Can I get a show of hands for how many people knew that today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day?
I didn’t know either, until we lost Ethan and I started to scour the Internet for any and every idea on how to deal with something I’d of course thought about, but found myself almost completely unprepared for.
Luckily I did find a lot of helpful resources, like prayer, this book, and beautifully enough, my own blog. You, my readers, have been a tangible experience of God’s grace this year. I am beyond grateful for every one of you who has read, commented, emailed, and prayed. Those who told me that you’re experiencing the same thing. Those who told me that you don’t know what it’s like but your heart is hurting with mine. Those who told me that you believe Ethan is watching out for us, that your faith would be there to carry mine when it wavered.
Nine months later—no coincidence, I’m sure—here I am, stronger, more convinced of God’s grace, more willing to trust in Him than I was at the start of the year, even if a part of me is and always will be a little bit broken. That’s okay. The cliché is true: I’d rather be a little bit broken then never to have loved our littlest one.
And now, as you and anyone who gets a good look at me know, we are expecting again. Another little boy. As I think about Henry’s life and contrast it with Ethan’s, I come to one mind-blowing conclusion:
If we hadn’t had Ethan for the time we did, if we hadn’t lost him at the time we did, we would not have the other child I am carrying today.
I don’t think bittersweet is the word for it. There is something sad about this thought, and likewise something hopeful. More than anything, it is a reminder of all that is beyond my control and rightly should be.
Ethan’s presence, however short, however invisible to anyone who doesn’t know me—not even the dry cleaning lay knew I was pregnant then—made an irreversible impact on our family. Everything will be the way it is from this point forward because he was a part of it here on earth for a while.
Knowing that his life had an effect on our family when it was just getting started is, today, a comfort to me. It might not have felt that way in January, but I know it is true now. At this point, that’s all I need to hold on to.