This almost didn’t get written. It seems so long ago… I struggled to feel if I still have a voice here.
My younger two, through no fault of anyone but myself, don’t really know about Carter.
It’s complicated, so many facets to telling them our story that is part of our family but happened before them. I’m closer to telling them… But it seems like a different life and not all at the same time.
Life has come full circle.
And yet…. After nearly a decade, the pain is still there.
It was a Thursday. I’ll never forget it was a Thursday.
But my terrible Thursday? Turned in to my friend’s terrible Monday… and another friend’s terrible Tuesday… and more and more and more. It’s still happening. Every day. After a decade since our story, the numbers for pregnancy loss, miscarriage, stillbirth, infant death in our country have… not …. changed.
Not everyone ends up with a happy story on the other side. Sometimes they only get one chance and it’s taken away too soon, and still the numbers haven’t changed.
I have no answers, I honestly haven’t really advocated. The reason for our loss? Placental Abruption and Incompetent Cervix.
And after a decade, we have an amazing Party of Five family. I am so grateful, thankful, and daily feel blessed. Then, I stop and think what life would be like as a Party of Six!
Carter? He would be 10 this year. For some reason this year I really digested that. I realized a few people in my life, that would probably a tighter part of our circle with boys the same age. My oldest son, who daily asks me for a brother, well, he would have one. And my eldest, who was so young to live through so much pain and has asked me to something pretty amazing in his memory this year, well, all that pain wouldn’t never have existed.
Then, I think about my dear friend who had to live through this pain so recently and I just want to wipe it away for her, and every other Mother and family out there. And, on this last few days of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, I’ll leave you with this poem that was shared with me a decade ago…
“A Pair of Shoes”
I am wearing a pair of shoes.
They are ugly shoes.
I hate my shoes.
Each day I wear them, and each day I wish I had another pair.
Some days my shoes hurt so bad that I do not think I can take another step.
Yet, I continue to wear them.
I get funny looks wearing these shoes.
They are looks of sympathy.
I can tell in others eyes that they are glad they are my shoes and not theirs.
They never talk about my shoes.
To learn how awful my shoes are might make them uncomfortable.
To truly understand these shoes you must walk in them.
But, once you put them on, you can never take them off.
I now realize that I am not the only one who wears these shoes.
There are many pairs in this world.
Some woman are like me and ache daily as they try and walk in them.
Some have learned how to walk in them so they don’t hurt quite as much.
Some have worn the shoes so long that days will go by before they think about how much they hurt.
No woman deserves to wear these shoes.
Yet, because of these shoes I am a stronger woman.
These shoes have given me the strength to face anything.
They have made me who I am.
I will forever walk in the shoes of a woman who has lost a child.
– Author unknown