Trigger Warning: Sensitive Material
I’ve been very quiet recently. I’m becoming a louder activist about a lot of other things important to me, but when it comes to my adoption or children in general, I lost my voice for a little bit. As hard as all of this is to put out there to the public, I feel like it’s very important to be transparent. I also feel like there’s someone else out there who needs this as badly as I did. I don’t know. But I really need to get this off my chest.
About a month ago I had a miscarriage. I lost a baby that I didn’t take the time to notice. I didn’t take a test, but somewhere in the back of my mind I knew there was life in there. I won’t go into details, but after the loss, I don’t need a doctor to tell me what happened. But I was too busy. There was too much going on. I couldn’t think about a baby, I couldn’t think about any of it. I didn’t grieve for a couple of weeks, but when I finally did, I wrote a letter. Some may say that it doesn’t matter, but to me it does. This was a child and I chose to ignore them. I have dedicated my life to children. My children, children in foster care, children overseas. Making it safer for them, healthier for them, trying to be a voice for the voiceless. And yet I sat and ignored what was happing just inside of me.
And I got behind. I slowed down. I couldn’t get the “what ifs” out of my mind. I was hardly able to take care of Axel due to the guilt. The guilt of not taking the time to acknowledge and find out.
But I’m better now. I haven’t exactly forgiven myself, but I’m moving forward.
I wrote this letter to my little one. For the first time I finally allowed myself to grieve. It is raw, the grammar probably isn’t the best, and I’m sure there are several faults with it. But it’s my heart, and I wanted to leave it the way it was on that night a couple of weeks ago.
To the Baby I Never Acknowledged,
First, I love you. I love you more than life itself. And I am so angry that I never told you.
I am so angry that I didn’t get to know you, that I wasn’t looking forward to the journey, waiting to meet you.
I’d been so preoccupied with life. With Axel, with Roman and Polly. I was so overwhelmed at the thought of having another little one. I was so worried they wouldn’t let us bring home your brother and sister if you were in my belly. So I didn’t think. I just kept moving.
It’s what I do when I’m stressed, I just keep moving. And I don’t think I’ll ever be able to forgive myself.
I never went to a midwife to make sure you were ok. I never sat down with your daddy to contemplate your name. I never tried imagining you sitting at the dinner table. I never imagined you in your brothers’ clothes, and adding bows and glitter to it all if you were a girl.
I will never forgive myself for not acknowledging your life.
I will never forgive myself for saying “a baby is that last thing we need.”
Because I was wrong. I needed you. Your daddy needed you. But God needed you more.
But I will tell you that your daddy wanted you so bad. He wouldn’t admit it often, but he really wanted you here. I think he was praying that you’d show up right when we didn’t expect it. I want to kick myself for ever saying he was wrong or shouldn’t wish for you.
I don’t want you to be gone without me saying that I’m sorry. For a brief moment in time I didn’t think it was important that you had left. But now, two weeks later, I realize I’ve failed you.
I’ll never know if it was because I was too fat, too unhealthy, or too stressed. I’ll never know if there’s something I could have done.
But I won’t ignore your absence, and I won’t forget your presence.
I’m going to use this grief to remember there is life outside of just “staying busy.” I’m going to spend more time with Axel, preparing him the best I can for Roman and Polly.
There will never not be enough room. I will always make room, space, time.
You will never be replaced, and I won’t even attempt to try. But you’ll be my constant reminder to love the life in front of me, to experience those around me, to remind me that it’s ok to feel. Constantly reminding me that my heart is allowed to break, and I don’t have to tape it together.
I love you so much, Little One.
Love, forever and ever, your mommy.