Just days before that fateful ultrasound, the future looked bright for our family. We had signed papers on our first house, moved out of the house we were renting, and settled the three of us and minimal possessions into a mobile home while we got the new house ready – the new red house that we had bought for the backyard, the safe neighborhood, and the 3rd bedroom for the new baby… I had even already purchased Winnie the Pooh crib bedding and nursery décor for that 3rd bedroom for Benjamin or Sierrah.
Now we returned home from the D&C to a “home” that was not ours, considerable work to be done on the new house, a toddler to try to explain the loss of her sibling to, recovery, and grief.
In those first few weeks, Jonathan & I spent a lot of time talking and crying together. We discussed so many things we had never considered before, especially regarding faith and theological beliefs. We set out on the road to processing and grieving our loss, all the dreams we had for our family and this greatly-desired second child, at the same time that we began remodeling our newly-purchased house so that we could move into it.
The support we received from friends and family was such a gift – I received flowers from my MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group and from a former pastor and his wife. Cards appeared in the new house’s mailbox that said people loved us, were praying for us, and were so sorry we had to go through this. My sister called in tears over the news, and many of my friends emailed me their condolences. One card in particular sticks out in my memory:
“We shared with you as you dreamed about and anticipated the birth of your baby… and now that your hopes and dreams have ended with the loss of your baby, we want you to know that we share with you in your grief, too. Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time.”The thing that helped the most though, I think, was when people cried with us and for us. One card we got said, “After I told our family your sad news, we all cried together. We are so sorry for your loss.”
We continued on with our lives – Jonathan working during the day and then working on the house at night, while I cared for Hannah and our home. I ate Dove milk chocolates and journaled. Late at night, after Jonathan returned from working on the new house with my dad, and after Hannah was sleeping soundly in her travel crib in her room, we would sit on the couch together and talk. I wanted to heal and time to pass so we could try for another baby, but it was also important to me that we not forget this baby. Little did I know at the time that forgetting would be impossible. I didn’t want to feel we had replaced this baby or that he didn’t matter, so Jonathan & I chose a name. We picked a name that worked for a boy or a girl, since I wasn’t far enough along to know the gender. The origin of the name was from Hebrew, just like ‘Hannah.’ We also chose a middle name. It was a sad time, but I was coping and I still had great hope for the future.
Little did I know what was yet to come…