Who You’d Be Today

by Kathy on October 15, 2008 · 9 comments

in Bob, Healing, Loss, Molly, October 15, Sean, Song Lyrics

As many of you know, today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. In honor and memory of the babies that Bob, Sean and I have lost and those that you or your loved ones have lost, I am taking time to post and remember.

On December 1, 2004 I had my first miscarriage. Sean had turned one just two months earlier. We had started trying to have another child when Sean was about nine months old and we were ecstatic soon after his first birthday to find out that it had only taken us four tries to conceive again. We felt very blessed to be expecting “#2” in July 2005 (July 20, 2005 to be exact) and though we were aware that we could miscarry, since Sean’s pregnancy had been fairly textbook we didn’t take the threat very seriously. That said, though we had told our families very early on when we found out we were pregnant with Sean, around 4-5 weeks gestation, this time we told none of our family and friends. It was our “little secret” and our plan was to share the news with our families and friends during our Christmas celebrations that year, about a month later, when our baby, had he or she lived, would have been closer to 11-12 weeks gestation.

At Thanksgiving with Bob’s family that November, some of his family members asked if we would be trying to have another baby one of these days. Bob and I smiled at each other and then said something like “maybe sometime soon.” That Sunday after thanksgiving we were at church with my parents, at their parish in Evanston, when I felt the need to go to the bathroom. I was about 7 weeks along and had been surprised that so far I had not had much morning sickness, as with Sean at that stage of gestation I felt seasick all the time. But I wrote it off to every pregnancy being supposedly different and thought I had gotten “lucky” this time around. Anyway, as I finished going to the bathroom I felt a strange sensation as I wiped which caused me to look down. I was devastated to find blood on the toilet paper. Thus began the first of our four losses and my world hasn’t been the same since.

Our second loss took place on August 19, 2005 and that baby was due on April 26, 2006. I was only a little over four weeks along that time, but we were trying, took an early pregnancy test and knew for two glorious days that we were expecting, before I began bleeding again. Though some might call this a “chemical pregnancy,” because we never saw evidence of a baby developing on an ultrasound or heard a heartbeat, blood tests confirmed that I was indeed pregnant and I believe no matter how long you carry a baby when you have a loss, it counts and I know firsthand how much it hurts in your heart.

Our third loss took place on November 4, 2005, when our interstitial ectopic pregnancy was officially diagnosed and removed, and that baby was due on June 18, 2006 (Father’s Day that year). I was almost 8 weeks along and this loss was the hardest one for us to take at that stage in our lives. We had been monitored early in light of our previous losses and the blood test results showed that my pregnancy hormone levels were doubling on schedule/where they should be. We were very optimistic, though cautious, when we arrived for our first ultrasound to discover something wasn’t right yet again with our unborn baby.

Our fourth loss, the one you all are probably most familiar with as I have shared so much about our daughter/baby sister here, took place almost six months ago on April 17, 2008, when our baby girl Molly Marie was born alive just shy of 30 weeks gestation at 12:57 p.m., lived for about 14 minutes and then was pronounced dead at 1:11 p.m. Molly’s due date was June 28, 2008 however we will always celebrate her birthday on April 17.

My heart aches and yearns for our four angel babies. I never thought that at this stage in my life that Bob and I would have been very happily married for eight years, with an amazing five year old son and yet have no additional living children, no siblings for Sean. My “plan” by now was to be on “at least” child number three. Ideally, we would have a child approximately every two years, boy, girl, boy, girl and then be done. Unless of course we were such a happy family and so fertile that we felt we could handle more, then we might go for another one or two. But Bob and I couldn’t imagine having more than six, that is where we had agreed to draw the line. That was the plan, the dream… And why shouldn’t it have been?! We are all human. We have our innocent hopes and dreams… Until a person, a couple and/or a family experiences their first pregnancy or infant loss, why shouldn’t we believe that our hopes and dreams are possible.

Anyway, over the past four years that we have been trying to our expand our family I feel like I have become Murphy’s Law and the poster child for pregnancy and infant loss. I recognize that many have had a rougher and tougher road trying to start and/or expand their families and many more have had it easier. I have tried to be patient with those of our family members and friends who didn’t have experience with a loved one who had pregnancy or infant loss before ours took place. I get that people don’t often know what to say, so many times they don’t say anything. I have learned that people mean well and most of the time have the best of intentions when they do get the courage to say something, anything, to me about our losses. I have tried to educate our loved ones as to what it is like to lose a baby, one that has been wanted for so long and how they can help to support us through our grief. I also realize that our dear family and friends have had their own grieving to do with each of our losses. As our four angel babies weren’t just Bob and my sons and/or our daughters, they were siblings to Sean, grandchildren, nieces and/or nephews, cousins and friends.

This past Sunday Bob, Sean, Bob’s mom/my mother-in-law and I participated in our local “Walk to Remember.” It is held in October because in addition to this remembrance day, the entire month of October is also considered Pregnancy and Infant Loss awareness month. It was hosted by the perinatal bereavement support program at the hospital where our ectopic pregnancy was removed and Molly was born and died. It was a beautiful sunny day and a wonderful opportunity to come together with other families who have lost babies at different stages of pregnancy and infant development, many of whom I know well from the monthly support group I attend at the hospital.

