I wish healing were linear, but it isn’t, and it wasn’t for me. I began doing what I knew worked for me. I started working out again, eating healthy, and trying my best to reduce my stress. Kevin and I took trips to bodies of water (I feel most at peace near a big body of water), and we would always find a place to leave KDB’s initials imprinted. In a way, it felt like KDB was out exploring the world too. We wrote his initials on the sand, benches, and trees. We talked about him all the time and celebrated his birthdate and due date. We were healing together, and Kevin and I were ready to get pregnant again. We wanted to give KDB a sibling and were ready to do what we needed to grow our family and continue healing together. Eventually, Kevin and I became pregnant again. We were overjoyed and had a plan set up with our new doctor to prevent what happened to KDB from happening to this new baby. However, the memories overwhelmed me with stress, which stripped my immune system and led me to contract shingles. Shingles at the early stages of pregnancy can be lethal for a fetus, and at 10 weeks pregnant, and just 10 days shy of the 2nd year anniversary of KDB’s loss, we suffered a miscarriage. Another blow, another heartache, another reason to be mad at the world. Once again, our community rallied together to support Kevin and me. The anger returned, but this time it was more internal. This time it was mixed with exhaustion.
Because the rage was more internal, my healing had to be internal too. Affirmations became a part of my daily ritual, even if I didn’t believe them then. I began reading more and checking in with myself more; mind, body, and spirit. Admittedly I threw myself into work which we can argue wasn’t good for me, but at the moment, it’s what I needed. A distraction from the pain. So yes, I’d say it was healing but not sustainable.
Kevin and I still grieve our babies, but every day we show up in a way that we hope would make them proud. We are committed to our babies and to ourselves, and that, for us, looks like being committed to this healing journey. We still talk about them and honor them with physical mementos and rituals. We honor eachother as parents and celebrate mother’s and father’s days because our babies made us parents. And you can’t tell us that Apollo, our Goldendoodle is not their 3rd sibling. Apollo has helped us heal in so many ways. We honor our rough days while still being hopeful for the future; when the time comes for us to raise a child, we will be prepared.
Although Kevin and I are at the center of these efforts, our lift would’ve been so much heavier if it weren’t for the support of our community which includes people who don’t even know us. It’s been six years since we lost KDB, and we are still being held up by our community. We still get texts on anniversaries and meals sent to our house. Just last month, I received a teddy bear, a bracelet with footprints, and a K pendant from Project B.E.A.R, which gives bears to anyone grieving the loss of a baby free of charge. This nonprofit also provides resources for families grieving the loss of an infant, pregnancy, or navigating infertility. Their gift in honor of our babies was exactly what I needed this year. These gestures remind us that our babies have not been forgotten. This is continued healing.
We are not the first, and unfortunately, we will not be the last to know this pain. And although I know this pain, I also know the healing that comes when people support you as you navigate life with loss. It’s why TYSAH Overcoming was created. It’s why I’m writing this blog. Thank you for bearing witness to this part of my healing journey. Thank you for keeping our babies in your heart. Thank you for being a part of this healing community. Thank you.
Read previous blog posts:
Go to Part I
Go to Part II
Go to Part III
Go to Part IV