Happy Half Birthday 

Happy 1/2 Birthday Theodore,

Oh sweet boy of mine. As I type this exactly six months ago you entered the world and laid upon my chest. Your sweetest little heart was still beating and you looked ohh so incredibly perfect to me. Your Dad, myself and all those who were blessed to bare witness have been forever changed and I believe in the most beautiful ways.

You chose the perfect people for your first birthday party six long (or short depending on the moment) months ago. I feel that love the room was filled with and the moment you entered into the outside world that love grew tenfold.

The last six months have been the most life changing months of my life. When you were born so was the new me. I have had to learn to live without you and get to know who the new me really is. I haven’t mastered either but there has been evolution. With every step forward my ability to turn around and see where I came from allows me to see where I am going. It is like coming out of a fog.

This morning I met your beautiful friend Isaac’s Mom at the lake to celebrate you both. You both chose a beautiful morning to be born and you chose a beautiful morning to celebrate your 1/2 birthday. I can see you both looking down on us with hearts full of love, pride and an amount of sadness. With every flower we tossed in the lake to represent each month you have been gone for I could feel you, I couldn’t help but think it is only time and in the grand scheme of things time is nothing and we will be together again one day. When that day arrives I know it will feel like we haven’t skipped a beat.

I hope you two have a wonderful day together as I know I will with Isaac’s Mom.

You both are missed deeply, truly and loved beyond measure.

I love you,

Your forever loving Mommy.

 

Finally Home . . . 1 year ago today. 🐘

Littlest Theo finally home
Couldn’t have been happier to take my baby home that morning.
Theo my forever baby,

One year ago today you came home. The only home you were ever going to know here with us. You were welcomed in to my womb with love and anticipation of the life we were going to finally live together. Your Dad and I talked about you all the time ever since you were created and then put on hold for about three years. We wondered who you were, were you a girl or a boy, would you survive the thaw, would you start to grow once transferred to my womb, and then how amazing our family would be once you were earth side with us . Never once did we think that after being transfer and developing into the most beautiful baby that would have been the only time we had with you.

Babies die, but not ours. It honestly wasn’t in our realm of possibilities. You get past a certain stage in pregnancy and you have this false sense of security. It never crossed our mind that a baby we created out of desperate love and longing for a family could beat all the odds of conception, grow and then be taken. It seems like a cruel joke. Not many people get to fall in love with their baby years before they are implanted into their body. It wasn’t just a potential baby it was you Theodore Rutherford Williams.

I look at the picture that your Dad took of me moments before you were transferred home. The innocents in my eyes is so beautiful. I was just so in love with you and so excited we were all finally going to be a family and taking you home was one of the best feelings in my life. I felt so at peace that day. I was so ignorant to what this journey was really all about. Your Dad and I prayed together that morning and our prayers were answered we just simply had no idea what they really were going to look like once answered.

Well, what a year we have had! How blessed am I that I had the opportunity to have you with us for your whole lifetime. I carried you every minute of your beautiful life. The life we shared was of pure unconditional love. It was simple and it was easy then. The second leg of this journey is what is so dang hard. Living my life so far away from you, loving you as any mom loves their child and never being able to feel that love back in the traditional ways. It steals my breath, and at times feels impossible to catch.

Sunday I am off to a lodge two hours outside of Winnipeg. For five days I am sharing space, hearts and stories with 25 other Moms who love their babies as fiercely as I love you and also who can no longer hold them in their arms. These Moms are from four different countries and all different backgrounds but we share something that binds us so closely, only we know what it is like to Mother a child you can’t hold, see, kiss, and watch experience life. Only a bereaved Mom knows how tender the love really is and how one’s heart can still beat after being so broken in ways that will never be mended.

I look forward to five days of just you and me Theo. You and me, healing, living, and feeling peace together. Life is so busy with regular life, two precious boys and a loving husband at home. This gives me time to just be present with you for a few days and to celebrate you as the son you are to me with women who truly get it. I have no idea what this week will look like, and frankly I am open to whatever comes.

Thank you for the most incredible year we have just had together. You changed me in ways I didn’t know needed to grow, we shared the most beautiful 8 months I have shared with anyone, I learned a new depth to love and the gifts have been abundant. My heart is heavy with pain, but it is filled with so much love for you and has enabled me to love others in a deeper more pure way. This is all because you lived. I need you to know that I would never have made a different choice. Even if I knew before you were transferred that you would die, I would still to choose those eight months and a broken heart. Living a life where you never existed to me is a life not worth living. Thank you for choosing me.

Your forever loving Mommy.

