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  • Writer's pictureJodi Laughlin

My heart

Today, October 15, 2020, is Pregnancy and Infant Loss awareness day. This is my fourth time participating in this day. You would think time would make it easier... and I guess in some ways it does. But this year, this day, has been particularly hard.

I brought Lily and Alexander with me to the cemetery today and Lily asked "where is Noelle? Is she here?" I tried to explain "she is, but really she is in Heaven..." And her reaction was just to hug me. (And then to run down the hall playfully!). It felt so good to think about Lily and Alexander having Noelle in their lives.

I have been feeling Noelle so much more in my life lately. I have been seeing rainbows in pictures and hearing Mom's call out "Noelle" to their running toddler. I see her face in my other children... and I miss her.

Almost four years have gone by. Noelle's death has become a part of me. The pain that I carry from that experience is now easier to talk about and easier to accept... but it's still just as painful. When I look at the molds of her little feet and hands I just ache to touch her again. And I will always regret not holding her more when she was with me.

"Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body" Elizabeth Stone

This quote has always stuck with me. Your children are a piece of you... they are the dearest, most tender piece of yourself and their fate is out of your control. Lily and Alexander are their own person. I can't determine their destiny. I will feel any pain they feel and I will rejoice in their happiness. I know they will experience pain in their life just as Noelle did. But my hope for them is that the happiness will outweigh the pain.

I can now rejoice that Noelle is at peace. My belief is that she is in Heaven and that her eternal peace far outweighs her short journey and any pain she experienced here on earth. That is what I remind myself of today.

I can let my mind go to the "why!???" and feel the anger if I want to. I can pity my story and question "where is Noelle!?" But when I decided to have children, I knew pain was inevitable; we cannot shield our children or ourselves from pain.

The perspective of hope, happiness, and love is a choice. I choose to believe.

I welcome her signs into my life.

I hope today that those who have lost a child can find something to be hopeful for. For me, it is to see Noelle again. She will forever be a part of me and I am so grateful for that.

The doctor's called Noelle a "Diva" because she moved around so much on ultrasound. They said her heart was "bright." She loved when I ate oranges and drank club soda. She was a fighter. She looked like her brother and sister and she had adorable brown curls. She weighed 3lbs, 10 oz and had the most beautiful lips. Her hands and feet fit into the palm of my hand. She lived for 32 minutes. She existed. She is my firstborn.

I am ONE in FOUR.

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