Day 2 – Who They Are.

Sam Benjamin Newton

{May 24, 2015}

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Our sweetest Sam was born at 36.5 weeks.  He was delivered at six pounds, one ounce.

Our Little Lion

{September 19, 2016}

I miscarried our rainbow baby “lion” at eight weeks pregnant.

For both of our babies, who they are is much more than their birth that was simultaneously their deaths.

I remember a few months after losing Sam how cheated I felt by time.  Thirty-six weeks was no time at all compared to a lifetime other Mothers experience with their children.  When I lost lion, a pregnancy I barely knew, I realized that thirty-six weeks was a lifetime; it was Sam’s.

The memories of my pregnancy with Sam will forever be burned into my heart.  Sam was a lover.  One of my favorite moments was a night Ted came home from work.  Sam was kicking away in my belly and I had spent the better part of the previous hour laying on the couch and feeling him dance.  Ted arrived home and sat on his knees next to my belly.  He placed his hands on my stomach and said, “Hi Sam! It’s your Dad.” and Sam kicked so hard, right on the place where his hands lay.  He knew and we knew that our relationship was sustained by love.

Sam’s life is so much bigger now.  It’s not defined by his death rather how we allow him to live in our hearts.

My friend Jennifer is a labor and delivery nurse.  Over the weekend she told me that when mothers check into her hospital because they haven’t felt their baby move, she volunteers to be that nurse with the Mother whose child might not be alive, because of Sam.  She skips over the initial procedures like making them pee in a cup, because of Sam’s life, she knows the most important thing is the reassurance that the baby’s heart is beating or the importance of the immediate knowledge that it’s not.

I think of Sam’s first birthday and how our community came together and donated over 300 sleepers and blankets to Floyd Memorial with the purpose of allowing mothers like me to clothe their babies born still.  I think of Hannah, who dressed her beautiful Micah, in Sam’s love.

Sam lives each time a friend who mothers a living child reaches out to me and tells me she’s thankful in the hard moments of parenting.  I’ve heard countless stories from Mamas when their kiddos won’t sleep through the night or when their children throw fits and it would be normal to respond with agitation; but they don’t because they think of Sam and they think of me and they know they’re thankful to be experiencing those moments.

Lion’s life was different than Sam’s.  Time was not on our side. The day we announced her existence was the day we announced her death to our family and friends.  I think Lion lived to give me life.

I’ve made it a point to share Sam’s life, to be loud, to ensure he’s not forgotten, to bring awareness to the very real and raw pain of pregnancy loss, to give Sam a life outside of the womb.  Lion feels much more secluded and she mostly lives in the confines of my heart.  A few days after her death just two weeks ago, I’ve come to know a different kind of peace in life.

 Before I went in for my D&C, I was only afraid of being put to sleep.  The dark thoughts of all the times over the last year and a half that all I wanted was to be in a grave next to Sam resurfaced.  Except I wanted to wake up from surgery.  I want life.  All my confidence rested in the reassurance that my OB knew exactly what she was doing and she would be as gentle on me then as she was when Sam was born.  All my hope resided with my community of mothers and a few select friends who knew I was going in for the procedure and I knew would love me and on me when it was over.

Two weeks ago death defined me once again but only for a moment.

Who are my babies?  They are love.

One thought on “Day 2 – Who They Are.

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