If you follow me on Facebook, then you probably saw this blog coming a mile away. I have had post after post of a weekend getaway with my Rainbow Moms, and it was nothing short of amazing.
In my life, there has been no greater tragedy than my daughter's death. Learning that my daughter had stopped breathing while she was still inside of me, attached me, was almost more than I could take. I am not sure how my heart kept beating when hers stopped.
Six years later and my ache for her is still so real that I feel like it's sitting next to me some days. I love it when people say her name and when people remember that I had a child before the one they see me with at the mall or at the park.
I miss her with every fiber of my being. My husband feels the longing the same as me. After all, she was as much a part of him as she was of me. I will always remember counting her toes when she was delivered and seeing how they were chubby like a baby, but long like her daddy.
I have come to learn in those years, that there are others that feel the same emptiness. They are the parents who also had to say goodbye before they even barely got to say hello.
I spent the weekend with seven of those moms (and one very courageous dad to put up with us all!). We were together to celebrate a milestone birthday for one of us, and it was just the best.
Those of us that made it to the party all live far apart. We drove hours and hours, made carpools, shared rooms and did not think twice about it. We greeted each other with warm hugs and did not want to let go. We started with some cocktails as soon as we checked in and many of us did not stop celebrating until about eight hours later.
We laughed. We danced. We shared stories. We talked about nothing. We talked about everything.
I do not remember saying Allie's name at all on this weekend. But she was with me, as she always is.
Our shared grief has turned into such a bond that we live in the present and not the past. We tend to talk more about the children we are raising than the ones that stay forever young. We call ourselves the Rainbow Mamas and not the Dead Baby Mamas. We are about living and surviving and not death and dying.
We all know the bonds that brought us together cannot be broken. We all wish that those babies were alive and that we never had to even meet each other. We all know they are not and that the friendships we have formed in their honor is the next best thing to them being here.
It's a crazy kind of club. But it's our club. And I love these women in a way I never thought possible. Even when they get "Despacito" stuck in my head. Even when I have had too much sangria. Even as I belt out all the words to "Hungry Eyes" and "Living on a Prayer" when the cool girls are singing to Bell Biv DeVoe.
I know that they will not bring my daughter back any more than I can bring their babies back. They can, however, help me be a strong and courageous mom for my living child and make sure the memory of my baby born still is never forgotten.
To Skylar, Leo, R.E., Jameson, Gianni, Evan, Tylee and Allie...thanks for giving us each other. And thanks for helping us have yet another night to remember!