sharing your stories and remembering your children
By Emily Carrington EPLA President and Founder
It was late afternoon on a Saturday or Sunday. It was early March, and we lived in Texas at the time. Looking at today’s date, it was probably about seven years ago, give or take a few days.
I was starting to make a grocery list and thinking about what we would have for dinner that night. Suddenly I had the urge to take a pregnancy test - because you know, if I was pregnant, I should be focusing on all the good foods and avoiding all the bad foods. (You were my first pregnancy, and there was so much I didn’t know. I certainly didn’t know that by my 5th pregnancy I would be sharing slightly germy/slobbery McDonald’s fries with your sister Abigail and call it a win because I kept some food down! With you the standards started high).
Minutes later, I knew you were there! You were inside of me. My first baby. Suddenly I was overwhelmed with all the things I didn’t know. What ARE good pregnancy foods? What about bad foods? How do I take care of this child?
I told your dad about you, and he was thrilled! We were so ready for you. We were so glad you existed.
We decided on Chipotle because I could load up on some good protein and veggies. That was one of the last decent meals I ate.
For a while, only daddy and I knew about you. I remember going to a dinner party with friends and thinking about you the whole time.Every time I passed on the wine or the champagne, I thought about you.
During church I nibbled on Saltines, and the woman who sat in front of us figured out you were in there. But most people never picked up on the clues.
We were going to keep you a secret for two more months, but we just couldn’t wait anymore. We really wanted to tell your grandparents and your aunts and uncles you were in there. We went to Toys R Us and tried to come up with a cute way to tell everyone about you.
We bought the book “Are You My Mother?” and a cute little onesie. We added a piece of paper to the title so it read “Are You My Grandmother?” We then took a picture of the book with the onesie and sent it on to our parents. Then we waited in excited silence for their reply.
Grandma and Grandpa were the first to respond. They called confused and unsure what the text meant. I think we woke them up in the middle of a Sunday afternoon nap. When they figured it out, they were so excited!
Your Nana and Pop Pop were so excited, too!
A few days later we found out your cousin Tucker was on the way. Everyone was so excited you were here, with us.
Sadly, we never got to name you. We didn’t know yet if you were an Abigail or a David. It turns out you were neither. We called you Baby and we still call you Baby, because that is the name we knew you by.
Your life was so short, and it is often clouded over with grief. But I want you to know I do remember the good stuff, I think of you with so much fondness and joy. I know you were here with us. I know you were real. And I know you are worth celebrating.
Emily Carrington is a freelance writer, wife, mother, and founder of the EPLA.