My morning started, early, with sleepy cuddles in bed, my sweet Pepper curled below my chin as I grasped for just a few more minutes of sleep. Her deep breaths synced with mine, and, gently, she curled her fingers around my hair. And I was so, so grateful to have her in my life.
Today is a holiday in a Canada, Remembrance Day, a day to acknowledge our country’s veterans, thus, a day off from school. A day I was lucky enough to spend with my baby.
But I found myself growing irritable.
You can try to get a 1 year old to hug you, but they’ll only do it on their terms, not yours.
It took some time to click in to me that my mood may, in fact, be an annual occurrence. Today is my first, lost baby’s due date. She might have been two.
Leafing up to today, I didn’t expect anxiety or pain, I was sure the hurt wouldn’t be lying in wait, eager to pounce. And, so, it caught me off guard.
I couldn’t shake my mood, and of course felt guilty for my grief, all while I had my wonderful rainbow in front of me.
I felt a desperate need to be acknowledged, I needed someone to validate my pain, to say, I remembered, too. I’m sorry it hurts, and I understand that you’ll always think of it, today.
My husband was, and is, unaware of why I’m acting so strangely. I couldn’t bring myself to remind him. If he wasn’t hurting, why hurt him? And, admittedly, I worried he’d roll his eyes and shrug it off. And that would be so much worse than feeling alone.
I felt this great urge to shout it out. I had a baby, once, who’s gone, and today might have been her birthday. She was real, she was here, and she mattered. And I’m hurting.
I posted on a Facebook group I’m a member of, for loss moms.
And as the hours and hours went by, without reply, from the only venue literally set up for my comfort, I began to feel seriously invalidated.
It’s been 2 years.
You never even met that baby.
You have another child.
It was ‘just’ a miscarriage.
You have nothing to complain about. You have another daughter.
I let those imaginary comments, that hateful inner voice grow louder and louder. Pepper, semi oblivious to my mood began to take note. ‘Cry.’ She’d say, pointing to my eyes.
Then I got a text.
From the one friend who really did remember. She remembered that I would be remembering.
‘I’m thinking of you today.’
And that made all the difference.
Someone remembered that life, not just me. The tiny ripples made by my first child made a connection with someone else on this earth, even if only through me.
And I realized that having a rainbow baby, while a blessing, a wonderful joy in my life, is not going to make my pain go away.
And it shouldn’t.
Because, while she’s healed my heart so much, it’s not Pepper’s job to carry me when my heart is heavy. It’s not her job to erase the past.
Those hurts were real.
And they still are, sometimes.
And, on this Remembrance Day, someone remembered.