There were memorial poems read and words shared in honor of our angel babies. We walked around a pond at the park where the event was held as we called to mind the children that we will never see grow up here on earth. We had a beautiful multi-colored balloon release, preceded by a roll call of the children we have lost. It meant so much to us, and to the other families there, to hear our babies’ names read aloud and to see them printed in a program for the event that we received, as we will never hear them called out at a graduation or confirmation. It was difficult to hear “Babies Benson” followed soon after by “Molly Benson,” but I also felt a sense of pride for our children, who I believe are, and will always be, watching over us. As we saw the balloons float away up into the clear sky that day, I imagined all of those sweet souls at peace and playing together with God and other loved ones that have gone before us in Heaven.

Finally, I want to leave you with the words to a song that was played on Sunday at the “Walk to Remember” and given to us on a special memorial CD that day. I dedicate this song to Molly and our other three Babies Benson. I also dedicate it to all the babies you or your loved ones have lost through miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, stillbirth or neonatal death. The song honors the lives of young people who die too soon, the words call to mind “Who (They’d) Be Today” and is sung by Kenny Chesney. I often think about who our angel babies would be today, had they lived and been born around the time they were due… A 3 year old (who would have started preschool this year, probably at the same school as his or her older brother), a 2 1/2 year old or a 2 year old (either of whom would be likely walking and talking up a storm) and a 4 month old baby girl (who could be smiling and cooing, rolling over and might even have her first teeth, like her older brother had at that age).

Who You’d Be Today

Sunny days seem to hurt the most.
I wear the pain like a heavy coat.
I feel you everywhere I go.
I see your smile, I see your face,
I hear you laughin‘ in the rain.
I still can’t believe you’re gone.

It ain’t fair: you died too young,
Like the story that had just begun,
But death tore the pages all away.
God knows how I miss you,
All the hell that I’ve been through,
Just knowin‘ no-one could take your place.
An’ sometimes I wonder,
Who’d you be today?

Would you see the world?
Would you chase your dreams?
Settle down with a family,
I wonder what would you name your babies?
Some days the sky’s so blue,
I feel like I can talk to you,
An’ I know it might sound crazy.

It ain’t fair: you died too young,
Like the story that had just begun,
But death tore the pages all away.
God knows how I miss you,
All the hell that I’ve been through,
Just knowin‘ no-one could take your place.
An’ sometimes I wonder,
Who you’d be today?

Today, today, today.
Today, today, today.

Sunny days seem to hurt the most.
I wear the pain like a heavy coat.
The only thing that gives me hope,
Is I know I’ll see you again some day.

Some day, some day, some day.
Thank you for reading and for your continued support, kind words, thoughts and prayers. I will post again on Friday in honor and memory of Molly on the six month milestone since she was born and went to Heaven. May God continue to bless you and your loved ones.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Martha October 15, 2008 at 10:14 am

I am so sorry you and your family have been denied so much. I will light a candle tonight and pray for the all the Benson babies and Molly. You honor your children and they feel pride in you too is my belief. God Bless, Namaste, Shalom, Pax.

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2 Mrs. Spit October 15, 2008 at 12:36 pm

The first time I heard that song, I stopped dead. It’s shocking how closely it mimicks how I think.

thinking of all of you today.

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3 Katie October 15, 2008 at 3:55 pm

Kathy –

I am thinking of you and your sweet angels today. You are in my prayers. That song is just perfect, isn’t it? It always tears at my heart to hear it, but it soothes me in a strange way, too. Just knowing that someone else could write that means that someone else has felt that way and I am not alone.

You are not alone, either. My heart is with you and we have all of our precious angels to watch over us.

With Love,
Katie

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4 Tash October 15, 2008 at 4:17 pm

Again, I’m so incredibly sorry. I miscarried in ’02 before Bella. Like you, when I started this whole journey 6 years ago, I thought I’d be in a much different place than I am now.

Remembering them, and thinking of you.

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5 Kymberli October 15, 2008 at 7:32 pm

I’ve never heard that song before. I was already sniffling with both the beauty and emotion of your words, and then the lyrics … so beautiful.

Thinking of you and all of your beautiful babies.

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6 k@lakly October 15, 2008 at 10:02 pm

Thinking of you and remembering Molly and all of your lost angels.
xxoo

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7 Lavender Luz October 11, 2011 at 4:26 pm

I hadn't heard of that song before, but it fits well to honor your 4 lost babies.

Sending you a big hug from the future, Kathy. You will weather everything and continue to honor ALL your children.

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8 jjiraffe October 14, 2011 at 10:29 pm

Oh, wow. That song gave me the chills.

I'm so sorry to hear about all of these losses. The Walk to Remember sounds like such a wonderful way to honor Molly and the Babies Benson. And you are so right that your angel babies were siblings, cousins, grandchildren, friends. What a powerful way to make our losses concrete to well-meaning friends and relatives, who can't quite make the connection to our pain and hurt.

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