I have a next door neighbor who was pregnant before my pregnancy with N. I had overheard her husband talking to another neighbor saying they were expecting a girl and I think I heard they were due in June. Well June came and went I had not seen a newborn. I got worried that something happened but I don't really know them and didn't really feel comfortable asking when we have never spoken before.
My husband and her husband would chat from time to time so this weekend they had the opportunity to chat and Marlon brought it up and asked. The husband confirmed that they lost the baby. He didn't really share much more than that. But hearing that devastated me for them.So so terrible. I felt the need to reach out to her, but had conflicting emotions. Ive never talked to her in the past before and didn't even know her name, so how was I supposed to just out of the blue show up at her doorstep and talk about something so personal? And then there is the fact that Im pregnant, with a girl no less, and I don't really want to parade that in front of her.
So I actually found out through my parents that her name is Abby. My mom had shared with me that she was 18 weeks when she lost the baby. The first thing I thought of was that it was very close to when Genesis died. But now that I knew her name, I wanted to put a little something together and I felt better about it since now I could address it to her personally.
I didn't really have much to offer her but I put a few things together. This is what I came up with.
In a little baggie I included two lovely clay ornaments made my a BLM I know in Australia. One says 'love' with a pink butterfly and the other is a clay butterfly and I added some wire wrapped amethyst and a pink heart. I also included a pink candle, a small pink pouch and a golden glitter butterfly. I also included one of Carly's beautiful photos that I received at the Walk To Remember a couple years back when I met her for the first time. I also included one of my hand made memory stones. I usually like to personalize these with the baby's name but I didn't know what she named her daughter, or if she even named her. I was happy with how the stone turned out though. I was able to include some special words and a short phrase, along with the year and something new I just decided to try on the spur. I added a small pair of footprints on the side of the stone and it came out beautiful, if I do say so myself.
I also wrote a note to her, which ended up being about a page long. I shared my condolences, a little about my story and Carly's site for personalized names in the sand. I also shared a beautiful quote that has always stuck with me: "When a baby is born it's the mother's instinct to protect it. When a baby dies, it's the mother's instinct to protect it's memory." I told her that I hope this doesn't hurt or offend her as everyone deals with these things differently and just in case she didn't see things the way I do, thats ok. My intentions are to just share love and support. I ended the letter saying that this baby will always be her daughter and will always be with her.
So I sealed the letter with a cute little sticker and hoped that this would be enough... or even not too much if it's something she dealt with differently. I knew there was a slight chance I might be opening an old wound, or perhaps she would not respond favorably but I was just compelled to do it anyway. To just reach out, do what my heart told me to and hope for the best. And if she didn't like it, apologize and leave her alone and know that I meant well.
So this morning I wrapped up the little items in some tissue paper and I had D leave it at their mailbox. In case she was home, I didn't want to have her see a pregnant woman at her doorstep. So I decided quietly dropping it off was the best thing to do.
Well this evening Abby appeared at my door and came to thank me personally. She was composed and didn't really seem emotional about it, which there is nothing wrong with that. The minute I saw her I knew why she was there and that loss that connected us instantly made me start to tear up. I was surprised at how much I cried. I certainly hope I didn't make her feel uncomfortable. The more she shared the more in shock I was.
She went on to tell me that her daughter passed at 20 weeks. I commented that It was a stillbirth then. She told me that her daughter's head didn't close. I was shocked... I asked, you mean anencephaly? She said yes. Instantly the flood gate of tears flowed from my eyes. I told her Genesis passed away from that too. I was almost 21 weeks. She also chose to induce and not carry to term. She told me that her name was Isabella. And that Isabella was born in March. Can you believe that? But wait... her due date is actually coming up. She wasn't due in June... Her due date was July 30th. My EDD with Genesis was July 29th. As all these details came out I kept crying. Bawling in fact. I was embarrassed but just couldn't contain it. I have met a lot of BLMs throughout the years, all over the world. And no one has had a story almost exact as mine.
We chatted some more and I told her I always thought there might have been a link with a medication I was given for migraines and anencephaly but Ill never really know for sure. She asked more questions as she gets migraines too. She's about the same age as me too and has been taking extra folic acid just as I have had to as well. She is TTC again and in currently in the two week wait. I pray she gets her rainbow very soon. This would have been her first daughter and second child. She very much wanted a girl. We shared many of the same emotions and views. I had to apologize over and over for the tears. My hormones are not helping me in the least right now. She was very understanding. And she was actually very compassionate, realizing that even though our stories were so much alike, she still had a son to take care of after the loss of her daughter. She acknowledged how much harder it must have been for me losing my first and trying to convince the world I was still a parent. She she knew why I see things and feel things the way I do.
All in all, she is a very sweet lady. I hope this is the start of a beautiful friendship. And I hope I don't cry every time we talk about our girls. d