Gang of Four 

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My littlest baby Theo,

Summer is in full swing. This weekend the sun was shining strong, your brothers were spending the days running in a sprinkler, playing soccer, and being super silly and free spirited boys. Your Dad competed in a charity dance competition on Friday night and won first place. I know you were right there beside him during the whole performance. Would you have been a good dancer? Your brothers love to dance and anytime the music is turned on they are grooving! Your Uncle Terry was here all weekend. He would have loved you dearly. We spent some time watching super bike races this afternoon. All four boys loved them, I am sure you too would have been crazy for the speed and power.

I felt your absence every minute of this incredible weekend. It seems so unfair for us to be together making so many memories and you are left to watch from a distance. Do you feel like it is unfair? Do you watch us with a heavy heart wishing as hard as I do it was so different? Do you want to be rolling on the grass with your brothers? Do you want to be a part of the love attacks your brothers get into? Do you feel their love even though it is at a distance?

You sure picked a great Dad. I have been thinking how right you were to pick him. His love for you runs deep. You are forever on his mind. I watch him with Jack and Patrick and think of all the ways you four would have fit perfectly together. The adventures you would have taken with him and the memories you would have made. I wonder how similar you would have been to him. Would you have love the tourism industry? Would have had the love for The Bay of Quinte Region? Would you have volunteered your time in similar ways? Would you have valued simple days with the family? Would have played the piano? Would you have shared his faith in God? Would you have been as thoughtful and as caring as he is? Would you one day be a Dad just like him? When it comes to Dads it doesn’t get better than him. I am so sorry you both can’t share it all.

This experience of losing you comes with so many layers. My heart breaks for me, as your Mom who desperately wants you back in my life. My heart breaks for Jack and Patrick, as they forever lost a brother who they would have adored and would have shared a life so close and so filled with love. My heart breaks for your Dad who lost you, his third son. It was meant to be a gang of four sharing all father and son experiences. My heart breaks for all of your Grandparents who also feel your absence and feel sadness for their children who are heavy with grief. The layers are thick, they are heavy and they are real. These layers are there because you are loved by so many and so very deeply.

I love you, I miss you, I feel you.

Your forever loving Mommy

Mother’s Day

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Mother’s Day. 

A day to honour all Mothers. There are all kinds of Mothers. Of course there is the obvious Mom, the one walking across the street holding their little one’s hand, or the Mom with a grocery cart filled with giggling children. Then there are the Grandmothers. They are easy to spot, especially when with kids in tow. You will see what we call “Grandma wounds”, kiss marks all over their face.   

Then there are the women who don’t have any children, who haven’t experienced pregnancy but desperately long for a child of their own. 

What isn’t obvious are the Moms who can no longer have a child with them on a day like today to celebrate due to a miscarriage or their baby born still. 

We also have the mother who was able to have the blessing of sharing a life with their child but then along the journey they are taken from illness, an accident, or some other reason that they are no longer together in this physical world. 

I am 4 of the 5 types of Moms described here. I have my two crazy boys who everyone loves when we go grocery shopping as they are busy flirting with all the ladies. That is me the obvious Mom . The kind of Mom people are comfortable with on a day like today.  I wasn’t always this mom, Jack was created after 3 years of praying and desperately longing for him with the help of IVF. He was bittersweet, Jack in the early stages was a twin and Ryan and I experienced an early loss of his womb mate. Recently I became the other type of Mom who lost a baby. Theodore was born on December 9, 2015 and passed away a mere 22 minute later. 

The three Mothers Days while we were actively trying to create a family were incredibly hard, I cried every year. I wanted nothing more than to be a Mom. I realize now I always was. 

Then my first Mother’s Day was what felt like true Mom was so bittersweet. I was the mom that most are comfortable giving well wishes to on this Day. I felt so blessed to finally be holding a baby and celebrating but I was holding space for the baby we lost so early on. 

This year brings a whole new set of emotions. I have two beautiful boys. They make my heart sing. No matter how amazing my boys are or how much I love them doesn’t prevent my heart from longing for the two I no longer have. My arms ache for Theodore and my heart carries all the what ifs for our early loss. 

Approximately,
1 in 16 couples will experience infertility.

1 in 4 woman have an early pregnancy miscarriage
6 in 1000 births a baby is born still.
7 in 1000 children will pass under 5 years

With numbers like this we have to be aware how many women are falling into one or more of these categories and honour all types of Moms today. Being a Mom is hard work. The mom who is physically parenting on a daily basis deserves the Happy Mother’s Day hug. The Mom who didn’t get the chance to feel her baby move inside the womb deserves the Happy Mother’s Day hug. The Mom who said hello and goodbye at the same time deserves the Mother’s Day hug. The Mom who said goodbye months or years after birth deserves the Mother’s Day hug.  Then we have the Moms who are still praying for their intended family, they equally deserve the Mother’s Day hug. 

Being a Mom is the love in your heart not what you hold in your arms. So as you go on about your day, there is a good chance the woman you see or talk to is in fact a Mom even if it isn’t obvious.