Today, I’m thankful for Jack falling asleep on my chest, and allowing me to write about our awesome experience in Minnesota last weekend! I think we’re in the middle of a wicked growth spurt, eating every 2 hours and waking up at random times at night, so we’re both a little sleepy today!
Last week as I was driving I realized it’s been a year and 5 months since we lost James. In that moment I teared up. For so many reasons, it’s hard to believe. In many ways, life has gotten so much sweeter. Jack makes our world unimaginably better. He is just the happiest little guy. I always say he smiles so big it looks like it hurts. I had almost forgotten what it was like to just truly laugh. Thankful for this little buddy and giving me a reason to laugh everyday 🙂
Like the old saying goes, in time it doesn’t hurt so bad. I would say in general that is true. But oh man, when it hits me the pain hurts as bad as it ever has. I think in the first few months of Jack’s life we were adjusting to all things newborn baby. Like every new momma, I was just so tired. Now, I feel like we’ve gotten the swing of things, and Jack’s little personality is coming through. I find myself more emotional, and missing James more than ever. With every first Jack is experiencing I am equally sad that I never had that moment with James. Those sweet baby laughs make me long to have experienced that with James.
One thing I’ve learned about the passage of time and grief is that I long to hear James name be spoken. I get that our situation is hard to talk about, but I am always so thankful to hear his name out loud. When you lose a child, especially while pregnant, we don’t have those life memories to talk about. I stumbled upon this article and it so eloquently talks about this exact point. It’s worth the read.
Remembering James and his life is important to me. I think that’s one of the many reasons I’m so thankful we participated in the Star Legacy Foundation; Let Not be Still Run/Walk in Minnesota this year. This day gives us a chance to say his name out loud, remember our son, grandson, cousin, nephew in heaven, and to smile to see this name on a shirt. I mentioned this last year, but it’s such an bittersweet experience to participate in this run/walk. This year there were close to 1,000 participants. 1,000 people directly affected by the loss of a baby due to stillbirth. Brought together under terrible circumstances, this event is so joyful. So many families, so many babies! So much happiness. Last year, I was probably 4 weeks pregnant with Jack and we hadn’t found out yet. I remember looking at all the families and praying that one day we could participate in this event with a living child. Thank you God for blessing us with our sweet Jack, and for him being able to be there and remember his big brother!
This event is so powerful in that they are working tirelessly to raise money for stillborn research as well as work with legislators to pass laws to help families. For example, many insurance companies don’t cover autopsy of babies; legislators are working to change this. I’m so proud that we were able to raise almost $1,500 that goes directly to stillborn research and helping families deal with this devastating loss. I will admit, at first I was hesitant to “fundraise”. It’s a little bit out of my comfort zone to ask people for money. But, I decided if this money could help save one family from experiencing a loss of a baby or comfort a family dealing with a stillborn, it was worth it to me to ask. I just want to say a heartfelt thank you to all those who donated. You’ll never know how much that meant to us!
I’m thankful for the Star Legacy Foundation and everything they are working towards. Stay tuned for more on that 🙂 The Richard clan had an awesome morning walking for James. Here are a few pics!