364 days

I’ve been dreading tomorrow.  After tomorrow passes, I won’t be able to include Breelyn in my look back at the year. My memories will fade.  Today I remember with complete clarity what I was doing the week before she died.  I had a rocking presentation at work.   I was kicking butt on breastfeeding and pumping.  I’d created a Father’s Day card with Brooklyn and Breelyn’s handprints traced.  I dressed them in their first matching church outfits and took their last sister picture.  Breelyn had just started drooling so I put her first bib on.  We all had breakfast together as Breelyn sat in her carrier on top of the table.  And then Dave, Brooklyn, and Breelyn got into the car and drove away.  And hours later, our lives had changed forever.

It still hurts.  I hate that it ever happened. I hate that others have to go through this- that others will come after me.  And so I’m taking a moment of sadness, to just say that this totally stinks.  I hate it.

Tomorrow we are going to release butterflies at Breelyn’s grave and we’ll read a piece that my sister Amber found.  I think that it summarizes exactly what a parent (or at least this parent) is thinking.  Thanks for listening.

We Thought of You
We thought of you with love today
But that is nothing new
We thought about you yesterday
And the day before that too

We think of you in silence
We often say your name
But all we have is memories
And your picture in a frame

Your memory is our keepsake
With which we’ll never part
God has you in his keeping
We have you in our hearts

We shed tears for what might have been
A million times we’ve cried
If love alone could’ve saved you
You never would’ve died

In life we loved you dearly
In death we love you still
In our hearts you hold a place
No-one could ever fill

It broke our hearts to lose you
But you didn’t go alone
For part of us went with you
And now we’re praying for when God will take us all home

The heartbeats that weren’t

This week, a dear friend saw the heartbeats of her twin babies.  I rejoice with her.  It’s been a long struggle into parenthood.  She’ll be an amazing mama and I can’t wait to see her in this new role.  She shared the picture and the happy news via text.  I wrote back to relay my thrill- I hit send- and then I dissolved into tears.

In June 2016, our four month old daughter Breelyn died.  It was devastating.  We missed Breelyn so much and wanted to have a sibling for Brooklyn on this earth but we wanted to give ourselves time to just concentrate on our grief.  We chose the random number of six months to wait.  We then conceived and we had our own heartbeat appointment in January 2017.

We didn’t have the same happy outcome.  It was at that appointment that we first heard that there was no heartbeat, and that there would have been two babies.  The outcome wasn’t certain and we were sent home for a couple of days with instructions to come in again for another test.  I didn’t know what to pray, we’d prayed for Breelyn and she’d died.  The second appointment came and there were no heartbeats.  I had a D&C and stopped being pregnant.

In my head 75% of my children had died.  It’s a lot to take- especially when early loss pregnancy isn’t something that you usually talk about.  I could publicly mourn Breelyn, but not the loss of her siblings.

I don’t have the answers.  I don’t know why we experience pain and loss.  I hate that we do. One of my sisters and I were talking about praying for protection.  She mentioned that she was ticked off that we taught our little ones that praying for protection would make it alright.  It isn’t going to make it alright.  Parents, siblings, and friends are still going to die.  We’d prayed for protection and Breelyn still died. We’d prayed for our twins and there weren’t heartbeats.  My sister’s theory is that the protection is eternal.  God gives us eternal protection instead of protection here on earth. He gives us the eternal protection of a life in heaven with Him.  So, I concentrate on that.  I concentrate on the future where I’ll certainly have all my children running around.

And, I’ll rejoice in my friend’s children. They are a blessing and my loving them doesn’t discount the love that I have for my own.  Her joy and my joy for her doesn’t erase my sadness. It can be separate- it’s ok for me to thrill for her and still be sad for me.