“Standing in church that day, listening to the worship song rising around me, I could no longer sing. The choking sensation started in my chest and bubbled up to my throat in waves of emotion. It’s interesting; I don’t even remember the verses we were singing! But in that moment, I realized, how many times have I stood here in this row, singing this song and asked, sometimes begged, for a child? It had been three years. Three years of being labeled “infertile,” given pills, injections, hope, bad news and a collection of negative pregnancy tests. This Sunday, however, I had you. We had just started feeling you really kick and move. I’ll never forget our trip to Dallas; your daddy felt you for the first time, his eyes were huge in disbelief! It was probably like this moment in church for me; you were dancing to the music in the comfort of my belly. No one could see you yet, not like now with your big catfish movements, but it was just me and you, like a secret conversation. Your daddy can usually tell when we are having these moments; I can barely keep my hands off my belly these days. I love to feel you wiggle and squirm. I try to focus on sending all my love from my heart to surround you in there.
To take you through the years we tried for you would require a novel. I think I can sum it up though: Vivienne, you are wanted, you were created by God for this time, you were stitched together perfectly in my womb, you are the daughter of two parents who love each other very much, two parents who are a little nuts and a lot flawed but who tirelessly tried for you. You are loved. You are so loved. You were prayed for by a village of people, before you came into this world and even now, even forever. Our desire is that you would know all these things and that you would know Jesus.
Just writing this letter and dreaming of meeting you and being your mom, tears are flowing because I thought maybe this day would never come. Yet, here you are, kicking me again, a reminder that you are mine. And little girl, just wait till you meet your daddy…you hit the jackpot with that one.
Any day now. We can’t wait to hold you.”
To my boys…
On the day I married your Daddy we exchanged vows with each other, leaving me with a moment I think of every now and then. The part when he said, “…and the mother of my children,” will forever make me smile when I think back to that day. Your Daddy choked up as the words left his mouth, he wiped a tear from his eye, and it was then that I knew how much he looked forward to a life with both of you.
Fast forward three years. Mason Cruz, you are my baby. You are the one who made me Mama, the one who made me feel a love I never knew I could, and the one with the plumpest, cold cheeks that I absolutely cannot keep my lips from kissing every chance I get. You want to be your Daddy. You’re only two years old and he is already so proud of you, because in this short amount of time you’ve already fulfilled his idea of what a father is to a son.
Fast forward two more years. Graham Taylor, we’ve only just met you and your laid back personality but know you were definitely meant to be Mason’s brother. Heaven forbid you cry. “Gam ok?” he says. I can already tell your big brother is never going to let anything happen to you and I hope you will be the best of friends. I wasn’t sure how to love two children but you quickly stole my heart and now I can’t take my eyes off you.
Daddy and I keep talking about watching you boys grow up together. It’s going to be loud. It’s going to be dirty. It’s going to have an unpleasant smell to it. But most of all, it’s going to be fun. So fun. We thought we had it all for so long now, but our lives are just beginning.
Sometimes I like to surprise my clients. So Kristen, as you are reading this…there is a little surprise here for you. I connected with Jason after your session and he has a little something he would like to say to you and Edris. I hope you enjoy <3
“My Darling Girls,
There was once a day I cared more about tomorrow than anything else. During this time in my life, I imagined tomorrow less painful than today. The pain I felt, the sadness I felt, the longing I felt, would all disappear with today, and be mended by tomorrow.
But tomorrow is ambiguous, it technically doesn’t even exist! It’s definitely not promised… living for something like this was the reason I was so sad:
I was living for nothing.
Soon after, I met you, Kristen, and then we were given you, Edris, and everything changed. I realized that some time ago, I had forgotten about tomorrow and started living for today. I started waking up wondering what today would be like. I wondered if I would get see Kristen today, or was anticipating the date I or she had planned for the other. Then I woke up wondering if today would be the day that God gave us Edris. Then I woke up wondering what milestone today would be! Would Edris roll over, say a word, giggle, crawl, walk, or run?
