It's hard to believe that Ellie would be three this year. It's also hard to believe that Elsie would be a year and a half. With the snap of a finger, Shepherd turned one, and we no longer had to imagine what it would be like to plan a first birthday party for our child. It's hard to believe we've been married 5 years, and it's hard to handle that there should be two more sets of feet pitter-pattering around our house. It's hard to imagine life before children and it's even harder to remember life before loss. Needless to say, these are still the things I think about all of the time, even when I'm not thinking out loud about it here.
After Ellie was born, I started writing more in depth about life and the struggle of grief, and I wrote about it privately. Some I shared here, but most of it was tucked away into the corners of my computer, only being opened when I was feeling brave enough to process or desperate to process. Either way, I continued writing until we found out we were pregnant with Elsie, and then I stopped writing. I stopped writing because I was waiting for our happy pregnancy story. Our happy delivery story. Our happy bringing-baby-home story. I was so excited to be able to conclude Ellie's story with one of redemption and hope. And then we found out about Elsie and I stopped writing all together. I was shocked and scared and lonely and panicked. This wasn't the ending I wanted to write.
As the months went on, I wrote blog posts about the final few months of pregnancy with her, and then delivery. And you all know that if you're reading this.
And then one day...I decided that if a decade passed and I never wrote down Elsie's chapter, I would be incredibly sad. So I kept on.
And it was hard.
I wanted to write through the rawest moments. I wanted to write through the moments where I couldn't even post here.
I wrote and I wrote and I wrote and then Shepherd came and I wrote some more. And then there were so many words that I could fill a book. And then I started wondering if I should actually fill a book. But the thought of that is incredibly scary. It's like opening up a private journal from your hardest time in life and scanning it and inviting the world to read. But then I wondered if it could help. I know a handful of people who have walked through infant loss, but it gets so hard to talk about. And even when we do talk about it, all of our experiences are so different. Just as I read some infant loss books that spoke deeply to me, I also read some that I couldn't finish. What if we were all able to share bits and pieces of our story to let the good stuff seep into the hearts of those that need to feel less lonely in their pain? If my words only helped just one person, would it be worth it?
I think it would.
So this book. It's here. On my computer. And I didn't think I was going to announce this, but now I think I will solely for the sake of accountability. If I don't tell you I'm going to do it, I'll chicken out.
There is a publisher who wants to publish our story. And we think this is a big deal. And we also don't know if we want to maintain full control over it and self-publish, or if we want to allow others in. It's a tough call. But regardless, the words cannot sit forever unopened on my computer. What good is it to fight the hardest trials of life and leave all of the battle tactics, our experience under fire, and our innermost thoughts and fears and failures and victories a secret? I didn't choose this story, and it isn't one I could have ever imagined myself writing, but I cannot keep it here out of fear.
So I won't. And I don't know when. And I don't have an exact timeline, but I need you guys to hold me accountable. K? K.
It isn't light reading, that's for sure, but there certainly is redemption.