Merry Christmas

I made it until the blessing before the meal (which only amounted to fifteen minutes) before I burst into tears. I cried silently through the prayer and dried my eyes enough to seem presentable through the mad rush to the dinner table while I was ducking into the back bedroom. My husband came and found me after a few minutes, but I told him to go away or I would cry harder. I got it together enough to make it through the rest of Christmas Eve dinner.

That should have been MY daughter that my dad held during the prayer. There should have been an eleven month old toddling around with the other kids. I should have filled my memory card with pictures of my own child, not someone elses kids.

I miss you, Raelyn, and I love you more than you will ever know.


I am not okay.

I will go and I will smile and I will pretend, but I am not okay.

I keep thinking about all of the things that should have been. This should have been our first Christmas and instead, it is our second Christmas without her.

I honestly do not remember last Christmas. I don't remember what we gave or what we got. I don't remember who was where, what order we did things in, what we had for lunch. I remember crying as Maddy (my then 1 yr old step-niece) sat in my Dad's lap while her older brother opened presents. I remember thinking that Dad would never get to hold Raelyn like that. He didn't want to see her when she was born so he didn't get to hold her then either.

I told my step-mom at Thanksgiving that I would have to get her the pictures that I took from last Christmas and when I went to look at them, I realized that they were from 2 Christmases ago. I don't think I took any last Christmas even though I always take pictures.

My heart is so heavy with missing Raelyn that I didn't think there would be room for any more sadness, and yet... there is. Last year, I bought Christmas gifts for the grandparents that were baby-themed. Yes, I know Raelyn died in September and no, the gifts hadn't already been purchased. I bought them in November knowing that I would be pregnant again by last Christmas. Raelyn was conceived in the very first month of trying, so I just knew that I would be able to give these baby-themed gifts at Christmas.

Christmas came and went and they turned into Valentine's Day gifts, then St. Patrick's Day gifts, then Easter gifts, then Mother's Day gifts, then Father's Day gifts, then Independence Day gifts, then Labor Day gifts, then Halloween gifts, then Thanksgiving gifts, and finally Christmas gifts again. Now four days before Christmas #2, I am already removing them from their Christmas bags and digging out the bags with the hearts and cupids on them.

How long can you wait? How much money was wasted on birth control for the first 5 years of my marriage? How long can you keep moving forward without falling? The thought of potentially facing an unfavorable diagnosis again petrifies me, but somehow, I am more scared at the thought of never facing any diagnosis, healthy or otherwise. I am terrified that I have missed my chance for motherhood, that I already had my shot, that Raelyn was the only daughter we will ever have, and I let her go home without a fight. How long is long enough? I'm not ready to give up on the dream yet, but I am tired of the struggle and the strain on our marriage. I asked my husband what he wanted for Christmas and his only response was, "a baby". How long will my body continue to fail us?

Sorry for my ramblings--they just run through my heart constantly. The tears come more easily now than 6 months ago--as I pass Santa in the mall, as we prepare for our vacation-just the two of us, when I hear Steven Curtis Chapman's new song (Heaven is the Face). That last verse gets me every time... "Heaven is a sweet, maple syrup kiss and a thousand other little things I miss with her gone... Heaven is the face of a little girl..."

I may never know how much I have missed, and that breaks my heart all over again.

I'll smile and laugh and I'll swear I that I am, but I'm lying.

I'm not okay.

Two Christmases


I cannot believe that two Christmases have come and almost gone since you went home. Even though we are not putting up the tree and your ornaments this year, you will still be a part of our Christmas. I try to imagine what life would look like if everything had been different. All kinds of Christmas decorations in my clean house. Its not clean now because my 10 month old reason to keep it clean it is gone. We would dress you in Baby's First Christmas clothes and pass you around the dinner table with the rolls. I feel like I am slipping backwards and I pray that you don't take the time to watch your mama cry, but I need you to know how much I love you. I need you to know that you haven't been forgotten. Even though I don't have a place to visit you or a way to talk to you, I pray that Jesus whispers of my love into your ear every day.

I love you my daughter,

I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always,
And as long as I'm living, my baby you'll be.