Then I woke up wondering if our son would still be alive… hoping yesterday didn’t happen. I woke up wondering if today would be the day we’d pick up Peter, then carry him home in his urn. Today became hard, unbearably so. I wished many times for yesterday. Yesterday, Peter was alive. Yesterday, we were whole. Yesterday there was none of this pain or sorrow aching from our bones…
But like tomorrow, yesterday doesn’t exist either. Yesterday is just as unobtainable…reaching back for it was why I was in so much pain. I had to remember to live for today. Together, we held each other up. Together we mourned, we cried, and we remembered. Together, we became stronger then we ever were before! And now, today, I am alive and happy once more.
Today. Today is a beautiful day, and a beautiful thing to live for. Today, I live for you, my darling girls.
Jason and Daddy.”
Jason and Daddy
(Trigger Warning )
“In May of this year we found out we were expecting our second baby, due in February. We were ecstatic and a little scared…two kids, 16 months apart….it’s a lot for anyone. But the discovery came at a time when we had so many swirling storms around us, it was like a lighthouse to a ship – planted on a rock and giving hope.
In mid-August, we were just through the first trimester and “safe.” We heard the baby’s strong heartbeat, speculated at feeling him or her move. Until something was suddenly off. A quick visit from the midwife furthered our concerns with no heartbeat found. We had to wait for an ultrasound a few days later, and didn’t let ourselves assume the worst. But the ultrasound showed a still babe, no heartbeat, no movement in the tiny limbs we could see. Silence.
A few days later, after hours of labor and in the midst of tears, he was born. A little boy – yes, even at 13 weeks it is crystal clear. He had his daddy’s hands, long narrow feet, nose, lips, mouth, it was all so intricate. The next morning a funeral home came to pick up his body. All that previous night through the next day we talked about names, as the funeral home couldn’t do anything without a name. Eventually we fell upon Peter Lukas. Rock of Light. Our little lighthouse. It was perfect. We chose an urn. Jason signed the papers; one the hardest things a father could be asked to do. And we walked away, leaving our son’s body in the hands of strangers. Loving strangers, who took care of Peter without asking a thing from us. But strangers none-the-less. We cried all the way home.
A week later we had him back, and it felt like the grieving could actually start.
Grieving a miscarriage is a daily pain. Moment by moment. Never completely absent. Seeing what feels like dozens of mama friends expecting their second baby in the spring posting on social media, all their joy and excitement…it’s difficult. Watching friends with their own little boys, knowing it’s something we won’t experience with Peter. I don’t say that to guilt anyone – if anything we, more than some, understand just how precious life is. But the pain is present and real. Bless you mamas for celebrating, never stop.
I am so grateful for his memory. Grateful he was conceived. Grateful he lived. Grateful I had the privilege of carrying him, birthing him, holding him, seeing him. Some couples ache for even that. For the chance to create a life.
Peter’s death brought indescribable pain. But his life and his legacy….is Joy. Hope. Trust. He caused our faith to be stretched and grown in ways I could never have imagined. My walk with God will never be the same. There is a depth from it that I hope to treasure always. And a new reason to look forward to eternity.
Peter Lukas was a gift. Is a gift. Every child, no matter the age, the challenges, the victories, is a gift. Every single one has a unique voice and purpose that we may or may not ever know. But this I do know. His life changed me. It changed us. It has and will continue to affect lives for years to come – through his story, through his parents, and who knows how else. We hold even more dear our beautiful daughter, our sunshine baby. Cherish your babies. Cherish your friends who have experienced loss. Cherish those who haven’t even had someone to lose. Help give continued purpose to these stories – let it fuel gratitude and unity. Let it give beautiful new perspective. And let it further joy and dissolve the frustrations and petty obsessions that so easily consume us. If we could ask one thing as Peter’s parents, it would be this: Think bigger. Think beyond ourselves. Think towards eternity. Value every life, no matter how small, and every moment. And may we be grateful. Always grateful.”