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  • Writer's pictureJodi Laughlin

Embracing change

October 2018

It has now been 22 months since my baby Noelle came and left this world. Almost 2 years…. TWO YEARS!!! How is that possible!???

It has been 7 months since her sister, Lily, was born. That also seems impossible. And we are coming up on 3 years of marriage.

A lot has happened in these short (almost) 3 years of marriage and everything was done with so much love. More love than I ever could have imagined, mixed in with more pain than I ever thought was possible. It has been quite the journey.

I felt completely blocked on October 13. I usually want to write and soul search and focus on Noelle. But this month, there was a wall standing between what my grief has been and what it is now. I just feel different. It is hard for me to bring myself back to my darkest days. Of course I think about Noelle every single day, but I think about her with hope and with excitement for where she has brought me today. Noelle’s Light is starting to take shape and its future looks bright.

Lily is getting so big and I am excited to tell her about her sister. I am starting to think of ways to include her in Lily’s life so that she can have an understanding of her sister in heaven. I’m also starting to think of Noelle’s next sibling and unlike my pregnancy with Lily, I don’t feel as nervous going into a third pregnancy because we were so successful with Lily.

So I feel… happy. I am finally able to reflect on my marriage and my family without feeling like our story is one of sorrow. The fog of grief has lifted and has left us looking towards an exciting future. I am starting to realize that I still need to find myself as a Mother and as a wife. So much of my time has not been spent in self-reflection but in trying to look outside of myself, to pick myself up when all I wanted to do was fall and to keep my family going. But now that we are standing strong, I am left feeling a little lost as to where my own identify lies.

I love my role as a Mother and wife, but there is a big adjustment in terms of fully embracing your new life. We live in a world that expects you to have a baby and go back to work in 3 months; A world that expects you to be back at the gym and back in your jeans in an unrealistic time frame; A world that expects you to be unchanged after bringing new life to this world. I did that twice in less than two years and it is a lot to adjust to and a lot to be proud of. It is impossible to be unchanged after having a child (who would want that!??)... and I am excited to begin to fully embrace my new role!

On October 13, I wasn’t able to deeply reflect about Noelle because I was so caught up in trying to rediscover myself, and I felt very guilty about that; Very guilty that during the month of pregnancy and infant loss awareness, I wasn’t able to channel my sadness. But I recognize that Noelle is the reason I am a new person. She paved the way for my entire future. I realize that I do not have to be in a state of sadness to miss her. I miss her in all I do every day. I carry her heart and spirit with me always.

She is and will forever be a part of everything we do as a family and she is the reason for who I am today…. I just need to take some time to figure out exactly who that is.

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