Well, as we are now entering into the holiday season I’m sure many of you are feeling a wave of intense emotions coming over you. Something about getting together with family and creating memories brings out all of the should’ve and could’ve been moments with your baby to mind. As I’m looking ahead to this time I am thinking things like, “I should be getting to celebrate my baby’s soon arrival and receiving presents for the bundle of joy that’s almost here!” But instead I am overcome with the grief that my baby will not be arriving soon and there will be no presents. As I just typed those words I began to weep. This goes to show the raw emotions that come over us.
A couple of days ago someone brought me back my youngest child’s car seat. They were going to use it for their baby but ended up with something else. My little Nathaniel walked over to the car seat, kneeled beside it and said excitedly, “Baby?! Baby?! There’s a baby!” I just about lost it. I said through tears, “No, there’s not a baby.” I scooped him up and held him close. He would have loved this baby and been such a good big brother.
There are going to be many moments during the next couple of months that will make you sad. Some moments may even make you angry. It’s okay to feel this way. You are dealing with something very tough. You have every right to grieve. Some of you are also going to come upon your baby’s due date or anniversary of loss in the middle of this holiday season. I am so sorry that you are not able to make memories with your baby this holiday season. And that goes to everyone that has ever endured the loss of a baby. Even if it happened 30 years ago and it wasn’t during the holiday season, there are so many memories you wish you could have make with him/her. We didn’t just lose a child or pregnancy. We lost a whole lifetime of memories we were anticipating to make.
This holiday season I encourage you to include the baby you lost with your family. Include them in the only way you can: by remembering them. Here are some ideas:
1.) Hang a stocking with their name on it.
2.) Say their name out loud. Don’t be afraid to talk about them.
3.) Make or purchase a special ornament for them.
4.) Frame a picture of them in a holiday frame even if all you have is a sonogram photo.
5.) Plan a time to go to the cemetery and read them your favorite Christmas story.
6.) Remember them in your Christmas cards in some way.
The fact is that you see them as a part of your family. They are not visible to everyone else but they are very present in your heart. Don’t be afraid to remember them. In remembering them we may miss them but we also remember the joy they bought into our lives even if it was for a short time.
The moment you saw 2 lines.
The first time you saw their heart beating on a sonogram.
The first time you felt them move in your belly.
When you found out if it was a boy or a girl.
Hearing them cry as they were born.
We did not all get to experience every single one of these things but we did have moments of joy. May we all be able to honestly grieve them and joyfully remember them this holiday season.
I would love to remember your baby with you this holiday season. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and include their name, date of loss, a picture if you have it and you will receive something special via email from me during the holiday season.
Grace and Peace,
(c) Melissa Reddin 2014