It's really hard for me to imagine how different our life would be with a two-year old running around. Would we have had a birthday party this weekend instead of just cleaning the house and watching football? Would I have nearly the amount of papers and books and just things laying around as I currently do? Would we have done all our grocery shopping afer 4pm, not getting home until after 6pm to start making dinner?
As each anniversary passes I have different emotions. The very first time that due date rolls around is hard because you know you should be having a baby, but instead your arms are empty. The first anniversary you wonder about what your child's first birthday party would have been like. The emotions may also still be there. In my case, my arms were still empty at this point, having lost two babies by then.
Now here I am at the second anniversary. My baby should be turning two had she not died 7 months earlier. Again, my arms are still empty, even after three pregnancies. But today my thoughts are all with my first little one.
She is the only one who we never knew if she was a boy or girl. Over time calling her "she" has become habit. I sometimes wonder if that is God's way of letting us know; it just sort of happened, it wasn't a conscious decision. She's the only one for whom we never saw an ultrasound picture. She's the only one for whom we never had a reason for losing her. She's also the only one who we were unable to bury, which still sometimes makes me sad.
My emotions have changed a lot in two years. I no longer get overly emotional about losing Casey. On occasion I feel guilty about that. But I know I don't need to. She is and always will be in my heart, always my daughter and my first baby.
After losing Casey, I never knew how to respond when people asked if we had children. I often would just keep it simple and say no. The guilt in my heart each time was horrible! But we live in a cultural where people don't want to hear about your dead children. And miscarriage isn't usually even counted among the children you have. But a little less than a year after Casey died we lost our second baby. He was so much further along! I was visibly pregnant at that point. As a result, the sympathy I got was so much greater. How could I ignore that child? And if I don't ignore that child, I certainly couldn't ignore my first.
That's when my answer changed. After that I responded to the question about whether or not I had children with a "Yes" qualified by adding "I have two in heaven."
Such a relief!! I felt so much better. Finally I was acknowledging my children to the world.
The first time I used this was at a retreat. IIt was about 4 months after my second loss and I was standing in line for lunch when one of my table mates asked me. I responded positively and with my addendum. There was a slight pause (totally expected) but then a smile and the reply, "That is beautiful."
It still makes me cry when I think about it.
My children are beautiful. And today I gave my thoughts to Casey Marie. My little girl who could have been born two years ago today (or around today). Wow, how different things would be with a two-year old. Toys laying around, little feet running through the house, child locks on cabinets, and so much more.
Casey, we miss you and love you. Please pray for us and be a wonderful big sister to Zachary and Brigit. We love you, little girl, and look forward to the day when we can join you in the Heavenly Kingdom.