On September 9th, 2013 my husband and I walked into the Hospital Emergency Room in California not really knowing what we were walking in to. All we knew was that I needed to be checked by a doctor. The doctor we initially met gave us two goals: one to make sure I was still pregnant and the second goal was to get to 40 weeks. He held his hopes that night a little bit higher than I did. See for me this was my 5th pregnancy and each night as I tucked my two sweet little girls into bed, I was reminded that only two had made it.
So that night as I stood next to my husband in the front of the emergency waiting room I heard the words that changed the course of the 24 hours. I had what they thought was a right ectopic pregnancy. This would have been my second ectopic pregnancy and this one would have ended all natural ways of conceiving. What I didn’t know until after the surgery almost 6 hours later was that our sweet baby was stuck on the cusp of what was left of my left tube. It’s not something that is typically seen in non-IVF conception, but it happened and it changed our next 12 months. See, due to the surgery, I had to wait 1 year to allow physical healing.
I expected during the next six weeks to go through the grief cycle and I expected myself to move forward quickly, but it didn’t happen. Somewhere in the midst of hearing about the damage done physically, and trying to heal I started to bury things. I thought I was doing well at hiding my emotions and I thought I had a handle on it, but my friends knew that wasn’t the case. An one lonely night as my husband was away my friend sent me a Facebook message it had 3 links, one for Molly Bears, one for Return to Zero and one for OC Walk To Remember. At the time I didn’t think much about. I worked a full time job, volunteered, took care of our little girls and went to school. I had basically piled everything into this year so that I could avoid what the emotional damage that had been lingering since my 3rd loss.
Somewhere later in that year I found myself not being able to avoid the emotions – between comments from others and just a rough time physically healing I had hit my max emotional capacity. See, this was the first year that I would approach all 3 milestones of each loss alone. So one day while surfing Facebook I saw the post about Nurture to Remember. There were only a few spots left, and it was the day before the one year mark. I knew I would be an emotional wreck, but there was something in me that knew I needed to go, but as most probably do I made excuses. It will show that I am weak, or that this is still lingering were the top two excuses followed by the more realistic excuses like I had no babysitter in case I didn’t make it back in time before the daycare closed, or maybe I wouldn’t fit in since I am just a pregnancy loss Mom. But somewhere in the pile of excuses I arranged for the day off work and a back up sitter just in case I didn’t make it back in time. I went, and I immediately felt community that I hadn’t been able to physically find during each loss. I also witnessed that brightness does come back around, even while coping with grief. Going to Nurture to Remember pushed my passion even more toward walking the Forever Footprints OC Walk To Remember mainly because I stood witness to what healing that the Nurture to Remember brought me and because I believed that this would allow for even more healing.
As I drove down to Tustin for the walk, the girls and I were excited. This would be the first time ever walking for the three that I had lost. As I stood there listening to their names being called it felt like this dark and hazy cloud that I had been dealing with in the background had started to lift. As I look back, I wouldn’t change going because it not only helped this aching heart of mine heal, but it also helped me walk those steps that my babies never could and it gave the steps that I never thought I could walk for them. There was a healing aspect of hearing their names, walking those steps and watching others look on as their small little photos came up on a big screen. It made me physically realize that I am not alone in this walk of loss. There were many booths that I took information from and in the following weeks while I was working I was able to hand off to someone else in need. As much as I would have liked to just think that the walk was for us as Mothers and Fathers, it wasn’t. See, we go there and we walk those steps that help bringing healing to us and from there we go forth and walk those steps with others the best we can, offering them as much support or help as possible as they walk their path into a club they never wanted to be apart of.
As I look back, I wouldn’t change going because it not only helped this aching heart of mine heal, but it also helped me walk those steps that my babies never could and it gave the steps that I never thought I could walk for them.
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