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 a baby.
I haven’t opened that box for years. I’ve seen the box. I’ve held the box. I’ve hidden the box. I’ve tucked the box under my nightstand. 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 that 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 the 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 Heavenly Father and our other two babies.
Over the years, the sadness has become a bit quieter in my head. 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 the grief will always be a part of my story. It’s also the story for 1 in 4 women who become pregnant.
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 each time. 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. There are days that continue to wander by us and I wonder if I will ever meet my babies.
Will I recognize them in heaven?
Will I hold their little faces in the palms of my hands?
Will I be able to hum Twinkle Twinkle Little Star to them?
Will they know me as their mama?
Today is no different - I mourn my first babies, but continue to give thanks for the ones I have been entrusted with now. So, I close it, place it on a higher shelf (only to stop my toddler from being tempted to play with it) and tuck away the baby box.
A version of this was originally appeared at OutOfAshs.com