Chou Chou and I have done everything that we can to face Millie’s stillbirth head on…and all things considered, I would say we are doing remarkably well. Four things are helping to propel me forward:
- Our village. Ours is the best – we have family, friends, church family, colleagues, doctors, nurses, the hospital, chiropractors, neighbors…they have all in some way or another reached out, given a hug, provided a meal, made a care basket, etc. One of the biggest things that helped in the beginning was helping to suggest ways to keep us busy and get us out and about. It was also one of the hardest things for me to do, since a part of me just wanted to stay inside, in my pjs, hiding from the world and the fact that we didn’t have Millie. The most important member of our village, our little lady, Mon Cœur has been keeping us on our toes – making the minutes, hours, and days pass quicker than they would be, and giving us good reason to laugh and love.
- The butterfly garden. Having a place to sit outside, to be in peace, and to remember Millie, a place to contemplate the girl she would have been, a place where we will tell Mon Cœur about her younger sister, and a place for Millie’s ashes to rest. By creating this garden it is helping us embrace the fact that Millie still lives on in our hearts. Butterfly sightings are bittersweet – all at once I am melancholy for missing Millie and yet I am delighted to know she is with us in this beautiful alternative form.
- This blog. One of my first anxieties after we came home from the hospital was, “What is my purpose now?” Of course I was still a mom, but all the good reasoning for me staying at home suddenly seemed irrelevant. And then there was this new life experience of ours – losing a child, a daughter, before even having a chance to meet her in the flesh. We were told this is a rare event: 1% of pregnancies end in stillbirth, according to the March of Dimes. However, just in our village of people, there are more than a handful of families who have experienced the same tragedy. My goal in keeping this blog and sharing stories is that it will help me to continue to heal from our loss and that perhaps there are others out there that will find this blog reaches them.
- The hope and plan to try again soon. In everything in life, I’ve always believed when you fall, you’ve got to get back up and try again. We really busted our asses on this one, but what else is there to do other than to try again? Will we be nervous nellies for nine months the next go round? I sure hope not the entire pregnancy, but I won’t deny we’ll be walking on eggshells for quite a bit of the time, even though it’s highly unlikely that lightning will strike in the same place twice…
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