This is a photo taken by April, another mama who chose to carry her baby to term despite a poor diagnosis. The photo was taken in Sanibel, Florida. Take a minute to read about her sweet baby, Adam Stephen, and let her know you stopped by. One of the most healing statements one can make to mothers whose arms are empty is, “I was thinking about your baby. I am glad I got to hear his/her story.”
There is something powerful about having Sam’s name written. I remember the first time his name was written by another person. My obstetrician noticed that we were referring to our baby as Sam as we discussed how we would alter delivery because of his diagnosis. He asked, “His name is Samuel?” and jotted down his name in his notes. From that point on, he referred to Sam by his name. When I was taken to the hospital, the nurses and perinatalogist noticed Steven and I always called Sam by his name, and started referring to him as “Sammy”. They made a little teddy bear with a necklace with beads that spelled out “Sammy”. When the CD with the photographs from NILMDTS arrived, our photographer had written “Our Sammy” on the CD. His name, written or said aloud, says, “He was real. He was important. He matters to me.”
It is hard to believe it’s been five months since we said “hello” and “goodbye” in the same excruciating and beautiful moments. Sam is never far from our minds. When we were pregnant and in need of prayer and support, people often said, “Thank you for letting us know what’s going on so we’ll know how to come alongside you.” Now, it’s five months after Sam’s death and birth, and I’m conscious that others have moved on. Sometimes, when people ask how we’re doing and I sense they want an honest answer, I say, “We’re doing well, but we’re still very much in grief,” and I get the sense that they are surprised. I think if it weren’t for online correspondence with other mothers who have experienced a loss like ours, I might think I was crazy. I might get impatient with myself. Thanks to the support of those mothers, I know that this takes time.
I would really like to move closer to our families. Being so far away while pregnant was difficult, but the months that have followed our loss have been exponentially harder. Our church has been amazing. They’ve gone above and beyond to show us kindness. But they have their own families. Their care for us can only go so far, and it truly is understandable. I am especially terrified about when Steven and I begin to think about having Sam’s little brother or sister. Pregnancies following a stillbirth are frightening. It is a heavy burden to bear, and while my proximity to my family will not take away that burden, I will have help in bearing it. If you are praying for us (Grandmother’s prayer group in NB!), please pray about this. I so appreciate it.