Thursday, June 16, 2016

Love, Mom.

My Little One,

I don't know if I can put this all into words, but I'll try my hardest. You deserve that, and I think it will help me too. I hope.

You appeared so quickly, far less than the expected 2 minutes we were instructed it would take. You were a surprise, but the best kind. Your dad and I were pretty quiet that first night as we both processed everything, but went to bed knowing that an amazing adventure awaited us. We both couldn't wait to be parents together, it was scary but we knew it would be so worth it.

Just a few short days later we headed off to Boston as a family of 2.5, though we were pretty much the only ones who knew. The race didn't matter to me anymore, at least not in the sense that it did a few weeks prior. You gave me a good explanation of why the last few weeks felt so off, and why my motivation was lacking. We enjoyed the weekend together, I loved showing you and your Dad around Boston.
Come Patriot's day, I was very conflicted. I wanted to run, but I wanted to do what was best for us. I started with a very loose plan, but come the halfway point I knew that the best thing for us would be to pull the plug. So I slowed down and we took it easy- something I will never regret. I crossed that finish line with my hand on my stomach, and said this was for you. The 2016 Boston Marathon was for you.

After returning home, you and I spent all of our time together. You got me to slow down, relax and take a much needed break from running. You wanted me to rest, and I did. We ate a lot of food, we grew together, and my body started growing with that. 

At 8 weeks, we heard your heartbeat. I think my heart skipped it's own beat in awe of how strong and amazing you sounded. You were growing perfectly, you looked like a little peanut and we had our first picture of you. We felt safe, and comforted knowing you were growing up fast. We went to bed early, we ate well (and often!), and we did everything we could for you.

We spent the weekend before you marked the eleventh week up at the cabin in The Thousand Islands. We shared that time with my parents, and we all talked about the things you would do as you grew up creating memories here- just like your Aunt Megan and I did. Your dad and I started making plans, talking about names, and sharing the news. Family and close friends knew about you, and soon everyone else would too. 

As we were about to end the first trimester, and since we had heard your heartbeat already, the risks had decreased drastically.We went to the doctor to check up on you and get some genetic testing, we could even know if you were a baby boy or girl soon from that! We were so excited for the next step, and went in with hope and love. 

It was a Tuesday morning, and everything changed in an instant.

We found out that your heart had stopped beating, and we instantly felt like ours had too.  I still looked, and felt pregnant, you were still there but at the same time you weren't. It was confusing and scary and incredibly sad. Your Dad and I cannot stop hearing those words and that is something that will take time to process but it's something we will go through together.

We're sad, and mad and we keep questioning every breath from the last few months. The cold fact is there was nothing we did wrong, though we will always wonder. Because we cared about you, and wanted to keep you safe. It's hard knowing your heart just wasn't strong enough, regardless of how much love we had for you. We know we're not alone and we know that many have suffered like us. We have hope for the future together with kids and we know that some will never have that- I promise not to take that for granted.

We were ready to share with the world, we had it planned and we couldn't have been more excited. At first I wondered if we got too excited, if we got too far ahead of ourselves but then I realized I wouldn't change a thing regardless of the outcome. I don't think it's possible to detach and not be hopeful just to try and preserve yourself in case something happens. Expecting the worst is not the way to live. Regardless of how we felt and who we told or what we did- it was still going to hurt. Putting a wall up doesn't make things easier, it just prevents people who love you from supporting you and being there. 

Your Dad and I spent a lot of time just sitting, talking and being together. We had each other and I cannot tell you how important that is. While I was the one carrying you, WE made you, and it was something WE both have to process. Together we also decided I would still join your Aunt Heather on our planned trip to Utah shortly after this all happened. We believed it would be good for me, even though being apart during this time would be tough for us. The days would be filled with adventure, and the nights we were only a phone call away from each other when things were harder (okay, the nights were really challenging).

The trip to Utah did indeed help, even if some wondered why or how I could go. I put on a happy face and allowed myself to experience things. Not because I wasn't sad, not because I wasn't hurting. But because sitting down and letting the silence take over would have consumed me. So instead, I focused my energy on taking care of myself, supporting one of my biggest supporters, and experiencing things that I could only have hoped to do with you one day. One of the mornings, it was just you and I listening to music as we drove up a dark winding canyon road in search of a good spot. We found that spot, and we sat while I cried watching the sunrise over a reservoir nestled in the mountains. While I knew I had a long way to go, I feel like that moment gave me a piece of hope and a sliver of acceptance.
I flew home late on a Monday night, I was beyond ready to be there with your Dad. It had been 6 days since we got the news and those words still felt like they were a broken record in my head that I couldn't turn off. On that 7th day we spent a few hours with people who helped us get the closure we needed.  My body hadn't yet realized what was going on, and simply waited until I was in a safe place with your Dad and some incredibly caring nurses and doctors. As hard as that last week with you was, I'm grateful I had that time to process and grieve at my own pace. While you're gone now, we know it will take time. Sad just takes time.

In your few months you saw and did more than some do in a lifetime. You ran a blizzard half marathon with me being your unknowing Trojan horse to the finish. You welcomed your cousin Max into the world with us. You took part in the 120th Boston marathon in a blazing time of 3:16 (it took me 6 tries to get a time like that, you did it in one!). You flew on a plane, went hiking in a canyon, and so many other things I could have only hoped to do again with you. Perhaps the most important thing that you experienced though, was love. You were so incredibly loved, and I cannot express that in any words that will do it justice. You were loved,  you showed your Dad and I even more love in each other and those around us.

