Monday, March 13, 2017

Green bag

 When Tj and I were engaged, I found a bag I loved. My mom and I were shopping when I saw it and she bought it for me as an extra gift. Something to use as a carry on for our honeymoon. 
All of these years later this bag serves a far different purpose than it did. 

Today this is my bag. 
I lovingly refer to it as my dead baby bag. 
It holds some of my most most prize possessions. 

The shirt tj ordered before we knew Emma was sick, it came in the mail the day after her diagnosis. 
The shirt I wore to both of my babies funerals. Cards, letters, chromosome reports, funeral Mass cards, poetry, newspapers and obituaries.

Clothes my babies wore

Clothes my babies never got to wear. 
Connor's blanket and shoes. 
Footprints and pictures. 
Their names in print. 

I have this bag in my closet. So if there is ever a fire or a tornado I can grab it and take it with me. I know my things are safe in it. 

Days like today, when Emma would be 9, I sometimes like to take it out and empty it.
 Sort through each item.
 Smell the blankets, knowing full well they no longer smell of a baby, but rather a bag in a closet for 8 years. 
As much as it hurts, sometimes you just need to feel.
 Remember the hope.
 Remember the loss.

 Remember the pain. 

When I took my new bag on my honeymoon, probably full of sunglasses and magazines all of those years ago... little did I know the purpose it would serve me now. Even on days when I don't open the bag, I can look at it and feel comfort just knowing what it holds. 

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Nine years

It is so hard to believe that in just a few days you would be 9 years old. 
Nine Years. 
Nine years ago I learned what loss felt like. 
Nine years ago I became a different person. 
Nine years ago I lost you. 
Looking back there are so many things I don't remember. I guess that is time's way of letting me heal. Some days I only think of you once or twice and others you never leave my mind. 
You are the baby who made me a better, stronger woman. 
You are the baby who made me a little crazier than I already was. 
You are the baby I expected to be healthy. 
I expected to raise. 
You are the baby that taught me I am not in control. 
You have given me strength and helped me advocate for all of the children in my life. 
You have made me live a life without regret. 
You have changed my views on so many things. 
It is hard to believe that Anna was the same age as Sam is now when we lost you. At the time she seemed so grown up. I remember her dress and the shoes I had to have her wear. I remember watching through tears as she walked around the funeral home just before the service having everyone smell her carnation. I remember thinking how big she was. That is my memory of the two of you. The closest I ever got to having the two of you together. 
I wonder now, who would you be? Would you be sweet and low key like Anna or a funny stinker like Sam. Curly hair or straight? Maybe somewhere in the middle of my other two little girls. 
Life changed forever when we saw your face on that ultrasound. 
When we found your fate. 
I cherish every second of carrying you. 
I cherish every kick, hiccup and craving. 
You will forever be a part of me.
I take solace in knowing God is holding you in His arms. 
I take comfort in knowing you are whole in Heaven. 
I like knowing you are with Connor.
Take good care of your baby brother up there. 
I imagine you fight with him, just as Anna and Wy fight down here. 
And that you love each other unconditionally, just as they do. 
Nine Years. 
Nine Years of loving you. 
Nine years without you. 
I will always and forever love you, Emma Jean.