Life would be different for us. My pregnancy would have been different, every day excited instead of scared. Our house would be different and our toddler's room would definitely not have as much lemon stuff in it (maybe blueberries?). I would be 34 with a 2 year old instead of 34 with a one year old - crazy.
Today is our little blueberry's birthday and today I am reminded of all that we've been through to get here. I have said it many many times but every day I count my blessings and know just how lucky I am to be a mother. I read stories weekly of women trying to conceive, pregnancies ending in a loss and even have friends who have experienced both - and my heart goes out to them all. Every day that I complain about Lemon not sleeping, leave for work upset that I have to leave my baby for the day or come home to a maniac that won't stop to play with anything and just wants to walk, walk, walk - I am so thankful and take a moment to remember just how we got here.
Our journey was a long one and if you've never read this blog before, you may not know that. Ian and I always say that if we knew how long it would take for us to get pregnant and that our first pregnancy would end in loss, we would have started trying sooner. Ah, if we only would have known.
Today I would be writing as the mother of a two year old and my baby would have been just born when I posted my first IG picture. My first Instagram picture, which I posted two years ago yesterday, would probably have been one of my new baby, instead of my husband and his crazy hair. It's nuts to think all that would be different - but all that would still be the same.
We would have a lovely child, as we do today, just an older one. I would be a mother, as I am now, just a wiser one. I would have experienced two birthdays, instead of just one, and two years of working with a baby at home, instead of not even a full one. But, it's how it was all meant to be. Maybe I wouldn't have been as appreciative, as I am now, if it would have all been so easy - but maybe I would have. Who knows.
But, I wouldn't have met so many wonderful mothers who have also experienced loss, and who write me their stories and share in my struggles. I have made a lot of "friends" because I decided to continue this blog back in January 2011, after wanting to give up and never write another word. I have shared, cried, laughed and loved so many people who I can totally relate too, and I hope I've brought them some hope too. I am thankful for my journey, even though it was so dark at times, because I am here on the other side and able to connect with so many. I guess it all happens for a reason.
Sometimes I wonder about that blueberry. Was it a he or a she (I am always thinking she)? What would she have looked like? What would she have been like? Would she like to cuddle? Would she like to sleep? Where did she go? Is she here now with us, in the form of a Lemon? Was she just not ready and had to wait another year to form again? Would we have named her Blueberry? So many questions.
I re-read my post today, telling everyone about our loss, and it brought tears to my eyes. Over 2 years later and I still can't read those first blog entries - there's something to be said about that. We may move on, we may have other children, but we never forget those ones that didn't make it. They will always be with us and just like everything else we've experienced in our lives, we add those pregnancies to our "backpack" that invisible bag that we carry with us, full of everything that makes us who we are today.
I have no idea why bad things happen and am a believer in karma. I have no idea why we lost our first baby and don't think we deserved it, no one does. But it happened and I can't change it, and it has made me who I am today. If you read my last post you will know that our loss influenced me as a mother and how I have handled this first year of motherhood. I am sure that if things would have gone differently, and if I was wishing my 2 year old Blueberry a "happy birthday" today, I may be a different sort of mother. But, I am the mother I am because of what we've been through and that's the only mother I know how to be.
So please be kind to those around you. You never know what each of us has been through to get here and all we may need is support and kindness instead of opinions or advice. Everyone's journey is different and the way that someone acts/reacts could just be what's in their backpack, weighing them down. I try to remember this as a teacher too, I never know what my students have gone though in their lives, so I try not to judge or ridicule, just to nurture and support them. Many times we think we are the only ones in the universe and that this world revolves around us, but it doesn't, and that's something we just always remember, even when it feels like our problems are the end of the world.
So, this post goes out to you, my little blueberry, for making me who I am today. Am I a good mother? I don't know, but I try to be, and not a day goes by where I don't think of you and how lucky I am to have our Lemon. When the going gets tough or I get frustrated, I think of how hard we tried and how bad we wanted to be parents, and how there are people out there who are trying so hard to be parents, just like us. Even though I would love for you to be here, to be celebrating your birthday with you, I am thankful that you taught me a very important lesson. Because of you I don't take anything for granted, I constantly remind myself of how lucky I am; and because of you hopefully I have helped others through sharing our story.
This blog may have advertisements one day, links to other shops/blogs and I may host giveaways from time to time - but it is only here all because of you. I turned to Ian, in that hospital room in January, and said, "I am going to take the blog down when we get home, what is the point of me continuing to write?" And he said to me, "You will continue to write to share your story and to help others feel like they are not alone." And as I write those words, the tears come back, because I just hope that's just what I've done.
We love you, blueberry - Happy Birthday.
To read all about our little blueberry, and my posts coming out of the darkness, click here. Also, if you'd like to know about having a natural miscarriage, I wrote a post about that too. (It was hard for me to find many posts about it when I was going through it, so I made sure to write about my experience. Please share if you think it may help someone.)