I snuggled Emma close to my heart and rocked her gently, drinking in the sight of her chubby little face drifting off to sleep in the early morning sunlight. With arms filled with my precious little granddaughter, my mind drifted back to the morning, thirty-eight years ago today, when my arms were empty and my heart was broken. This day is always sad for me, as I pause to remember my little stillborn daughter, Kristin.
The world is filled with mothers who share this unspoken bond -- the loss of a baby before its first breath. A loss that to the world is somehow not quite as real as that of a child who has been born into the world breathing, warm, and called by name. People try to comfort you with assurances that you will have another baby, that it is probably for the best because there must have been something wrong with the baby -- and in those moments you hate them for their insensitivity. There are no words which comfort, and only another mother who has experienced this loss can understand. And, even though time goes on and you do have more children, and are even blessed with grandchildren, there is always that quiet place in your heart that remembers the one you lost and grieves.
While I could never carry you in my arms, Kristin, I will carry you in my heart forever -- Happy Birthday! Love, Mom