Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day
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Kate Kelty, Author, The Grace To Grieve on Oct 14, 2016
October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. And so to that end, today I want to honor our little ones. Today I want to exalt all of the babies who have left our wombs or left our arms before we ever got to know them. I celebrate the difference their tiny imprints have left on our souls, on our families and on the world. Today I celebrate all of the parents and the longing, weeping and aching you have endured. I honor your pain, your grief and your courage to live well while holding onto love and loss.
There is not a day that goes by that I do not remember Anna... but perhaps today, in this month of intentional recognition, I will share some of what I remember most. Perhaps some you reading will find some of your own feelings in my words or be inspired to write your own letters of remembrance...
Just writing your name is a privilege- four little letters, a container for more love than I ever dared to imagine I could possess. You are my first child. My only girl. You are uniquely you and you are intimately woven into every facet of my heart. Not a day goes by that I don't think of you. Not a day goes by that I am not seeking to be a good servant of our story. Not a day goes by that I am unaware of my longing for you.
I remember the first day I prayed for you. It was an ordinary day but I was suddenly awakened to the reality that one day you would in fact, be. And so I fell to my knees both smiling and weeping as I offered my first words to God the Creator for the hope of you.
I remember the day I learned that you were nestled inside of me, the day my womb was opened to be your home, the day my heart was opened to be your mother.
I remember the day we learned you were a girl. I pulled your daddy into a broom closet at the doctor's office as we left the ultrasound room and cried. I thought your daddy wanted a boy. He smiled at me, tenderly wiping my tears and then proclaimed the secret truth behind his giddy grin, "Kate, do you know what this means? I get to have a daddy's little girl!"
I remember your kicks, your rolls and your hiccups. I remember daydreaming about your soccer games and ballet recitals. I remember daydreaming about nursing you, comforting you and observing your wonder.
I remember the last time I saw you alive. It was a lazy afternoon at the Pregnancy Center and Nurse Kay invited me to an impromptu ultrasound. You were sleeping and then you opened your eyes and I gasped. I felt like we were staring right into each other's eyes and souls. I traced your sweet frame on the monitor with my finger...I whispered all my love to you.
I remember the pain and the fear of the moment we learned you had slipped away, just three weeks before forever was supposed to begin. I remember and it takes my breath away. Even now as I write I feel afraid.
I remember Jeannie rushing in at the last moment to deliver you. I remember the tears streaming down her face. I remember her words when you arrived, "She's beautiful." And you were Anna Rose.
I remember the moment they placed you in my arms for what has become the most exhilarating and excruciating moment of my life. Meeting you and losing you all at once...there are no words.
I remember the look in your daddy's eyes when he saw you for the first time. He was captivated by your beauty. I remember the smile he wore the entirety of your birthday. You awakened the daddy in Him- you awakened a new kind of love and pride in him.
I remember the way your lips felt against mine. I remember your cold little nose and your monkey brown hair. I remember every facet of your sweet feminine body- all five and a half pounds and every one of your 20 inches.
I remember every soul that bent down to kiss you hello and good-bye. I remember Uncle David gently applying his chap-stick to your crimson mouth and I remember Aunt Kristen singing to you. I remember the pain and the love each one of your grandparents showered on you.
I remember the moment you left my arms. I remember sweet nurse Alice walking away. I also remember her coming back one last time with a remnant from you...your "coming home outfit." I remember her gently telling us that she had placed you in a soft white gown to sleep for the night.
I remember every moment of hating God for taking you from me and I remember every moment that His presence and incomprehensible love rescued me.
I remember the day that peace became greater than pain and I remember the day beauty began to emerge from the ashes.
I remember you sweet girl- every day of my life I remember you. Every truth and promise and every dream and vision are on the mantel of my heart and I cannot wait to scoop you up into my arms for the hug I have dreamed of all my life.
I am so glad it was you...the one who made me a mama.
Anna Rose Katherine, everyday of our lives, we remember you and cannot wait to see as you see. Thank you for taking my breath away still.
All my love forever baby girl,
You can read more of Kate Kelty's story and learn about her newly published book on her blog, The Grace to Grieve.
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