Last Friday marked two years since the end of our first pregnancy. I hope some day to feel grounded enough in what happened to share the whole story but until then, I think it’s safe to simply say that there are moments in your life that create fissures. Tectonic plates that crack apart and shift who you are so violently that you can see that place across the divide but you can’t ever go back to where you were. That baby and that pregnancy marked who I am today so heavily that it impacts almost every decision I make.

Two years later and I have some distance on things, and I know for certain that all the things that resulted from that point aren’t bad things. In fact, some of the things I treasure most today are a result of our loss. So, in memory of the child that made me a mother, and in the spirit of showing Lucas that even when you face hard times you pick yourself up and find the good things in life, here are a few things I carry close to my heart that I wouldn’t have experienced otherwise.

  • A deeper understanding of grief allowing me to be more compassionate when those I love are going through it.
  • That our pains, however large they may feel, aren’t even a spec on the map of this universe and the world will go on, with and without us, no matter how we feel inside.
  • The sisterhood of women who have experienced pregnancy loss. Women who are so compassionate and brave.
  • The ability to lend an ear, and to hold onto hope for someone’s subsequent pregnancy when they aren’t strong enough yet.
  • Knowing who will be there when the chips are down and who isn’t worth investing time in.
  • Walking side-by-side with Eric through something utterly horrific and coming out stronger than ever.
  • An appreciation for motherhood and every moment I get to spend holding, cuddling and watching our sweet Luke grow into an amazing kid.

Since sharing what we’ve gone through, I’ve talked to a number of women going through something similar. I know three who are pregnant again right now and I know how much they’ll appreciate each and every day with those new babies in ways they never could have imagined.

Two years ago, I couldn’t have pictured my life today. All I could focus on was taking a breath, putting one foot in front of the other, closing my circle and holding on so tight to those I loved. I wouldn’t wish what we experienced on anyone, but I know it’s possible to keep going and that eventually, the pain becomes part of your story and part of your life. And, if your lucky, a touchstone for gratitude and peace.