The Estimated Due Date (EDD) for Gregory was July 26 or July 27. Somewhere around there. Rarely have my children arrived on their due dates, though, so we'll never know when Gregory, had he been healthy, would have graced us with his presence.
I took a couple days off work, Craig took a couple days off work. We really didn't have anything planned, but didn't really want to be at work. I have a feeling that over the years, March 1 will have more significance for me as that is the days we truly said goodbye.
I have realized how many babies I will watch grow up that would be Gregory's age. My sister's baby boy, who was born in April, would have been best buddies with Gregory, I am almost certain. But I guess he and I will just be best buddies. The Royal Baby was born this week...I suppose there will be enough coverage of him over the years that I'll realize Gregory would be that size or something when I see him on TV or in the magazines. Of course, we're not royalty, so there's that. A woman at our parish had her baby last night. She also has a son in Helen's class, so surely as I watch her little girl over the next several years, I will have reminders of my baby boy and what new adventures we would have experienced.
Surprisingly, I am coming to a point where I am okay with this. I remember early on that I didn't want to hear about babies being born or see pictures. There's a friend on FB who is almost exactly where I would be pregnancy-wise with Gregory and I did have to hide the bump updates for a bit. But lately, I have been able to handle it again and I'm glad...it means that I'm healing.
Healing is good, right? I don't cry all the time. Stuff doesn't always hit me so hard that I break down. When I hear of women having trouble with pregnancy or losing their babies, however, my chest tightens and I sometimes lose my breath. Yes, that still happens. Part of me wonders if it will always happen. But I am happy again at the news of a new baby entering the world. I find joy in my other children and in the children I see running around at church or at the park. I don't spend so much time thinking about what I'm missing and instead try so much harder to live in the moment and enjoy what is happening in the here and now.
Something Craig said to me recently resonated. He said that losing Gregory helped him to see how truly fleeting the time is that we have with our children. And I agree. Sarah is already twelve. In 6 years, she will have graduated high school and will embark on an adult life. And it will be a snowball really because shortly thereafter, Dani and then Helen and basically all of our children will join her. When a new baby comes into our family and into our lives -- it feels like we have forever. But Craig and I are reaching a point where we see that it's not forever and raising our children is the most joyful and enriching blessing of all and we don't want to miss a day of it. I think we could have figured that out without losing a child -- but, I guess it was just time for God to make sure we understood it right then.
The last few days I have prayed and asked my baby boy's intercession, along with our Blessed Mother. I asked for a sign of sorts and I asked for acceptance of God's will in all things. I'm so grateful for all the prayers we have received for our friends and family here on Earth and the ones I feel certain we've had from our son and from others in Heaven that care about us and are in the presence of God.
Today, in the mail, arrived a beautiful Rosary that Rebecca ordered to be made (by trendy Traditions) and sent to us.
Rebecca and her husband are Gregory's godparents. We communicated a bit earlier than we normally do with regard to selecting godparents and I am really glad we did. I'm not glad that Rebecca and her husband had to have some grief along with us necessarily, but Rebecca has been such a strong and present friend during this time and I appreciate it more than I could ever express. And we might not have had this opportunity to grow together if not through this experience and if we hadn't asked them about being godparents earlier in pregnancy.
So, I guess I am glad the due date is finally here and is passing. No more looking in my planner at work and seeing the weeks tick by that I had written ahead of time. No more thinking about what stage of pregnancy I would be in, or that I would have been waddling. I have grateful thoughts -- grateful for friends and family and prayers. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to get running again and set some goals and achieve them. I feel grateful that the door hasn't closed on my childbearing years yet, though it feels like the door is closing with the passing of each day. I'm grateful for my children here on Earth who hug me the minute I walk through the door, give me kisses, tell me how much they love me and assure me that I am the best mommy in the whole world.
Life can provide Joy to equal the Sorrows.
I am linking to Jennifer Fulwiler at Conversion Diary and posting every day this week! Click HERE to see who else took the challenge!