This morning, as I do most Saturdays, I'm sitting in my comfy spot, drinking my coffee, watching the sun come up and thinking about what might have been. I would be knitting Harlynn a hat for fall and winter. I'd be making sure she had a pair of woolen booties. Baby mittens. I'd be cradling her in my comfy spot and drinking water instead of coffee. I'd be helping Haley hold her baby sister. I'd be watching Haley go out of her way to make her sister giggle. I'd be laundering bibs and burp cloths. I'd be telling Haley she used to wear these pajamas. And this was the outfit she had her first blowout in, and now baby sister is doing the same...
But I sit and drink my coffee. I reflect on all the ways we've been blessed, even in this darkest journey. I think of all the grace and mercy we've been shown. I think of the little things we've been given that mean so much. The hugs. The meals. The cards. I think of a few of the ridiculous things I've heard people say. I thank God they don't know any better. No one should. One evening I heard the friend of a loss mom say, "Maybe she lost her baby so we could be pregnant together!" I hope she never expressed that sentiment to her friend. I wanted to throw up when I heard her utter it. Losing her baby had nothing to do with you. There is never a reason any mother should loser her child, let alone to coincide with something you desire. I'm sure the friend was grasping for some encouragement. Some sense. I pray she realized that statement was anything but, however.
I dread winter every year. It's so cold. So long. So isolating. There is a reason we were voted as the Weather Channel's worst winter city. And yet it's just around the corner. And we'll muddle through it as always before. This winter, though, brings a set of challenges apart from the cold and snow.
It snowed the day I delivered Harlynn. It snowed the day we were supposed to bury her. It snowed each Wednesday for a month after losing her. Will I be able to visit her grave site this winter? Will I be able to know where she lies, hidden beneath inches, or even feet, of snow? Will I be able watch the snow fall without thinking of that day as I watched it from the hospital window? From my living room, as I clutched the booties she was supposed to be wearing?
She was delivered at 37 weeks. Coincidentally, 37 weeks from the day I delivered her is December 25th. Christmas. The day that marks when I will have been without her as long as I was with her. Brent and I have decided we'll be spending this Christmas as a family of three, reveling in the gift of each other as we work through what should have been Harlynn's first Christmas. Last Christmas we were in Wyoming, and revealed to my family we were having a little girl. Now we'll be learning how to manage holidays without her.
The rain has begun to fall as I finish up my coffee. I wonder if in some small way, angels cry a little for me. These past five months I could have given this rain a run for its money with my own tears. But this morning I sit without shedding any. Sometimes it's just a preoccupied reflection rather than an emotional instance. Sometimes I'm too tired to cry. Sometimes I'm even too hopeful to cry. Hopeful we'll be taken up in the night and reunited. Hopeful I won't have to wait for Heaven. Hopeful I can think about Harlynn and how happy she makes me even still. How many lives she's changed. How many lives she will change going forward.
Yes it's fall. My favorite time of year. New knitting projects, new baking recipes, more excuses to cozy up in favorite blankets and drink more coffee. And you know what? I think I'm going to knit Harlynn a hat after all. No, she'll never wear it. But I will be doing something I love, for my daughter. I'll make a matching one for Haley. And when I see it keeping Haley's head and ears warm, I'll know I'm doing the best I can to mother both my girls. No matter the season, I'll mother them both. The world will never be able to take from me the fact that I am Harlynn's Mommy.
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