The Box of Lost Pregnancies
I have a box. It’s filled with notes from relatives and friends. There are cards from florists. There are four coordinating colors of paint chips – Poppy, Tranquil Blue, Tara, and New York State of Mind. There’s a Father’s Day card that has no signature. And, there are ultrasounds of babies.
I’ve seen the box. I’ve held the box. I’ve hidden the box. I’ve tucked the box under my nightstand. I’ve packed the box from new house to new house. I haven’t opened that box for years. And, today, that changed.
Today, I read words from those who prayed for us during each of our miscarriages. I ran my fingers over the plastic of a card celebrating my husband the soon-to-be dad on one particular Father’s Day. I glanced at the paint colors and thought back to what our initial nursery inspirations were during one particular pregnancy. Then, I held an ultrasound image. There was our 3rd baby frozen at 9 weeks – so small, but a baby. A baby whose heart stopped beating and now rests with our other two babies.
Over the years, the sadness has become a bit quieter in my heart. The tears don’t fall as easily. The pain sometimes feels like a distant memory. But, the grief remains. I’ve come to accept that grief will always be a part of my story. It’s also the story for 1 in 4 women who experience pregnancies lost.
There are some days when I don’t think about our previous three babies because let’s be honest, I have two beautiful, healthy daughters who take up most of my day. There are some days when my mind drifts to an old doctor’s office or waiting room and the memories flood my mind, but I don’t get as emotional as I once did because those memories feel a bit more distant with each month. Then, there are days when I check my phone and remember baby number 3’s due date. There are days that I pick up a piece of fruit and remember the size of baby number 1 or 2.
As the sadness continues to fade and the grief remains the same, I find myself walking a line of gratitude for the breathing children I have been blessed with and the grief of losing three other babies. I find myself tucking away thoughts of these babies for another day because I’m being tugged towards a playroom for some coloring. So, for now, I close the baby box, place it on a higher shelf (only to stop my toddler from being tempted to play with it), and remind myself that I was a mama long before I held a baby in my arms and each of their losses is significant.
If you are like me and have lost a child, your pain is valid and your precious child is worthy of mention. This October, and whenever you feel like it, remember your child and hold them close to your heart for they are part of you even if not in your arms.