Tuesday, October 27, 2009

My daughter, the healer of broken hearts....

It's amazing sometimes for me to think how far I've come in the last 6 years, in terms of motherhood. I can recall almost every detail from each IVF we went through and each miscarriage. Yet, when it comes to actually talking about it, it's still hard....still painful.

After my 1st miscarriage, I put together a memory box, full of momentos from that pregnancy. It included ultrasound pictures, congratulations cards from friends and family, a pregnancy calendar my sister had given me and a few pregnancy books I had been given as gifts. As wierd as it may sound, I had even saved all the home pregnancy tests I had done after having received the results from my beta (just to convince myself that I was STILL pregnant).

It also held all the sympathy cards we received after the loss of our pregnancy, flowers that I had dried and saved which we had received from friends and a little porcelain angel that a good friend had sent me, along with a beautiful poem.

It took me months to finally gather the strength to put all those special things in a box and tuck it away inside my closet. I never had any intention of opening the box for quite some time....until my next 2 miscarriages.

The 3rd miscarriage was especially hard because we had become attached to that pregnancy more so than the others. We had had the opportunity to see and hear the baby's heartbeat on 3 different occasions and had allowed ourselves to believe for just a few weeks that we were "out of the woods". Then came that fateful day when, at an ultrasound appointment, I learned that we had lost the baby.

Once those memories were all inside the box, I closed it and put it in my closet and never looked back. I had no reason to...I knew the memories were there and, of course, they were always in my heart.

Anyone who has been through the same thing will tell you that those memories never quite go away. You get past the grief but your heart never fully recovers....there will still be that small bit of emptiness that you will carry around with you for the rest of your life.

So, years have gone by and I'm now a mother to 4 beautiful children. The memory box is still in my closet, though I had never looked through it....until recently.

I was in our bathroom one day getting dressed and Bella was in there talking with me, while trying on some of my sandals and shoes. I left the bathroom for a few minutes to go downstairs and grab some clothes out of the dryer.

While I was gone, for just those few minutes, she had gone into one of the closests in our room, found the memory box and had emptied the contents of it out onto the floor. I walked into the room and saw her looking through everything. I was immediately stunned and speechless.

She asked, "Mommy, what is all this stuff?" and I couldn't answer her. The words were stuck in my throat. She held up an ultrasound picture from our 1st IVF pregnancy and said, "is this an X-ray?" Looking at that picture literally took my breath away. I remembered the exact moment when my RE had handed me that picture...it was still so clear in my mind.

I said, "I'm not ready to talk about this with you yet....let's start putting all these things back in the box". She continued to look at the other ultrasound pictures and she said, "Can't you just tell me what THIS is", as she pointed to the picture of a perfectly formed baby that we would never get to hold in our arms.

What could I say? How could she possibly understand this, at such a young age? I couldn't bring myself to say anything at the moment. I just looked at the ultrasound pictures, the HPT sticks, the cards....I flipped through the pregnancy calendar which I had already begun to fill out with excitement and hope. I think another little piece of my heart broke....

I finally said, "It was a baby....." and she looked at me and then back at the ultrasound picture again. She asked, "Who's baby is it?"

Again, I felt that lump in my throat and I tried my best to stifle the tears that threatened to come. I answered, "It was our baby...but it just wasn't meant to be...God wanted our baby up in Heaven with Him". She touched the other ultrasound pictures and asked, "Are they all the same baby?" and I told her that there had been 3 babies but that they were all in Heaven now.

Now I know I complain an awful lot about how sassy Bella can be but, for some reason, I think right then she sensed that this was as far as I could go on the topic. She stood up and wrapped her arms tightly around my neck and she whispered to me, "It's okay, Mommy. You have us now".

It's moments like these that I cherish the most. Somehow children can sense our emotions and they know exactly what to say, right when you need to hear it the most. Even though we may not realize it, children are capable of healing our broken hearts, just as much as we heal theirs.

