Eight

Raising kids is stamped with firsts. First steps, first words, first day of school, first time driving a car, first date.  There were many other firsts in the year following baby loss.  First Christmas without my babies.  First time a close friend had a baby.  First time I attended a support group meeting for parents that have lost babies. 

Instead of all of the joyous events throughout the year with a child, I have other days.

  1. September 4th: the day Nelle was born.  It was ironically Labor Day weekend that year.
  2. January 14th: my due date.  A day only meaningful to me, but a day I always remember because that’s the day she should have had a birthday. It also happens to be my wedding anniversary.
  3. February 13th:  The day Iris was born.  I was so relieved that it was not Valentine’s Day, knowing the day would then always be wracked with mixed emotions.
  4. July 28th: My due date with Iris. See above.
  5. June 6th – Annual SHARE Garden Blessing and Butterfly Release: This will be a different day every year, but a day to honor our babies.  The names of the babies were read aloud; one of the few times that I get to hear their names aloud.
  6. October 14th – Walk to Remember:  This will also be a different day every year, but another gathering of the SHARE group to honor our babies.  Their names are also read aloud here.
  7. October 15th – Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day: A day when all grieving parents can come together and be surrounded by love and support from friends and a day where the community can better understand their pain and reach out to those grieving.
  8. November 2nd – All Souls Day:  A day that has become meaningful for me, even though I do not otherwise attend Catholic church.  But since first losing Nelle, I go, light a candle, and sit among those who have lost someone.

Eight days a year.  Though they are never far from my mind, eight days a year to focus on our baby girls and everything we lost.

Here I am now, eight months pregnant.  Drinking eight glasses of water a day to stay hydrated and minimize swelling.  80 degrees tomorrow.

1:08 am and I am awake. Again. I will not be able to fall asleep until I do kick counts. One-two-three-four-five-six-seven-eight-nine-ten.

My oldest son will be eight years old in September. It was never the plan to have such a gap between my oldest child and my youngest.

Eight. 08/08.  August 8th: The date of my scheduled c-section.  At 8:15 in the morning. Surrounded by eights.

Yesterday was twenty-five days. Now twenty-four. Three eights.  Three children. Three babies.  Eight. Infinity. Because a mother’s love is infinite.