I debated sharing this letter with anyone but you. But you were a part of my life, something your Dad and I were happy to have even though it ended too soon. I don't want to pretend you weren't there, because you were and probably always will be in some ways.

Love, Mom 

28 comments:

  1. I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing the letter, I know so many that have experienced that heartbreak and feel unable to voice it. I hope you two are able to find the comfort you need with each other & your friends & family.

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    1. Thank you, Christine. It's sad to me that so many have to go through it. After some friends learned of the news, it was shocking to hear how many of them had gone through something similar but many now have kids after the fact.

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  2. This was beautiful. And sad. And eloquent. And lovely. Thank you for sharing it, because sometimes we all need reminders that there are loving, wonderful people in the world.

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    1. Thank you Layla for your kind words <3

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  3. From the heart. I can relate. Peace be upon your heart, Laura. This was a beautiful letter.
    -R

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    1. Thank you Raina, I'm sorry that you or anyone can relate. Something I'd never wish on anyone. Hugs.

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  4. I'm so sorry for your loss. This letter was beautiful and I know your little one received it. Sending you lots of positive thoughts.

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  5. There's not much I can say, but thank you for sharing this beautiful post, and I'm so incredibly sorry for your loss.

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  6. Thank you for sharing such a beautiful letter. You will always be a mother now, and you will always have an angel above that was simply too perfect for this earth. Please know that you will never grieve alone. May you find comfort and solitude from the little things, and know that there is no footprint too small to leave its mark in this world.
    I am so very sorry for the loss of your baby. may peace and comfort be with you during this time.

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    1. Thank you very much for the sweet sentiments Melissa

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  7. Laura, I'm so sorry for your loss. I know there is nothing anyone can say to take away the hurt and loss you and your husband are feeling right now. Your little one will always be a part of you and made you a mother. Hugs and prayers for comfort from your friend in Arkansas. ❤️

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  8. I stumbled upon your blog this evening, and just wanted to tell you how beautifully eloquent this letter is and how very sorry I am for the loss that you and your partner have suffered. I hope you're able to find peace in all of the wonderful memories you shared with your child.

    (And I really hope nobody has been callous enough to imply anything like this to you, but please rest assured that running during pregnancy did not have ANYTHING to do with your loss!! I have run until delivery with my babies and I've heard many hurtful comments of that ilk, and just wanted to reiterate that absolutely NOTHING you did caused any harm to your baby.)

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    1. Thank you for taking the time to comment and reach out Rachael. Luckily no one has made any comments to us about my running, at least not directly to us. My doctor gave me permission to still run Boston just as long as I was smart (I obviously called to talk to her about it beforehand). We also know that hearing the heartbeat WEEKS after Boston was a good sign that running wasn't the cause. After the race I ran ONCE in those few weeks because I simply didn't want to, and thought the downtime was best. We know there isn't anything we could have done and that unfortunately things like this just happen. It's never easy, and we will always wonder...but we constantly remind ourselves that it wasn't our fault. Thank you again Rachael, really.

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  9. Thinking of you. So sorry for your loss.

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  10. Thank you so much for sharing. I am definitely thinking of you and your family right now. Take care of yourself.

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  11. Elizabeth LovriaJune 22, 2016 at 6:40 AM

    We have a mutual friend who informed me of this post last night. This was beautiful and my heart broke. I am extremely sorry for you and your loss. Take it easy right now-both mentally and physically as you move forward. More importantly, remember, you are not alone in this & reach out to people to get you through-to people who will support you and help. You'll be in my thoughts....hope to see you again in the future on some course. Hugs

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  12. I suffered 2 miscarriages last year and understand your heartbreak. It is the worst pain you'll ever feel. I wish you the best down the road, I kept telling myself, I WILL have a baby some day and now I have a 5 month-old wild, baby boy. Lots of hugs to you.

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  13. So Sorry you are going through this, my heart is breaking for you. Lots of Hugs, thinking of you and Brian as you go through the healing process.

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  14. Laura! I am catching up on blogs and had missed this... my heart hurts for you! I had a miscarriage as well and it was so, so hard. I'm glad you're now getting back into running a bit as you heal emotionally... that can help you feel more normal. Sending love!

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  15. <3 <3 <3 You're not alone. <3 <3 <3

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  16. Laura, I'm a fellow Rochester runner and have been a secret admirer of you for years now. You are one of the "Rochester elite" ladies I always look for and try my best to compete against. This post is beautiful. I'm so sorry you had to go through this, but in the end, it sounds like you are at peace with what happened. This letter is something you will always have to remind you of the times you spent with your baby, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing it. My husband and I have struggled for years now to have children, and reading this brought me to tears (I was hysterically ugly crying) and comforted me, knowing we are not alone. You aren't, either. I'm so glad you recognize that you did nothing wrong. Take all the time you need to heal. I've never met you in real life, but perhaps some day I'll be brave enough to introduce myself (after you've kicked my ass in a race) and thank you in person.

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  17. Hi Laura, I recall seeing your IG pics over this summer and wondering if everything was okay with you. It all makes more sense now. I'm so sorry for your loss, and I deeply admire your bravery and candor to talk openly about your experiences. You aren't alone. Many hugs to you from California. <3

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  18. So sad for your loss, Laura :( Stay awesome and strong! Hugs from Norway

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