And I said back to her, "Yes, I know and I'm so very lucky, aren't I?"

65 comments:

PaisleyJade said...

That brought tears to my eyes reading it - so sweet. I too have a memory box with all the little things we had after the loss of two babies... and now I have 4 darlings here... but still get a bit choked up when I look through the box.

Buckeroomama said...

Oh, Helene, you know how I always say that you crack me up? This time you brought tears to my eyes. That was SO sweet of Bella. Yes, these little ones do sense when we need a little TLC from them, too. {{Hugs}}

Missy (Two Little Monkeys) said...

What a beautiful post! I am crying now but oh what a special moment! Bella has such a sweet heart! It is amazing what we can take away from a conversation with our little ones. Sometimes I think God sends us children so He can speak through them! Bless you! Your post made my day!

MrsM said...

I think children are uniquely able to soothe people because they are so instinctually compassionate. How blessed you are to have such a sweet daughter.

Lee the Hot Flash Queen said...

What a wonderful story. Just when you think you have had enough, they show you how wonderful they are.

Kelly said...

Absolutely beautiful! Thankyou for sharing that.

Mom of Three said...

See you made me cry. God bless your little babies. All of them.

Donna said...

Okay, tears in my coffee. But what a sweet, sweet story. Bella completely melted my heart. Amazing that more ?'s didn't come, etc, etc - she just simply comforted you - instinctly knowing that's what you needed. Oh, what a brilliant little girl! Just like her Mommy. Thanks for sharing such a great moment.

kys said...

What a little sweetie. I'm sorry for all your struggles and losses but so happy for you and your 4 precious kiddos.

Christina said...

See? She's already got a heart just like her Mommy. I'm so sorry for the pain that it brought you...*hugs*

Mighty M said...

That is so sweet, what a perfect thing to say. I have my own box, never look at it, but I know it's there for me someday.

Kaleena said...

This brought tears to my eyes. She is such a sweet girl. You are, indeed, a very lucky momma!
Smiles to you:)

Heather said...

How precious of Bella! I did the same thing with my HPTs and u/s pix. I'm amazed how deep kids can be sometimes without even knowing it.

yonca said...

She is such a sweet girl! Beautiful post!

Corrie Howe said...

Thanks for sharing these painful memories. I never personally experienced them, but I have friends who have. It helps me understand them better.

Shannon said...

I remember the day Micheal came to me and wanted to look at his sister's pictures. Going through the pictures of our Angel Chaya was very difficult, but I was so happy to be able to share those things with him.

I haven't gone through her memory box in a LONG time. I think we'll pull it out next week on her birthday and go through it as a family.

I'm so sorry for your losses while trying to conceive. It will always be a painful part of your life, but how wonderful you have these four amazing children to help you heal your broken heart.

Amy said...

What a heart felt moment. I am glad you have all you have in your life. You are a great Mother.

Brooke said...

i'm misting up. what a sweet little girl! :)

Nezzy said...

Oh, how I wish I would have saved a memory box, I lost two angel babies several years apart both over the five month curve. I only have the memories of what might have been. The pain lessens but not a day goes by that I stop and think of them. God blessed me with two beautiful children. My daughter was born with a congenital heart defect which put us in NICU and away from home for almost a year. Followed by more procedures and surgeries later on. You can imagine my fears. Charity is now 31 year old and the mother of baby Ian. God is good.

Sorry, I didn't mean to dump. Your post touched my heart and stirred up many memories.

Have a fantastic day enjoying your blessings!!!

Melanie said...

That was so beautiful, it brought tears to my eyes. I didn't get far enough with my first pregnancy to start collecting things, but I still think about that baby on his/her due date. How sweet of Bella!

The Mother said...

From the mouths of babes...

MamaHen Em said...

And now I'm dripping tears into my coffee. It is amazing how little ones are capable of soothing our hurts. Sweet Bella...

