In the grief community there is a camaraderie that comes with the pain. A feeling of immediate connection when you know someone has lived through what you have lived through. When you lose a baby you don't get to feel that connection with other moms at school, no little league teams, no playdates- this is what we have. A few words, a few pictures and a feeling of pride when we are able to "share" our babies.
Recently I have become a part of a a group of parents from Ohio who are local leaders for a film coming out called Return to Zero. It is about a stillbirth and the life of the parents following it. There are not any movies out there about things like this. This is the one that all of us in the baby loss community are hoping will break the silence and the stigma that comes along with loss, especially the loss of a newborn.
In this new group on facebook I shared a picture of Connor. It is one of my favorite pictures. It was on the prayer cards at his funeral. It is framed larger than life in my family room. It is a gift from our dear friend Tricia and the amazing time she spent volunteering for NILMDTS. In all of the times I have stared at this picture. In all of the times I have shared this picture I realized I have never shared the story behind it.
When I was pregnant with Connor my mother in law bought me a bracelet. It was a silver charm bracelet with three little profiles with names on them. Anna, Emma and Connor. I wore the bracelet everyday from Christmas until April. I loved to see the names of my babies and I was so happy to be able to see Connor's name before he was born. Days before I was to be induced I looked down at my bracelet and I saw Emma and Anna - scratched up from wear, but Connor was gone. I was immediately a mess. I knew this was a "sign". I was sick with worry and sick with sadness that I had lost it. Much like the superhero he is, TJ saved the day and as soon as I told him it was gone he went to Things Remembered and had another one made. He was able to replace the little Connor charm by the time I went to the hospital. The day that Connor was born, Tricia was there to take pictures. I will never forget the way she was in that room. She was calm, cool and in control. She loved our baby like she loves on all of the babies in her presence. She took pictures of our family and friends and then she saw my bracelet. She asked if she could use it for a picture and of course I said yes. She placed it in his hands - and that is the photo I cherish. As she took it TJ realized that if I hadn't lost the original, if we hadn't replaced it with a brand new one, the photo would have never turned out so well. The old one was scratched and faded and this one was perfectly new- just like Connor.