I follow so many ttcers at so many different stages. Some have happily completed their families, while others are still in the trenches begging God for "just one." Many are in the middle-they got a baby and dare they hope or try for another? I recently saw an Instagram post from someone who posted:
"We loved you before we knew you, even when there was just hope for you-we loved you."
Oh. My. Heart. I loved Noah and Beckom before I even knew they existed. They were just the random frozen embryos in the freezer at OHSU that I would say hi to when we drove by when I was pregnant with Jude and Brinly, but I loved them for the hope I had in them. When I lost Jude and Brinly, my love for the remaining embryos increased as I desperately wanted to meet their siblings.
That March morning when we sat in OHSU with Becky (our carrier), Tom (her husband), Darren and I in the transfer room, there was just hope.
My mom had my sister and I pick out Halloween costumes for the kids as a gift and we did pre-Halloween photo shoot this weekend.
I have a special Magnolia tree a family friend gave me in honor of Jude and Brinly. For people who are not familiar with the story, I spread a little bit of Jude's ashes in the tree the day after we surprised our family with our surrogate's pregnancy. The tree has a whole new meaning to me because of what it represents and because it's all I have left of Jude on this earth.
I got this idea for a photo of putting Noah and Beckom standing by the tree. It would be our first family picture of all the brothers. The closest thing to a sibling picture we will ever know. How sweet would that picture look, in our new house of my three boys? It's not heavy. It's not sad. Only close friends and family would realize how deep the picture is.
For the shoot, the boys were sleepy, not smiley, and honestly, probably super confused as to why they were in ridicoulsy puffy lion outfits. But my brother took the picture, and it is so sweet.
Darren and I were looking at the pictures last night and all the sudden I had a wave of sadness mixed with terror. I realized that little Noah or Beckom literally could have been Jude. They could have been the ones that didn't make it and could have been the ones cremated inside that tree. It was a matter of what random embryo the embryologist selected to implant out of the 9 embryos that had made it to the "blast" stage. With one flinch of his hand, he could have implanted Noah or Beckom instead of little Jude and Brinly. Because Jude and Brinly went first, they saved their lives.
Jude and Brinly, I love you so much. Noah and Beckom do not replace you, but they have filled our hearts with hope and redemption and love and happiness. You will always be my first born daughter and son and their older sister and brother. I love your brothers with every ounce of my being. Seeing their faces lets me imagine what your faces would have been like now. I am sorry that you didn't get to stay and we miss you. Because of your deaths, we were able to figure out the problem with my cervix and give Noah and Beckom a safer journey to life. Thank you for that, my little loves.
To all the women still fighting, keep loving your babies, even if there is just hope for them in this moment.