October is infant and pregnancy loss awareness month. I wanted to talk a bit about what it's like to be a family of four but look like a family of three. Carrying another baby helped me cope with Piper's death. I've talked a lot about the earth shattering fear I've lived with the past (almost) nine months but haven't touched on the healing aspect of growing Squeak. It gave my heart another chance to expand. It gave my body and mind another important task.
We miss Piper. I don't think there will ever be a day in my life when I don't think of her or weave her in to my day dreams. Beau and I talk often of being parent to two baby girls. We like to fantasize what it would be like to parent them, just 12 months apart. The fun, the love and the challenges of maneuvering two car seats in the back of his fancy car, (that I'm not allowed to eat in or drive for that matter). Today my arms feel extra empty and I feel sad that I missed out on being Pipers mom as she grew up.
It's the now heavy reality of knowing what I am missing. Beau and I spend a lot of the day gazing at Birdie and yelling to one another to come swoon over typically baby things like yawning. Many times one of us come dashing from room to room to witness a gummy smile. I had imagined all the things I would miss now that I'm experiencing them with Birdie it adds another layer to my grief.
Having your rainbow baby baby helps fill your arms but it can never replace your babies. It occupies your heart but it can never repair it. You get to love extra because you have survived the unimaginable. I've typed and talked about how you don't need to know pain to know love but for me it feels so intense. I have to pinch myself, not only to stay awake, but to remind myself that I am truly a mother to a living, breathing miracle. That's not always the case though. Sometimes there isn't a rainbow after the storm but you still have to fight like hell through the pain.
We find ourselves accidentally calling Birdie, Piper. In fact our family, friends and even a nurse who had heard me speak at the stillbirth summit did it in the NICU. Sometimes people don't even realize they have done it. You might think that's horrific and painful but I count it as a victory. I have successfully told our story and spoke of my child so often, that on occasion, her sister is called her name. Piper lives in all of us. Her story will never die.
Rest easy my girl.