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Challenge: Pregnancy and Infant Loss

Dear Abby

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On February 2, 2009, our entire world flipped upside down when we learned we had miscarried our first baby at just six short weeks into our pregnancy. We were devastated. We chose to name our baby Abigail Grace even without knowing the sex. For us, it was important to give her a unique name and identity. Even now, 11 years later, she is still very much a huge part of our family. Our earthly children know who she is and talk about her often. They tell anyone who asks that they have a big sister, too, but she’s in Heaven. I am forever a mom of five. The following is a letter I wrote to her on what would’ve been her fourth birthday.

Dear Abby,

Today, you would have turned 4 years old. Wow. I cannot believe how fast time has flown by. The world has kept turning, despite all of the times I wished it would have just stopped because you were no longer with us. Our family has continued to grow, and our lives have seen lots of changes since you were last on this Earth. But today, on your birthday, I needed to take a time out and write down my heart for you.

There is not a day that goes by that I don't think of you. Sometimes I am reminded of you when I drop Matthew off at preschool and see all of the little girls running through the door with fun dresses. Sometimes I think of you when I see a new baby being baptized. Sometimes I think of you when a certain song comes on the radio. And sometimes, Abby, I think of you for no reason at all, other than that you are and always will be my baby, and I spend most of each day thinking about all of my children.

I miss you so much sometimes I still cry. (In fact, Mommy pretty much lost it at the Rascal Flatts' concert when The Band Perry performed, If I Die Young. I think I was the only person sitting at a rocking concert and just crying a river.) Many days I don't understand why you are not here. I can say that I understand suffering and what it means to carry your cross in a way I never imagined possible. But that still doesn't take away the pain of missing you.

I wonder often what you would look like. Would you have blonde hair and blue eyes like your brothers? Would you be a Tom Boy or a girly girl with Barbies? What would your little personality be like? Who would you be?

I will never forget the day Daddy and I found out that you were on your way. It was late at night on the day of the March for Life, and I just decided to take a home pregnancy test because I didn't feel right. And it was positive. Daddy and I were so super excited. We stayed up into the wee hours of the morning just talking about you and how wonderful it was to be blessed with a new life. We were both walking on Cloud Nine at work the next day for sure.

I remember the 11 days I got to carry you inside of me. I remember talking to you on my long drives to and from work. I remember how protectively I would place my hand on my tummy when I wanted to say "hi" to you. I remember how deeply in love with you I fell so quickly. I loved carrying you inside of me. I had a buddy wherever I went. I remember how Daddy and I discussed how much we loved the name Abigail (we were on a West Wing watching spree and the first lady was named Abigail) for a girl....and apparently, that stuck!

I will also never forget the day we lost you. (And let's talk about the word lost. Why do we call it losing a baby? You are not lost. You died and went to Heaven. I didn't just lose you at the mall play place and am simply wandering trying to find you four years later.) The Steelers were in the Super Bowl, and it was supposed to be an amazing day, but things started to go wrong for you. I remember crying in the kitchen during our Super Bowl party, and just talking to you and telling you to "be strong," and "hold on." I remember having an overwhelming sense that you were in fact a girl and calling you "Abigail." I remember wanting to do anything at all to stop what was going on in my body. I wanted to protect you.

And Mommy is sorry, Abby. I am sorry I could not protect you. I am sorry that I could not stop what was happening. Please know that I did everything possible to save your life. But in the end, God is the one in control and what He giveth, He also taketh away. Every day I wonder what I could have done differently. And when the answer is nothing, it drives me crazy. I wish I could have done something differently. I really do. I would have done anything for you, little girl, anything.

I wish more than anything that I could have held you in my arms. I wish I could've seen your sweet face and tiny toes and fingers. I wish I could have hugged you just once. I wish I could've given you a proper burial. I wish so many things were different.

I remember how much pain Daddy and I felt when we got the confirmation that you had died. I remember how the doctor shrugged her shoulders and then brushed it all off as if your life was not important. I remember crying, crying, and crying. I remember to this day how much it hurt to have your life torn from us.

But Mommy has worked through some things in the past several years. I've let go of a lot of the hurt and anger and questions. I look back and just simply love you like I do Matthew and Noah. Now, four years later, I simply look back at the six precious weeks we had together and am so thankful. I am so thankful I got the honor of loving you and carrying you for that time. I am so thankful you came into our lives. With you, I started my journey into motherhood and with your brothers, I carry on in that journey.

Abby, I know you are in Heaven. I know you and (I pray) Grandma Kay are having a ball up there. I know you are praying for our whole family. I know you are watching over your little brothers because, let's face it, we've had some close calls and you've been there to protect them when Mommy couldn't. I feel you with me each day of my life. In my heart, I can sometimes feel you hugging me. Please don't ever stop praying for us. You motivate me each day to live the best life I possibly can so that when my time comes, I can get to Heaven to meet you as soon as possible. You are our own Guardian Angel.

I love you, Abby. I have since January 22, 2009, when the pregnancy test turned positive, and I have never stopped. You will never, ever be forgotten. Your entire family will always remember you and love you. We know you are always with us. Rest in peace, my baby, rest in peace.

Love Always,


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