A New Year

Last New Year’s Eve we celebrating two friends getting married. It was warm outside, a beautiful day with the sun shining. I remember standing there with my baby in my tummy watching friends say vows and couldn’t have felt happier. I felt like all the pieces of my life had come together. Standing next to a husband more wonderful than the one I’d dreamed I’d find. Growing a life we created together.

After the ceremony, we walked up quite a few rocky steps to the ceremony site. Near to the top, I felt sick. My stomach was queasy and I started to feel faint. My husband helped me to the top and I sat down as things started to black out. After eating some fruit and getting water, I started to feel better. We celebrated that night and felt thankful for all 2017 would bring.

Two weeks later, I had my final prenatal appointment. The nurse couldn’t find a heartbeat on the Doppler. I was sent for an unplanned ultrasound next door. I recall seeing my uterus flash on the screen as my baby floated lifelessly to the bottom. “No heartbeat….no growth…I’m sorry.” In this moment, I felt crushed. Wishing I could let the baby have my heartbeat if it could just stay alive. They explained that I’d had a missed miscarriage and the baby had died somewhere around 9 weeks gestation. Around New Years.

Sometimes I wonder if I lost her at that wedding. If my body was as heartbroken as I would be two weeks later. By far, this was the worst thing I’d ever experienced.

I cried and cried and cried until I was sick of crying. My baby died and a piece of me died with it. The dreams I’d had were gone. The memories I imagined making simply vanished.

I really thought at this point in time I’d be ready to say goodbye to 2017 with my middle finger in the air. But in a way, despite the tragedy of losing my child, something wonderful happened. I lost my baby, and afterwards I found myself.

I feel softer in places where I used to feel tough. I feel tougher in places where I used to feel soft. I’m kinder to myself and allow myself to have boundaries. I say “no” when I want and don’t feel guilty about it for days. I shared my story, and found others who understood how I felt. I am not scared to say my daughter’s name, tell someone about her, or to miss her. I care a lot less about what people think. I give a lot more value to my own thoughts and feelings.

In that great loss, I found a new me and I’m forever thankful for it. And thankful for the friends who have supported me along the way.

My heart still aches for Gloria. Knowing that I’ll never get to see her face or hold her on this earth. That she won’t be in our family photos even though she is the only piece of my family who shared my blood.

I imagined that sweet baby staring at the twinkle of Christmas lights and laughing at her siblings opening gifts. Instead she’s looking down on us, our forever angel.

She’s watching over us all. She’s a guardian angel to her little sister or brother. And I’m so thankful to have her in my heart. Thankful for the lessons her short life taught me. And mostly I’m thankful that she showed me what it feels like to love someone so completely, even when a world and a lifetime separates us.

Happy New Year, my darling angel! πŸ’œ

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