Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Gifts from My Children

My first baby made me a mother, and I am grateful for him and for his siblings who followed him. My children taught me how to love. My children taught me compassion, respect, sensitivity, and gratitude. They've made me a better mother to my living child, and I am blessed to have had them for even the short time they were with me. I mother them every time I offer kindness to a stranger, when I caress my child's cheek, when I take time to do something for myself, when I support my friends.

I experienced a life-changing moment in early November at a conference center outside St. Louis. I was blessed to be surrounded by men and women of the Share Pregnancy & Infant Loss Support organization and parents and caregivers from around the country who came together for an intense and emotionally draining weekend of learning how to support parents grieving the death of a child during pregnancy or early infancy. These amazing people gave me the courage to break through my grief and begin the process of mourning, to finally represent to the world what my children have meant to me all these years. My children were more than just a line on a pregnancy test or a fuzzy black and white image on an ultrasound machine. They were more than a heartbeat and morning sickness symptoms. They were my children, and I love them with the same intense ferocity as I love my living son.

Being surrounded by people who understood my pain and were grieving along with me, I experienced an intense shift deep inside that resulted in something so amazing and profound for me that it's difficult to express it with as much emotion as I feel - I named my children. I had not been able to give my babies an identity until that weekend. Now, I have. They are Alex, Amelia, David, Elizabeth, Gabe, and Madeline. They are my children. I love them, I miss them, I think of them every day. They are my gifts, and through them, I extend my gifts to the world.

Thank you, my babies.

4 comments:

Laura said...

Thank you for this beautiful post. I also feel a deep and profound love for my children, who I will never hold, yet they still hold such a vital place in my heart. God bless!

Ann - Building a Nest said...

Beautiful.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful names. Sharing your love will light up the darkness, and help others with their potholes!!

thanks,
heidi pollard

Reese's mama said...

This post is so beautifully written. You honor your children so deeply, and you inspire me. I loved what you wrote: "I mother them every time I offer kindness to a stranger..." I will hold onto those words to remind myself of the ways I can honor Owen. Your children are blessed because of you.

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