This past Saturday was National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day. I wanted to organize a walk or do something special to celebrate Allie. I spent hours trying to figure out the best thing to do. And then life took over and what was meant to happen, did.
Gary’s brother and his wife had a wedding to attend and they needed someone to watch the kids for the night. Babysitting our niece and nephews is some of the best therapy for me. It gives me time with the kids to get outside of my head and down on the floor playing with them. It forces me to live in the moment. It shows me Gary’s silly side and reinforces how much I can’t wait for him to be a dad to a living child. And it reminds me how much I am loved by the kids and their parents.
So off to NJ we went. In my overnight bag was a small candle we were going to light at 7pm that night as a part of a nationwide (maybe worldwide?) event I learned on Facebook to honor the babies that are no longer with us. On my wrist is a pink bracelet…and it matches the one that Gary wears. I have since put away the adorable Pandora charm with the baby carriage that my mom gave me for my birthday last year. I am not meant to wear that bracelet right now. So I wear this one.
We got there and the kids were so excited to see us! There is no feeling in the world better than the hugs you get from the little arms wrapped around you. My 7 year old nephew almost immediately noticed our bracelets and asked what they meant. Uncle Gary tried to explain that we were wearing them to remember Allie. Our nephew had a very serious look on his face and asked that we just not talk about it anymore. It made him sad. That took my breath away. It makes us sad, too, buddy. It’s ok.
When 7:00 rolled around, the baby was already asleep and we decided not to invite the boys into the kitchen where we lit the candle as it was not necessary for them at that time. So off to the kitchen we went and we light the candle. We were quiet, letting our faces be illuminated by the small flame. I think we both said “We love you, baby girl” and stood silent for a few moments. Then we went back into the living room and watched Nickelodeon with the boys.
Sunday morning came and I packed up the candle with the rest of my things and a few hours later we drove home. I am so glad we lit the candle and had an official time and space in that day to honor our baby. But the true highlight of the day was when my oldest nephew read to me before he went to bed. And when my niece showed me she knows how to clap now. And when my other nephew jumped onto my lap on Sunday morning and snuggled with me. So I guess Saturday was just like any other day in a way. Just like the day before and the day after. Any other day, that is, since I had a baby who died.