Laura said...

OMG!! I am now a complete wreck at work! That's what I get for reading your blog at work! Either I'm laughing hysterically and people down the hall wanna know what's so funny, or I'm bawling my eyes out!! That is just the sweetest post evah!

Also, I love the new look! I've been reading your posts via google reader, so I haven't had the chance yet to visit and check out the new design!

Jen said...

that is an amazing power that our children have. They know just when we need a hug or a laugh. Hayden does this for me all the time. When I am stressed, he makes me laugh. When I am feeling down, he makes me happy.

It is an awesome gift.

Loved this post. Thank you for putting it out there.

feefifoto said...

She said it all right there.

Samantha said...

I think God gives our kids that gift for a reason. Hugs and kisses and all, are given right when we need them the most!

Sadia said...

Oh, Helene, I'm so sorry. And I'm so glad you have your four.

My mother-in-law's first pregnancy ended in a miscarriage, and she still considers herself a mother of three. (My husband has one younger sister.)

She didn't ever get around to telling my husband about until we were married. I know that now, thirty years later, she still feels the loss. Lucas' reaction? "I'm a middle child? That explains so much!"

Semi-Slacker Mom said...

Tears. I have one of those boxes. Sass knows (because she was there) & she & I talk about "that baby" sometimes, but the other 2 have no idea & I'm not sure if they ever will.

Tracy said...

Oh Helene. This touched me so much. I can't even tell you.

I haven't allowed myself to "open my box" either. I just don't. I can't.

What a sweet little girl. We are so blessed, aren't we?

leigh said...

I just cried my little eyeballs out reading this post.

Beautifully written...now excuse my while I go and hug my children!

XO
Leigh

The Lane Family said...

This was so touching Helene. I had tears in my eyes because I have three of those boxes. Jenni's has her tiny clothes and her first clothes, shoes and a teddy bear I had for her. As well as flowers from her grave and I even put a scrapbook together for her that has all of the cards and pictures.

Our second daughter and our twins has their ultrasound pictures and pictures of the Pregnancy test as well as flowers, cards etc.

One day like Bella, Aidan found Jenni's box and asked about her of course tears came to my eyes and I told him that was his big sister. He looked up at me and said..I know and she loves me.

Children truly are amazing. Thank you for sharing your feelings because so many echo the feelings I have.

Mrsbear said...

Amazing how someone so small can be so perceptive, how she completely changed that moment with so few words.

Heather Kephart said...

What a sweet child she is. :) I am getting misty myself, as I know the pain of miscarriage. We are the lucky ones, though.

Jenny said...

Bella is so sweet. It is amazing that as crazy as kids can be sometimes, they can be so caring and sensitive at times too. Beautiful.

Eva Gallant said...

So poignant and beautiful. Bella is wise beyond her years.

SPEAKING FROM THE CRIB said...

i'm now blog crying

blog hugs to you

Angela said...

I'm so grateful you had that moment with Bella, that a child can heal is amazing. Glad you shared your heart with us and with her. I'm going to go dry my eyes now!!!

Deb said...

You made me cry...what a sad, beautiful and happy post all at the same time. What a sweet and perceptive daughter you have! Love is huge, isn't it?

McVal said...

Oh! Your little girl is so sweet! I've had that same discussion with my kids on separate occasions myself, having had 2 miscarriages. None as far along as you tho, but it still hurts.
My girls especially have said that they look forward to meeting their brothers or sisters in Heaven.

♥georgie♥ said...

I am in tears...as hard as I can imagine this was for you to write it really was lovely...
Hugs Helene

Lena Blair said...

I lost a baby too before I had my daughter and your post made me remember those feelings, but like you, my daughter heals me every time. Honestly, if I hadn't miscarried, I wouldn't have my daughter and she is my angel. But remembering the miscarriage sometimes helps me appreciate her that much more, so thank you for that, and I am so happy to hear that your girl was so gentle about the whole thing, that is sweet.

