Realities and Resolutions

Dear Ruby,

Last December, I was four months into my pregnancy with you; blissfully unaware of what was to come. As usual, we were home for Christmas and I vividly remember sitting on my parents’ couch and feeling you move for the very first time. It was a moment I’ll never forget – I only wish I would have savored it half a second longer. At the time, I was too busy planning future moments with you to fully cherish present ones.

I won’t make that mistake twice.

We’re wrapping up the holiday season now, but greeting cards are still pouring in daily. My refrigerator has come alive; dressed in the adorable faces of our friends and family’s kids. For weeks, my Facebook newsfeed has featured little ones lighting menorah candles, sitting screaming on Santa’s lap and opening presents. Families have made memories this holiday season that will be relived in graduation and wedding toasts and traditions were started that will carry on for generations.

Ruby ornamentsI miss you more today than yesterday because we didn’t get to be one of those families this year. Your face is not on my refrigerator. Instead of watching you open presents Christmas morning, we decorated your grave with 18 red roses while O’ Holy Night drowned out the sound of our tears: a new, unwelcome tradition. We didn’t get to complain about you making a mess of our living room floor with your new toys and wrapping paper. Our living room remained uncomfortably clean.

On top of missing you, last weekend we had a bit of a scare with my current pregnancy that included a night in the emergency room, lots of tests and finally, a strong suggestion by our doctor to cancel our holiday travel plans. I’ll spare you the details of what happened, but everything is OK for now. Nothing matters more than that.

In the midst of the “most wonderful time of the year”, we’ve been left with more harsh, unavoidable realities and I, for one, am ready for a fresh start.

Despite everything that’s happened, I have a lot of hope for 2015. A new year offers new possibilities and new dreams to be realized. It is not about forgetting the past, but living presently and with purpose. With a clear understanding that “now” is all we’re guaranteed, for me, 2015 will be all about savoring moments, big and small, and you’ve helped me get started on this resolution already.

Baby #2I’m 23 weeks into my pregnancy, but we’ve known for the last month that you’re going to have a little sister. Your Daddy and I feel incredibly blessed to have heard the words “it’s a girl” twice in one year.

Every two weeks since September we’ve gone to the doctor and waited with baited breath to hear the sound of her heart beating. That split second when the audio is flipped on and life fills the room is a moment of unexplainable joy and relief. There is no song more beautiful.

Every night, I crawl into bed and surround my growing belly with pillows and blankets. I sink into the softness and roll onto my left side as your sister begins her nightly flutter routine. It’s the best part of my day, every day. Her movement lulls me to sleep and she is the last thing on my mind as I close my eyes. There is no feeling more beautiful.

I don’t pray often (read: ever). Since I’m not overly religious, it can feel forced. However, over the past 7 months I’ve continually come across this prayer:

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“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference. Living one day at a time; enjoying one moment at a time; accepting hardships as the pathway to peace…

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As much as I wish it were different, Ruby, there is only so much that’s within my control. I did everything “right” during my pregnancy with you and I still couldn’t save you. I’m doing everything “right” during this pregnancy and I still end up in the emergency room.

Life just happens, Ruby, regardless of our plans. So this is the year of moments. I will appreciate each one and I will savor them for you.

I love you,

Mom

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4 thoughts on “Realities and Resolutions

  1. You are doing all you can do and that has to suffice. You picked a good prayer/mantra. You and Andrew are blessed to have each other…. and so many family members and friends, and we are blessed to have you both.

    Happy and Healthy New Year to you all.

    Love,

    Papa

  2. Dear Ruby maes mom,

    I just want to say your posts are so beautifully written and also some of the almost exact things i have once written myself.. I just want to encourage you to continue to be strong, the reward is so worth it. I’ve written to you once before.. My first baby, a girl, was stillborn at 37.5 weeks in april 2011. We had a son in January 2013 and just welcomed a daughter in November. Anyways, if you ever want someone to talk to, I’m here!

    Amy Michigan

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

  3. My heart just broke reading this and brought me back to my own losses. The fears and sadness. Watching other children grow up and wondering why mine couldn’t. And then the pure joy when I got pregnant again and it took. The fear of the every other week appointment, and the promise I made to myself to cherish every moment I had. Wishing you all the best in the New Year.

    And just so you know, my son just celebrated his 16th birthday, my daughter will be 13 in a few weeks and my complete surprise baby #3 will be 10 in April!! Sending prayers and good thoughts your way!

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