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To my son (on the day that should be your birthday):

Dear Peter,

It seems fitting that your birthday is the first of our “difficult days”. Spring and summer are filled with cruel reminders of what we have lost. From due dates that have passed (or will pass for the first time), to Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, to the anniversaries of three discovered pregnancies followed by three miscarriages, the months from March through September each have at least one day where we are aching for you and your siblings.

Your birthday (aka the day you would have been due) is the first though, and it is fitting because you were the first and my pregnancy with you was special. I had somewhere between twenty and twenty five days with you – knowing you existed- and those days were some of the happiest of my existence. You were my longest pregnancy and the only one untouched by fear. We were so blissfully unaware of what the next two years would hold and we were just so excited about you.

I was so tired. Daddy and I were both working at the same church that summer and we would go home for lunch (we lived close by) and he would make lunch and I would sleep for half an hour and then eat my lunch at my desk when we got back. With every pregnancy I have craved leafy green veggies and fresh things but with you I also really wanted orange juice and gummy worms. It was too soon to have “pregnancy cravings” but that’s what I wanted to eat those weeks with you.

We did so much research in those few days. Strollers and car seats and cribs, things we didn’t need to worry about for months but we just couldn’t wait, we wanted you with everything we had. This was before Pinterest had “secret” boards so I tried to be really careful about pinning because I didn’t want to lie if anyone asked if I was pregnant.

I wish we could have kept you. Held you. Seen your heart beat. Daddy never even got to see an ultrasound. We love you so much and are so thankful for the days we had with you.

You changed my life, son. We named you Peter, sort of as a joke (sorry), after Peter Pan (because you were our lost boy) but as I was looking for a name this past summer for your brother I realized how fitting your name is. Peter means “rock”. The year that followed our loss was so life changing and I will always look back on it as a year of building a strong foundation. Because of you your father and I learned so much about each other, about how to love each other and about God and His love for us. Because of you I have had the opportunity to speak to and comfort other mothers who have lost their babies far too soon. Because of you I knew to cherish each day that I knew I was pregnant with your sister and with your brother.

God has been so good to us through all of this. He has walked along side us and comforted us, I know He has wept with us. You are so lucky that you get to spend all of eternity with Jesus.

I wish I was getting ready to throw you the best 2nd birthday party ever, but I bet heaven is more fun than anything I could put together.

We love you Peter, happy birthday.

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I Know You

I wrote  this piston another blog a few months ago, but I’ve switched it over to here. 

There is a scene in an episode of Friends where Rachel has just given birth to her daughter. They hand her the baby and she looks her baby in the face and says, “I know you”.
Maybe it’s a mom thing. Maybe God is just letting me see them. Over the past week my children have felt so close to me. I have seen their faces, I have seen their personalities. I feel like I know them.
I always imagine them in Neverland. Having adventures, running through lush jungles and sparkling lagoons, playing games and laughing. They’ve joined the band of Lost Boys (there are girls there too), the children moms have lost too soon.
Last week Peter and Lily waited at the edge of the jungle, waiting with great anticipation. A little boy stumbled out to them, he looked familiar, he looked like their daddy.
“How are they?” asked Peter, the first of our little group
“How’s mother?” asked Lily, our little girl.
Theodore looked up at them with tears in his eyes, “They miss you. Mom misses you every day. She wants us there with her. She loves us so much”
They fall into a group, comforting each other, they know they’ll see us someday. For now they will turn around and head off on an adventure.
We are asking why. Why are we in this position again? Why I am I sitting on the couch yearning for another baby gone too soon?
I don’t remember it being this difficult. I know it will get easier. I know it will be okay. But for now I’m dreaming of Neverland.

Moments

There are times when I feel my babies’ presence more than others. They come unexpectedly, sometimes they are moments to smile and just feel close to them, like they are letting me know that they are okay, they’re in Heaven and having fun cloud surfing or something. Other times they hit me like a ton of bricks and I’m left trying to pick up the pieces before anyone notices that I’m not okay. 

Maybe those sad moments are the ones that come from my insecurities or my jealousy. Maybe it’s just the nature of grief to have happy nostalgic moments and sad moments and you never know what you’re going to get. 

This last miscarriage has been the hardest. I kept asking Austin if I was like this with the other two, sad, numb, uninterested in life, feeling like I’ll never get better, not knowing if I want to get better. He said I was, but I didn’t believe him. I must have blocked out those first months after the other two because I don’t remember. I should always belive him. 

This week I realized I feel better. I’m beginning to remember who I am. I’ve had more good moments than bad. In fact I can only think of one bad baby moment this week and I was feeling so good that the sadness surprised me, caught me off guard. 

I love those sweet babies so much, I loved my moments with them. I didn’t have many, but they were the best moments of my life. Telling Austin he was going to be a daddy for the first time, seeing that first baby on the ultrasound screen, feeling so strongly that the second baby was a girl, feeling like she was a promise of good to come, knowing without a doubt that I was pregnant the third time and just waiting for it to be long enough that a test would come back positive, feeling morning sickness for the first time with the third, telling Walt (our cat) he was going to be a big brother and having him jump up on our laps and “head boop” us. They aren’t all regular moments of pregnancy but they are precious to me – they’re all I have. 

Life is made up of moments. I am feeling better, I am getting back to who I was in a way, but I’ve also changed again. Each baby made an impact on my heart. Each baby changed me. So while I get back to who I was, I am yet agin figuring out who I am now. 

Becca Toews, mother of three babies in heaven. 

Remembering

Today is the day we remember. We remember the joy of seeing that positive pregnancy test, the excitement of telling the precious few our exciting news, the adoration as the weeks passed and we fell more and more in love with our little ones. Some of us remember first ultrasounds, even second or more ultrasounds, seeing a heart beat, seeing the baby grow. Morning sickness, exhaustion, cravings, we remember it all. And we remember most of all – love. 

  
Today we lit candles in remembrance of some special Angel Babies. Our three, Peter, Lily and Theodore and for Baby Takacs who just went home to Jesus this past weekend. We also lit a candle for the rest of the babies, the ones we don’t know about, the ones we do know about, all the babies lost too soon, before their parents ever got to hold them and know them. 

  
This month is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month. So often couples are grieving in silence because they feel they can’t talk about it. We are bringing light to the grief. We are lighting candles. We are remembering. 

Brave

There are many kind of courage…

Thus begins Dumbledore’s speech to give Neville ten house points for standing up to his friends (if you haven’t read The Harry Potter series, I highly recommend it regardless of your age, it’s fantastic).

You are facing a mountain dear Mama. Courage will look different each day. Some day it might be telling your story. Some day it might be trying to conceive again. Some day it might be talking to your partner about the next step. I’ve had days where courage has been just to get out of bed, or shower or go to work. 

All I can say is, you get to decide what your brave is. Take your time, lean on those you love, find someone you can trust, celebrate the little things – the first time you wash your hair, put on make up, make a meal. Know that you are brave, just by going through this. 

  
Quotes:

Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by JK Rowling

Aslan, Voyage of the Dawn Treader, C.S. Lewis

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