Before Molly was born, I scoured blogs looking for women who had a child after a loss. I specifically wanted to find mothers who had lost their first child and went on to have other children. Unfortunately the first time mothers whose blogs I was reading had not yet birthed a second child. (Many of them have since, praise God!)
I wanted to know what that experience was like, giving birth to and loving another child. All I knew was deep, deep sadness as a mother. From my perspective (and it's the only one I know intimately) having your first child born stillborn is extremely difficult. We didn't know the prize at the end of a pregnancy for a year and a half. Our house sat quiet for too long. We didn't have another child to love on, to make us smile through our tears.
It was never our intention to wait so long for Molly. We tried to get pregnant right away, and tried, and tried, and succeeded, then failed, and tried, and tried, and tried. In that time of trying and failing, what happened was Cara took up residence in our lives. We were forced to confront our grief and make space in our lives for our daughter. Looking back, I'm thankful for that time, because the work we did was important. Cara, in that time, found her place as our daughter. She wove herself into our thoughts, traditions and words.
By February of last year, we were pregnant with Molly. During those 9 months of pregnancy, I studied everything I could about gestating. I told Tim recently that it felt like a bit of a hobby. In all that time, I never really allowed myself to connect with Molly fully. I just couldn't believe that she would really be born alive.
If I could back to that time, I would tell myself to grieve Cara as much as I possibly could even up until the moment Molly was born. Because in October when Molly emerged from my womb, perfect in every way, joy burst into my life again. God gave us the most beautiful little girl. She is super laid back and easy going. She smiles frequently and has the ability to literally draw strangers across restaurants and stores. She has eased us into parenting a living child and made the transition a healing process.
I'm thankful for our story of hope after loss for some are not so lucky. We are two years and almost 4 months into our grieving process. The grief still remains as think of Cara daily, but our household is also filled with a lot of laughter and smiles, something we never believed possible until Molly found her way into our lives.