Nope. Still here. Just kind of lost in my own little world.
This last year has been hard. Like, really hard. There hasn’t been much to talk about that didn’t paint a dreary picture of my life, and that is not what I wanted to share. Family drama, money trouble, health issues, and more. BUT, just because it was hard doesn’t mean I wasn’t happy. So I am going to skip the hard parts since the majority of them are over, and just move on. There is no use focusing on the negative, right?
So, remember when I told you that I was considering joining that volunteer group that photographs angel babies? Well, the organization is called Now. I Lay. Me Down. To Sleep, and it has become a HUGE part of my life. I jumped in with both feet. My portfolio was accepted with my first submission, and within a few months, I had become an Area Coordinator. I slowly cut back my professional bookings (I only take 3-4 a month now) and began to take more NILMDTS sessions. Sadly, there is a great need and we are terribly short-staffed. It has been so fulfilling to give this service to these families.
Each session gets a little easier for me. I have yet to walk into a room and fall apart. Usually, by the time I get there the family has had time to process what has happened and is just focused on loving and savoring every minute with their baby. It is not a place of overwhelming, crushing grief like I thought it would be. It is such a peaceful experience. I am so humbled that I get to meet these Little Ones. Each of them has such a unique beauty to them. Each of them have something special about them that leave an undeniable mark on my heart. One baby had the most perfect toes I have ever seen. Another had a face that showed so much wisdom, it was captivating. One session that will stay with me forever was that of a perfect baby girl. She had older sisters that lovingly painted her little toenails as I photographed. I wish there was a better word than “beautiful” to describe that experience. Although I can understand my initial apprehension, I am so glad that I was soooo wrong about how these sessions would be. They really are wonderful. I sincerely cherish the responsibility that I have taken on. For me, it is so much more about the baby’s life than their passing. I do this to honor the fact that they were here. They made a difference in the lives of every single member of their family, and not one of those people will be the same again. These babies change the course of history, and that MATTERS! Although it is an extreme tragedy that these babies are lost, I am so honored to be a part of their short lives. It has helped me so much with dealing with my own grief of losing my babies. It is unexplainable, but I feel them with me more now than I ever did before. It has taken that sense of “loss” away. I realize now that I never really lost them. They are with me every minute of every day. Perhaps I have just become more sensitive to them? I don’t know, but I’m certainly not complaining.
On a personal level, things are settling down with my own internal battle of whether or not to try for baby #3. I can say with certainty that the plan was always to have another baby, but just the thought of stepping back into the TTC arena terrified me beyond measure. I had to ease into the idea, and it took a lot of tears, deep breaths and long talks with Evan before I felt comfortable even discussing it. I don’t know if I will ever be to the point that I talk about it very openly – even to my closest friends, but we have officially started “trying”. We aren’t being crazy about it, and if we miss a month it’s not a huge deal. I am trying to keep things very laid back. I went to my RE a couple of months ago and did all of my testing to make sure I could actually get the green-light to try on our own, first. We came up with a very manageable plan that I am comfortable with, so we’ll see what happens. For now, our snow babies are our back-up plan. We’ll see how long we go before we need them. For my IRL peeps, please just pretend that you didn’t read this part of the post. It truly gives me anxiety to talk about it, so let’s just pretend we didn’t, k?
Okay, I had intended to fill you in on so much more, but since this is already a novel, perhaps we shall save those updates for another time. To those of you who are still reading… thank you. I have missed you.