The end of March brings with it the end of our first trimester with this little bean. This milestone makes my breath catch and my heart swim. When I saw those pink lines on the pregnancy test, I was so focused on just getting through the first eight weeks, I could scarcely dream of the end of the first trimester. But here we are with a healthy, growing baby and hearts overflowing with excitement and joy.
At the same time, this month carries memories of another child I once carried in my womb. Memories of a little girl we named Avonlea. A child whom we knew for a mere seven days, a daughter whom I knew from the start we wouldn’t get to keep.
March 25 would have been her due date.
This is part of pregnancy after loss: remembering the ones who aren’t in your womb, the ones who never made it this far, and whose hearts you never saw beat. Just because a new baby grows within, doesn’t mean that the ones we lost are any less loved, cherished, or missed.
Sometimes these grief moments still hit unexpectedly. A few weeks ago, sitting in my car and waiting on an ultrasound appointment, I tuned the radio to the local praise and worship station. Singing aloud in that hospital parking lot, I struggled to hold back my tears. I wasn’t worried about the babe within or how the ultrasound would go (morning sickness is surprisingly reassuring for a mama like myself) but rather, I was struck by the fact that I didn’t get this chance with so many of my babies. Four of my children said good-bye before this point, and there is a part of me that will always carry that.
In honour of Avonlea’s due date, I decided to make something special to remember the girl who will always be a part of our family. I learned a couple stitches at a ladies night earlier this month, and decided to try my hand at my very first embroidery project. Wonky bits and all, each petal was carefully stitched as a symbol of my love for her — and to me, there’s nothing more beautiful than a chance to love on my daughter in one of the few ways I have left.
So to my dear little Avonlea, as I carry your sibling in my womb, I am grateful for you — the one who came before. I celebrate your earthly due date knowing that while I don’t get to hold you in my arms today, you are still held in the arms of One who loves you.
Forever ours. Avonlea.