Morgan said...

What sweet words for her to say!

It is a hard thing to explain to children about the loss of a baby.

shortmama said...

Such a beautiful sweet moment. It is so hard to get over a miscarriage. I agree that you move on but your hear is never really healed

KK said...

Wow, that was so precious. Thank you for sharing such a tender moment.

Pam said...

What a precious and sweet moment with Bella. The compassion and understanding of children is truly awe-inspiring.

I'm so sorry for you losses. The loss of a child is something that no parent can ever truly get over. {{hugs}}

Six Feet Under Blog said...

How precious!

Nancy@ifevolutionworks.com said...

I went through 5 years of what you went through. It really is so life changing and difficult. Yet I am a much better person for having gone through it.

You handled it very well for someone that was kind of "caught in the headlights" with her finding it unexpectidly.

Sherri @ Luv a Bargain said...

Oh Helene, how special is she? I know that had to hard, especially being so unprepared for that moment. Children never cease to amaze us for sure.

Karen said...

What a beautiful moment for you and Bella. She is such a sweet girl.

It really is amazing how kids just know what we need them to do or so.

Twincerely,Olga said...

what a beautiful little girl and moment!I am in tears reading this!

blueviolet said...

I just love that she saw the need to be tender and sweet and loving, exactly what you needed at that moment.

Joy said...

I usually look to your blog for laughs, but this one brought tears to my eyes. So sweet and tender. A friend of mine had a miscarriage while I was pregnant with Steven. She is now 16 weeks pregnant. Your post really helped me see how she is probably feeling right now. And someday, she'll have her own little "Bella" to comfort her.

Mrs Montoya said...

Sweet baby girl. It is uncanny how much they can give to us with a simple hug and a sentence from the heart. Such a blessing. And slightly inappropriate RIGHT now, but I have to tell you that I LOVE your new blog look. Super pretty!

The High Family said...

So very true. oh the tears Helene...your story telling is amazing. Thank you for sharing this intimate moment in your life. (hugs!)

DysFUNctional Mom said...

She knew just what to say...so sweet! *sniff*

Lora said...

What a sweet and precious moment!

Creative Junkie said...

Helene - I'm so sorry. I can tell it's still raw for you.

Momlissa said...

So touching.

Bella is a wise little girl.

I know when I was going through my miscarriages, then had Sofia, I realized that as horribly painful and raw all that had been, had I not gone through it, I would not have Sofia. The light of my life.

Still, I do understand what it's like to have those kind of scars despite having an embaressment of riches. ((hugs))

Ellen said...

A very touching post, and a thoughtful little girl.

Erin M. said...

Now that I'm crying over my computer keyboard...

What a darling and intuitive young daughter you have! Someday you will talk with her more about it and I'm sure she will understand.

Although we went through the IVF treatments, we never lost a baby. My heart goes out to you and your strength amazes and inspires me. I am sure it's very hard to think about those babies and those losses.

Thank you for sharing this part of yourself.

Carly said...

This story brought lots of tears to my eyes. I have only ever had a very early miscarage after baby number 1 but before Lil worm. How sweet God gave you Bella and her response to your box was just priceless.

Amy W said...

Awww, now I have to pull myself together so I can go make some dinner....what a sweet girl you have. :)

twinmama said...

Best post yet!!!

I am so choked up over here...

HarryJack's Mom said...

Seems like that spice is often mixed with just the right amount of sugar. Thank you for the post. I was just thinking that I dread moving our boxes - we lost our babies right after moving to our current house and tho it's painful, it's the only part of moving that makes me sad. Hugs

Mamatoosi said...

Oh Helene, this post made me cry. Thank you for sharing. I've had one miscarriage and that was hard enough!

I figure that if the children are alive when my husband gets home at the end of the day, I've done my job.

----Roseanne Barr



 
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