Of all the children we've lost, I always miss Francis the most. It's not that we love that baby any more than the others, just that we bonded with him or her so much more. Between my positive pregnancy test and miscarriage, we had six weeks of dreaming and preparing for our baby. That time was never tainted with a fear of loss, so we were able to love our baby with abandon. And those six weeks came after a year of desperately wanting another child, even before we were able to try to conceive again, a year of dreaming and preparing in itself.
After Francis, we were much more cautious with our pregnancies, much more reserved. And we never got much time with them, no more than two weeks between a positive pregnancy test and an ultrasound showing that miscarriage was likely. We never had the time to allow ourselves to imagine our baby outside of the womb, as part of our living family. Even now, at 14 weeks pregnant, I can't visualize what it will be like to have a baby in November, even if I give myself the permission to try. But during my pregnancy with Francis, I could visualize that sweet baby in my arms - that tiny little nose, big blue eyes, kissable lips, and chubby, chubby thighs.
Today, David has to work, but we're hoping to spend tomorrow exactly like we did last year - a trip to the cemetery and then to the beach. (Please pray that the storm that is supposed to hit this weekend disperses! It means so much to use that we're able to carry out this family tradition.) Only a few weeks away from our move, this will be the last time we'll see our baby's grave and the last time we carry out this family tradition. We usually only visit Francis Michael's grave twice a year (close to the due date and miscarriage date) but the thought of leaving it is unbearable. We didn't bury any of our other children (none of them ever developed bodies, just empty sacs) so in many ways, this one grave represents them all. I know their souls aren't there but I still feel like a mother abandoning her children.
My sweet Francis Michael, know that you are loved and so very missed. What I wouldn't have given to have held you in my arms for just a moment, to have known what you looked like.
Past posts I've written about Francis:
This is not the post it was supposed to be.
Remembering My Pregnancy
Our Pregnancy Loss Story
How we named Francis (and our other babies)
Here are pictures from our trip to the cemetery and beach to celebrate Francis last year: