Today is pregnancy and infant loss rememberence day. At 7:00 pm woman across the country will be lighting candles in honor of their little ones. Not that a day goes by that we don't remember our losses, but it's nice to have a day that is set aside for it.
On the morning of July 12th I was being wheeled out of the hospital, a purple box in my lap, my eyes were cast downward to avoid seeing all the happy families with their new babies. I didn't have a baby, I had a box...
The day we found out that one of our twins didn't make it was one of the most bittersweet days of my life. In one breath we found out we lost our sweet Baby B while in the next breath we found out Baby A was a healthy boy. Shell-shocked would be a good word to describe it.
I had to go on and move forward, I had a little boy on the way and he needed his mommy to be strong.
Five days after we found that out I started having contractions that I thought was just a backache. When I went to the OB I was immediately sent to the hospital. Walking down the hall to the nurses station we passed a woman and a baby leaving to go home. I was instantly struck by the realization that I would not be leaving the hospital with a baby.
Not long after that my fears were confirmed as our doctor, with tears streaming down her face and the beat of my sons heart on the monitor behind us said that I was in full labor, it couldn't be stopped, and he would not survive more than a few minutes if he survived at all.
Devestated. How could this have happened to us? How did we struggle through infertility to finally be blessed with twins only to now be losing the one that survived? We quickly made the decision to move forward with the induction. No sense putting off the inevitable.
We were asked if we wanted them baptized and without hesitation said yes. Then we realized we needed to name them. I wanted biblical names and instantly the name Daniel came to me. There was a little boy in my class a few years ago who had been diagnosed with brain cancer whose name was Daniel and I remembered the story of Daniel and the Lion's Den with him, he's Cancer free now, by the way. When I said the name out loud to Matt he grabbed my hand and we cried. We went with Hope for Baby B even though we didn't know the sex. All along the twins had been "faith" and "hope" to us and we wanted to stick with it.
The day went along and right before Daniel was born I was so scared I asked the nurse to pray with us and she did. She said beautiful words asking God to help us to know we were good parents to Daniel and Hope and to be there for us in our time of need. I felt God in that room that day. It was the worst day of my life, yet I felt a small little light inside of me. The light of God letting me know He was there and I was not alone.
The next day the nurse came in with the only proof that my babies ever existed. There were some pictures, footprints, little hospital bands and some commemorative birth certificates. That box is one of my most prized possessions.
Looking back on that day and the first few days that followed I am proud of my strength. I'm not sure how I did it except to say that you find the strength you need when you need it. You pull it out of your toes and you find it in the strength of the woman who walked through that fire before you. You take it from everybody around you until you can stand up on your own.
I am a better mommy to Matthew because of them. I have been taught the importance of loving every moment and being attentive to every blink of his eye of being grateful for every breath.
I ask you when you read this today to say a prayer for Daniel and Hope and for the babies of my dear friends. Our lives are forever changed by their tiny footprints.
These are my footprints,
so perfect and so small.
These tiny footprints,
Never touched the ground at all.
Not one tiny footprint,
for now I have my wings.
These tiny footprints were meant,
for other things.
You will hear my tiny footprints,
in the patter of the rain.
Gentle drops like angel's tears,
of joy and not from pain.
You will see my tiny footprints,
in each butterflies' lazy dance.
I'll let you know I'm with you,
if you just give me a chance.
You will see my tiny footprints,
in the rustle of the leaves.
I will whisper names into the wind,
and call each one that grieves.
Most of all,
these tiny footprints,
are found on mommy's heart.
Cause even though I'm gone now,
we'll NEVER truly part.