Friday, 21 October 2016

Capture Your Grief Day 4: Support Circles

At Elliot's meet and greet, we handed out sparklers for friends who wanted to celebrate Annalee's birthday with us in spirit. Receiving photos of our friends and family taking a moment for her brought so much joy to the day. We're so lucky to be surrounded by people who never hesitate to speak Annalee's name; who never stop sending their love on the 20th of each month; who remember her and keep her in their hearts. 

Capture Your Grief Day 3: What it Felt Like

It's impossible to put it into words.

It is every feeling at it's most extreme at basically every moment of every day until you think your heart might burst.

That's as close as I can get.

Capture Your Grief Day 2: Who They Are

Our first positive pregnancy test. Our first ultrasound. The first time I got to experience the glory of maternity pants. The first time I was excited to see my belly grow. The first time we felt baby kicks. The first time we decorated a nursery. The first time we had to come up with baby names. The first time we dreamed about our baby's future.

She is who we'll always wonder about- who she would've been, what her smile would've looked like, how her giggle would've sounded.

She is the missing piece of our hearts.

She is our first daughter, our firstborn.

Capture Your Grief

We're over halfway through Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month (where is time going?). It feels so weird to be going through all of these milestones for a second time, but after months of pushing my heartache aside, I'm excited to participate in #Captureyourgrief again. As hard as it is to do, it always serves me well to speak about Annalee and our experiences. This event is such a good conversation starter and something I'm so grateful for.

It's also a good reminder to speak the names of those babies you or your friends have lost. Life gets busy and as parents of loss continue to heal, they may talk about their experiences less, but that doesn't mean they're not still grieving.

Lots of love to anyone missing their little one this month and always.

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Happy Birthday Annalee!

This post has been incredibly hard to write (hence it being 5 months late). I can't believe that it's been a year. It simultaneously flew by and dragged on. I think a big part of me had set Annalee's birthday as a point to get to- just make it through the year, get through the birthday and all will be well. As it turns out, that's not really how it works. The pain doesn't go away after a year, in fact, celebrating the first birthday of a child that doesn't get to smash a cake or open presents feels a bit like starting back at square one.

The weekend before her birthday, we had some family over for an informal celebration. My mom brought wish papers and we all wrote down our wishes for her, lit them and watched them fly up into the sky. It was such a special and emotional moment. What's so heartbreaking/heartwarming is seeing our little nieces and nephews participate in these things for Annalee. I don't know how much of it they understand, but the fact that they include her as part of the family, even without seeing her, is so special.

Eric, Elliot and I celebrated Annalee's first birthday by making a family trip out to Forgetmenot Pond. I got a horrible stomach ache, Elliot had a huge poo explosion all over his car seat and it was so windy that we could only stay for about 15 minutes. I was feeling a bit defeated about it, but wouldn't you know that as soon as we sat down at a picnic table, a little robin wandered right into our spot and I knew she was with us. Perhaps the disaster of a day was her way of trying to make us laugh again.

Happy birthday, baby girl.