tater Tot, too. And she knows that, even though Mommy always has tears streaming down her face when we practice how we’ll hug Gabriel and Tater Tot and Jesus and Mommy’s mommy when we get to Heaven, somehow, someway, we won’t be crying then. I don’t have an explanation for her about that one. 

As you know, I don’t do that much blogging these days. I can’t. I’m too busy kissing and snuggling and reading Biscuit and trying new things and rocking and having a baba and trying not to waste one precious moment with this beautiful little creature who doesn’t want to let me out of her sight. I read a Facebook post Monday that said, “Our hearts are with those remembering pregnancy and infant loss today.” I don’t want to remember pregnancy and infant loss anymore. I’m happy now. I just want to remember my children and treasure every moment with my dream girl.

But, as I drove to work the next day, a song played on the radio that left tears streaming down my eyes. It was a song I considered playing at Gabriel’s funeral. I knew then that I should find a little time to share my heart with you. To share that it does still ache a little, sometimes a lot. Even though my lifelong dream came true in my little girl with olive skin and dark curls (and who I've heard acts just like me), I still love my son and miss him and ache for him and wish more than anything that he was here with me. 

Except I don’t. Because as much as I wish I had Gabriel back in my arms, Cassidy is the one thing I wouldn’t give up to make that happen.

So, instead of Pregnancy and Infant Loss, let's just remember . . . pregnancy . . . and infants.

 Preggers with Gabe

 "I love you, Gabriel."
Mommy's little warrior
 We were made for each other.

Precious moments with my son

Preggers with Tater Tot
 We saw Tater Tot's tiny heart beating.
 We heard Tater Tot's beautiful heartbeat and watched her wiggle and dance.