Thursday, October 15, 2009

we grieve with hope

This week in October is always a hard one for me. I wait for it each year, anticipating it's arrival, yet it always sneaks up on me.

October 15th is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day, and four days later, October 19th, is the anniversary of Nathaniel's birth. And his death. He would be four years old this year.

For those of you who may be new to this blog, our second son, Nathaniel, had a rare chromosomal abnormality called Trisomy 18 (or Edward's syndrome). We chose to carry him to term, knowing full well that his condition was "incompatible with life" and being told at each turn that he would very likely die in utero prior to birth. Except that he didn't. We were blessed with two hours with him... although it wasn't enough. It could never be enough.

When I started writing his story, without formally thinking it or saying it out loud, I kind of/sort of/really hoped to have it done by his birthday. So that I could post on his birthday about his birth day. But unless I do absolutely nothing in the next four days other than write -and unless I write such long posts that likely no one would be interested in reading them- I don't think it's going to happen.

And I'm a little disappointed. In myself. Like I let him down.

I know that that's silly, and that it's about me, not him. Nonetheless, I wish I'd worked more diligently to finish his story on time. But when I ask myself who I'm writing his story for and why I'm writing it, I have to admit that (while I'd love it if you would all take the time to read it) in as much as it is "Nathaniel's story", it's my story too, and I write it for myself and for these other little beings who call me "mom". So that one day they'll be able to read about their brother, and also begin to understand who I was then and how that experience changed me.

How Nathaniel changed me.

It is a story of loss and pain and grief, but also of hope. So I remember him tonight on Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day as I remember him everyday. I am thankful for the oh so brief time we were given with him, and I am thankful for the hope.


  1. Hi there...I came over from my blog (which you commented on) to thank you for pointing out a perspective that had never crossed my mind. I feel better thinking perhaps it was just a cultural thing.

    That said, I read your post and can't imagine how painful losing a baby is. I really have no words. All I can offer is a virtual {hug}

  2. His story is so important, rushing it wouldn't be good. Take your time, I have a feeling it's very theraputic for you to put your feelings into words. These posts will be precious for your boys to read when they are older.

    I am remembering Nathaniel today and babies of friends who did not get enough time with their mommies and daddies.

  3. We've been thinking about Nathaniel this week too, and thinking about how Monday will mark his 4 year birthday. I am so glad that I was able to meet and hold him. Thank you for letting me be a part of surrounding Nathaniel with love while you had him. Love you guys!

  4. I'm afraid I don't have any wise words to share, but when you wondered/hoped that others' would read Nathaniel's story, I just needed to let you know that I did read his story. That I was so thankful to you for posting it, but have never (and still haven't) found the words to properly express how and why.

    I lost my baby brother Robin John when he was full-term in utero. Our family went through a great deal of grief. A form of grief that felt very isolating since people couldn't really understand everything we were going through ... that he was a full-fledged member of our family, and we lost him and all our dreams for him. Like Nathaniel has changed you, Robin changed all of us too. Every year, we still honour his birth (and death) day as well. He would be 28 this year.

    I urge you not to feel disappointed for not finishing his story, and instead feel proud of having started it and sharing it. It will certainly prove to be a very important thing for your other children to remember him by. But I think it will also provide solace to readers too.

    Wishing you continued peace and hope,

  5. The amount of effort and emotional healing (that so often comes hand in hand with pain) it must be taking you to not only write Nathaniel's story down, but also SHARE it with the world through you blog is something you should be very, VERY proud of. It is stories like these that help so many others accept (somehow, this word does not seem right - but another evades me) their own heart-breaks. You are helping so many people - yourself, your husband, you children, your readers - by sharing your powerful posts.
    I comend you.

  6. Amy, you're honouring Nathaniel by writing his story and you're also honouring yourself with the effort. Take your time. He is worth it and so are you. Hugs.

  7. Sharing your story is the best thing you can do. Take your time. Nathaniel's life was so precious, he's worth it.

  8. I can't believe I missed it! I almost missed it last year, but I've been so busy this month that I missed the 15th completely. Sigh.

    I've been wondering about your story, and I'm looking forward to reading the rest of it. Take your time, though. It's hard to write about loss.

    Thanks for taking the time to write this, and don't feel bad for not getting it all done for his birthday. :)

  9. Thank you Amy for Sharing your story. October 15th will be remembered for a more important issue to me now, also my birthday.

    The most difficult things in life make us stronger, and that is truly a blessing. Huge Hugs to you and your Family.



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