October. I love October. It’s my favorite month of the whole year. Leaves changing, pulling out the sweaters, a sudden crisp in the air, pumpkin spice lattes. You know, all the things that make fall, fall. Even in the midst of all those amazing things, October still holds a certain sadness for me. October was the month I was supposed to have Judah. If I’m being honest, I don’t even 100% remember my due date, but it was within the first week. I always longed for an October baby. It is, after all, my favorite month. As soon as I knew my due date, I started planning a pumpkin patch first birthday party. I had pinned pins for it and everything. I was so excited. I had literally prayed for an October baby. I was crushed when everything came crashing down.
Did you know October is Pregnancy Loss and Infant Death Awareness Month? Did you know there are so many women out there who have lost babies? Were you aware that you probably know some, but you simply may not know their story. When we lost Judah, it was like women were coming out of the woodwork. I had no idea that I knew so many people who had lost a child. When I posted our Judah Story, even more women came forward to share parts of their journey with me. What an honor! I felt so humbled-and so saddened-by the amount of loss surrounding me. But it’s been in moments like those, that I know I am called to something more. That I’m called to share my story, and to help other women share theirs.
This journey of loss can be so overwhelming and all consuming. Some days-especially at first-it can be so hard to know how to get on with life. There are days, and nights, filled with unbearable grief. There are aches so deep, it feels like nothing could ever touch them. There’s a part of yourself that gets lost with each precious life you lose. Parts of yourself that may never come back. A part of you that will never be “fully whole” again. But with Jesus, there’s a peace which surpasses understanding. There is hope for a new tomorrow. There are hands that can reach those deep down aches and turn them into something so beautiful, you hardly recognize them. And while the “old you” may never show her face again the way she used to, there will be a new you. A woman who can see more deeply the hurts of those around her. A woman who can hold somebody’s hand and know how much it really means to simply be there. A woman who may have some hairs that are grayed and some wrinkles on her face, but is a whole different kind of beautiful because life has happened to her, and she has endured it. A woman who has learned to thrive, not just in spite of, but because of the things she has faced. A woman broken, beautiful, and made new.
I specifically remember walking around the dollar store days after we lost Judah. I think we were shopping for stuff for his funeral. Every part of me felt heavy. I just looked at the people around me and thought, “Not a single person in this store (apart from my family) knows what I’ve faced these past few days. They don’t have a clue what I’ve been through.” I almost felt like I was walking in a dream. Every time I deal with a difficult person, or somebody who seems disconnected or angry or upset or sad or “off”, I think of this moment. I think, “I have no idea what they’ve been through. I have no clue what the past couple of days, or weeks, or months, or years have held for them. I need to give them some grace.” I am so grateful I’m able to have that perspective. It gives me a more sincere, genuine Christ-like love. Even when I’m not my best self towards those people, I later remember to pray for them. And I’m grateful.
There are pieces of me that are better because of what I’ve been through. And there are pieces of me that are worse. I’ll share more of all of those things along the way. If you want a little sneak peak: I have more anxiety, but I also know more how to act towards those who are hurting. My marriage was not good, and then my marriage was amazing. I often think I’m dying (no really), but I value life so much more. I am a totally different person, but I’m truly grateful for that. While I don’t love the circumstances that brought me here, I can say with all sincerity, that I am thankful for where those circumstances have brought me.
While I’ve shared our Judah Story, I have yet to share our Twin Story. I know I need to, but for some reason I always feel like something is holding me back. I don’t know if it’s fear, or if the timing doesn’t feel right, maybe it doesn’t feel organic, or it may be that I still have unresolved hurts that I’m not sure I want to bring up yet. Either way, it’s on my list to post that this month. I was planning on sharing it tonight, but when I started typing, that’s simply not what came out. I kept trying to tie it in somewhere, and it just didn’t feel right. Not tonight. I’m also wanting to post some helpful tips for those of you who maybe haven’t lost a baby-to help those who have. And for you who, precious one, who has experienced loss-on any level-I see you. I hear you. I am with you. Reach out to me and we can chat. This journey is so much better together.
P.S.- I’m enjoying my little man all the more this October! I mean, look at that sweet little hand!!!!!