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Parents of lost babies and potential of all kinds: come here to share the technicolour, the vividness, the despair, the heart-broken-open, the compassion we learn for others, having been through this mess — and see it reflected back at you, acknowledged and understood.

Thanks to photographer Xin Li and to artist Stephanie Sicore for their respective illustrations and photos.

for one and all > New Year Without Renewed Hope

I've posted here a few times since the death of our daughter Evelyn 4.5 months ago, in August. New Year's Eve and day were so hard for my husband and I, as we were surrounded by happy people celebrating the dawning of a new year, which for them brings so much possibility and hope for what is to come. New projects, new commitments, new possibilities with new and potentially exciting outcomes...the list goes on. And of course, a few friends joyfully announced their pregnancies. And we feel...nothing. We started trying to build our family in February of 2008 and with each passing birthday, mother's and father's day, Thanksgiving and Christmas, New Years' Eve and day, we'd think, "Next year will be different. Next year, we'll have our family. We just have to keep hoping and trying." And so it was supposed to be in 2016. After nearly 9 years, we were finally getting our miracle, our beautiful Evelyn. And now she's gone. And there will be no more infertility treatments, not for us. And so this year, we can't say the coming year will be better, that we'll get our family. Because it won't be and we won't get our family. Our family is fractured and always will be, regardless of what lies ahead, because Evelyn will always be gone. We feel so lost. People have said, "the new year will bring new hope for you, don't lose faith," trying to lift our spirits but they haven't had a child die. They haven't spent the better part of a decade trying to conceive their first child. And they haven't watched that miracle child struggle to live for 8 hrs and 43 minutes, only to pass away in their daddy's arms. We feel hopeless. I know it's early, I know it's only been 4.5 months. I know that in time, this debilitating grief will soften but I miss our Evie. I miss the future we were supposed to have, the memories we were supposed to make. And I miss the hope that a new year can bring. I know so many of you can relate, and I'm so sorry for our shared pain.
January 4, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa
Melissa, I'm sorry too. It is still so early for you, and things will soften, as you say, though the missing never stops. There are also things that will happen in your life—people, experiences, new loved ones—that are around corners. Corners you can't see around, as none of us can. It's not that I'm saying "have faith"—infertility is a horrible grind. You've been through so much, both of you. But the way you feel now, and the way your life and mind and heart is now, doesn't define your forever-state. I can't tell you how much I wish you could have a crystal ball, an interventionist, a wand. Anything to help peer through the mystery and hurt of it all. I can't. I can only be company, and hear Evie's story, and sit with you. xo Kate
January 4, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterKate Inglis
Melissa,

I am so sorry and crying reading your post. Having others announce their pregnancies in the midst of your darkest days and after all of your efforts to have a child only to lose her sounds incredibly painful. Life is so unfair. Why some of us suffer so much and it's so easy for others is a mystery to me.

I find my loss hurts the most at supposed to be happy times - like the holidays or New Years. It's the contrast between what should have been instead of this painful reality where our daughter's have died. I feel such a separation at these times from the world I am living in and the one I used to reside in. In my most desperate moments when I struggle to feel hope (for whatever that may be for) - I hope that heaven is real and that I will one day have an eternity with my girl.

I wish you peace and softening of your pain.
January 5, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterKim
Kate, thank you for sitting with me and for listening. More and more, as we creep further away from the "epicenter" of our tragedy, I fear that people will want to hear less about Evelyn, because she's gone and nothing can change that so why not store that hurt away instead of talking about her? But people don't understand what we know: that not talking about our children who have passed won't solve anything, that for us, our biggest fear is that our babies will be forgotten. Because life goes on, incredibly. For the most part, we have been given the space to grieve in our own time and in our own way. But there have been inklings from some of "this year will be better for you" or "Evelyn' wouldn't want you to be so sad" or "have you thought about adoption?" And I just want to scream, "if your child died last year would this one be "better" for you? Wouldn't YOU feel crippling grief? And do you really think that in nearly 9 years of trying to build our family, we haven't thought of and considered every option?" But people can't imagine, the only way to truly get what we're experiencing is to go through it themselves. Such a lonely place to be. So thank you for listening and for giving me hope that around some unforeseen corner, there will be joy again and peace for our hearts. What I wouldn't give for that crystal ball...although some things are probably best to not know about in advance, if they're going to happen anyway. Had I known Evelyn's life would end this way, would I have been able to stop it, change it? Could anyone have changed what is, had we known? So many questions without answers.

Kim, a cousin of mine who was absolutely aware of our loss and infertility journey, actually sent us a pregnancy announcement/Christmas card...and they're having a girl. To say we were stunned, hurt, disappointed, angry at her thoughtlessness is an understatement. I just don't understand how people can be so oblivious to the pain of others. I join you in hoping that Heaven is real, so that we may be reunited for eternity with our precious daughters. In the meantime, day by day, we must find a path forward. And it is so hard. Thank you for wishing me peace and that my pain softens. I wish that for us all.
January 6, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa
Melissa,

Just came across this article and am thinking of you.

https://www.google.com/amp/m.huffpost.com/us/entry/us_5867d914e4b04d7df167d520/amp?client=safari

Keeping you in my thoughts.
January 7, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterKim
Melissa, I am very sorry about the loss of Evelyn. I know how hard the holidays are and can relate to having lots of hope during NYE for a family and having that hope crushed. My husband and I lost our beloved son Brandon on Dec 15, after 2 miscarriages and several years of trying to get pregnant. We will not let the memories of our babies die. That is the one thing we can control. Sending love and peace your way.
January 8, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterCristiane
Kim - Just wanted to say thank you so much for posting that wonderful article. It's one of the most resonating I have encountered, and I'm sharing it with others to try and help them understand.