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Challenge: Pregnancy and Infant Loss

When I See A Butterfly, I Think of You. All of You.

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When I see a butterfly I think of you. All of you.

It seems like a lifetime ago that we lost you. I don’t think about it much. Except for when I see a butterfly. When I see a butterfly or two, or three...once I saw four fluttering together across our backyard, as if they were dancing together in heaven, I think of you. All four of you. When I lost you guys, I saw a lot of butterflies. More than I had ever seen before in my life. Maybe it was just that I was purposely looking for them. Maybe I was just desperately looking for you.

I feel guilty saying I don’t talk about you much. I feel guilty that I haven’t, until now, penned an essay about the sorrow that losing the four of you has brought to our lives and the hole that is forever seared into our hearts. Writing this through a blurred lens as the tears flow makes me realize why I don’t talk about you much. It’s so, so painful.

Today, though, I will think about you, I will talk about you, and write about you. Because you... all four of you, deserve that. All of you had beating hearts, after all.

Who would you have been, our sweet babies? What would you have looked like? Would one of you have gotten your Dad’s crystal blue eyes? Or would you have the deepest, darkest chocolate brown eyes like your brother Abe? Would any of you gotten your sister’s luscious curly locks or inherited stick straight hair like your Daddy’s? Would one of you have been a girl? In my heart, I felt like you, my little fourth one, were a baby girl. Oh, how your sister Penelope would have loved to have you as her playmate, side kick, confidante, and ultimately your lifelong best friend. Mama has sisters so I know nothing is quite like the love between sisters. I’m sure one of you was a boy. Abe would have made a wonderful big brother. He’s quite doting on his younger cousins, you know. A forever buddy to play catch with in the backyard would have been any little boy’s dream come true. Would you have been stubborn as an ox like your mama, or easy peasy like your sister P? Would you have been a truck, train, and sports guy like your big brother or more of a take-it-or-leave it boy? Would you have been super smart like your Dad or a little more “need to read it five to seven times before you get it” type of person like Mama? I’m very short, but Daddy is tall. Would you have been tall like him? I bet one of you would have been a shorty like me. Your sister, brother and Daddio are tall. I could have used a short one on my side. Your sissy is very easy-going and independent but your brother keeps me on my toes with his fiery temperament. Which one of you would have followed in Abe’s footsteps? Could I have handled two personalities like that? Doubtful. I should tell you that he is the sweetest, snuggly little bug. Did I tell you that I call him my bug bug? Which one of you would have given me as much love and affection as he does? Which one of you would have been medical minded like me? I’m a nurse, so I don’t believe in Band-Aids. It’s either ER or you're fine, go play. Your brother wants to be a surgeon. I’m pretty excited about that. Penelope and Dad love outer space. She wants to be an astronaut and go to Mars someday. If you guys have any pull up there, will you keep her feet planted safely on Earth? Thanks. Would any one of you have been dreamers like them? I bet you would have. Your Daddy is a big dreamer. He is also very friendly. He makes friends with anyone and everyone. Would you have been super friendly like Dad? I’m more reserved, so is P. I don’t make friends as easily. Would anyone of you have been like that? I would have told you that’s ok, not to worry that friends don’t come as easily. The friends that you do have, however, tend to be some of the best. How would you have fit in our family? Like a puzzle piece, I’d bet. Perfectly placed. God I wonder, who would you have been my sweet butterfly angels?

It really doesn’t matter who you would have been- you would have been you. It mattered that you were desperately wanted and would have been deeply loved. There is a vacancy of laughter, excited screams, and chaos in our home because you aren’t here with us. There is even a shortage tantrums, sibling spats, and sleepless nights because we lost you far too soon. Oh babies, you should be here.

Forgive me, sweet loves, that I don’t talk about you or even think about you as much as I should. Though losing all of you during pregnancy was undoubtedly the most challenging and heartbreaking experience of our lives, I believe that I can’t dwell on your losses forever. Life goes on and we have your sissy and brother to raise with full hearts and clear minds. Please know that you will never be forgotten. When I see butterflies, I think of you. Flying blissfully and free in all the utter beauty that you are is quite peaceful for me. Visit me often and remind me that you are still with us, sweet butterfly babies. May your playtime as butterflies never end and may your spirit be free. Fly high our lost babies, someday we’ll meet in the sky.

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