I read a post earlier in the week on the lovely Best of Baby blog about how people are in the habit of not asking certain questions when it comes to new parenting. Her perspective on how we should share in the ups and downs as a community got me thinking. I realized the same logic can be applied to the journey I am going through. There is a certain social stigma when tragedy strikes a family: don't talk about it. Don't remind them of the pain they have been through, and change the subject to a happier, problem-free discussion if the tragedy is brought up. I guess this is fine, and it probably makes others more comfortable, but personally, I dislike it.
My pregnancy brought on the greatest pain I have ever experienced in my life. I am still experiencing it. But guess what? It also brought me the greatest joy I've ever felt. I didn't know it was possible to love someone so completely and so wholly that I had never met, but I did. I loved our little Taylor Grace so fiercely, and I still do. I always will. The last thing I want to do is pretend like she didn't happen.
Everyone handles grief differently. For some, it is easier to focus on happy things and keep tragedy out of the conversation. That is fine, and there is no right or wrong way to do grief. There's no manual to follow when navigating an unexpected journey like this. For me though, I want to talk about Taylor. I want to reflect on my pregnancy with her. Parker and I speak about her every day. It's not like we sit down and say "Okay, time to talk about Taylor", but she comes up frequently in casual conversation. Of course it makes us sad sometimes, but the thought of her running around in Heaven playing with all of the other angel babies brings laughter and smiles as well.
I realize that I don't have a baby in the flesh, but I do have a baby in Heaven that I got to carry on this earth for 18.5 weeks. She was a person, and I want to talk about her forever. I hope we have many healthy children in the years to come, but Taylor Grace will always be our first child. She will always be our first daughter. She will always be the older sister in Heaven to her siblings.
We received her footprint and handprint yesterday. They aren't perfect because she was just so tiny, but they are so incredibly perfect to us. Seeing that footprint on the left and the handprint on the right reminds me why I want to continue to talk about Taylor. She was a real person. She had life, and she changed mine forever.