Sunday, August 22, 2010


We were invited to a surprise birthday party for a good friend this past weekend. It felt good to get all dressed up and go out. This was our first real outing, where a lot of people that we knew would be attending, since Harper's death.

Of course we aren't there for 10 minutes when someone comes up to me, mind you I had a large glass of wine in my hand at the time, and says with a big goofy smile while scowling at my glass of wine, " I hear you are expecting!" UGH...I was thinking Really? Yea, I'm pregnant...the baby likes wine. Is she serious? Does it look like I am expecting? Expecting to start crying at the drop of a hat or expecting to fall down at any moment and not be able to get back up because I hurt so bad. I was basically speechless, all I could manage to get out was, "No, Ma'am." I was caught off guard, I wasn't expecting to have to answer any of those questions tonight. Thankfully hubby was standing next to me and quickly finished answering for me because I had no words, "No, our daughter, Harper, was born 3 months early in June and didn't make it." The look of fear rushed to her face. She was mortified and replied, "oh I am so sorry. can try again, you are young." I gave her a weak smile, that's all I had in me. Then the uncomfortable silence came and she scurried off to mingle with someone else. Not the best way to start the evening. I tried to take the whole exchange with a grain of salt, the night was young.

About 15 minutes later the guest of honor showed up and the festivities were in full swing. The night was full of dancing, drinks, laughter and a teeny weeny trigger...children. All girls, too, and an infant. Cute little girls with pigtails, bows in their hair and monogramed dresses. So unfair, why can't I have that? I am supposed to have THAT! I was probably staring at the infant with the look of a rabid dog. I couldn't help it. I am mesmerized by babies, especially baby girls. I wanted my baby, wanted little hands resting on my shoulder and those chubby little cheeks smiling at me. Instead I was watching, longingly, from a distance and trying to so hard to keep a smile on my face because I knew I was so close to breaking down. Chris gave me a knowing look, he was missing our baby girl, too.

Then it happened. Of all songs to cause my breakdown, Journey's Don't Stop Believin'. Nothing like a little 80's hairband to get the tears flowing. The chorus really got to me..

...don't stop believin', hold onto that feeling...

As I listened to the song, I looked around at all the happiness in that ballroom, all of the life. I felt so cheated. All of these people with what seem to be such beautiful, happy lives and healthy children. No worries in the world as we stood there feeling so sad and missing our baby. I just wanted to stand up on a chair and scream not to take any moment for granted, that life is so unpredictable, to hug those babies so tight because you never know what tomorrow might bring. Of course I didn't. I just bore my head into Chris' shoulder and sobbed. He just held me and told me that we could leave whenever I wanted to. I knew he meant it but I didn't want to be defeated, I could get through this night. I dried my eyes and faced the party.

The party was a success. The birthday girl was truly surprised and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves. We had fun too and I was glad that we stayed.

I took some advice from Journey that night...I was going to hold onto hope that one day our rainbow will come. I know Harper would want that. There is the old saying, "If you don't have hope, then you don't have anything." I know this to be true. Hope is what keeps us going day after day. Hope is what motivates us to fulfill our dreams. Hope is all that we have and I will keep holding onto it, even though it feels like it is slipping from my grasp at times.


Julie said...

love journey! i'm so sorry it was so hard, and that you were faced with that question - AND that you got that response - HATE that.

but i'm proud of you for staying, and for finding a way to focus on hope!

Angela said...

Sounds like a hard night. Proud of you for making it through. I had much the same experience the other night and it sucks to think everyone around you has everything you want while you have a gigantic hole in your heart.

I'm sorry Harper wasn't there with you. You're doing so well. I can't even look at baby girls or be in the same room.

Dana said...

You were so are so strong. I'm so glad your husband was beside you for that first encounter and he could explain that Harper had died. I bet that woman is still thinking about it.

I am mesmerized by pregnant bellies and baby boys. I couldn't stand to see a pregnant women for about 2 months after losing Jacob. Now I can't stop staring at them, guessing how far along the woman is, wondering if her baby is still alive in there and if the baby will live through birth.

I was at a wedding on Friday and as I was sitting at the table at the reception, I thought that I must be the saddest person in the room. My Mom told me last night that one of the woman there had a baby that died of SIDS at least 10-15 years ago. She was dancing and looked like she had a great time. No one would ever guess what she had been through. We just never know what tragedies those around us have endured. People would never look at us and guess that our babies died.

I love that quote about hope. It is so true.

Melissa said...

Your story sounds much like what I went through last month at a friend's feels good to conquer something like that right?

Speaking of people saying things, I went to a meeting last week for one of the groups I am in and I was completely dreading it. It was the first meeting since Mikayla was born and I just knew I'd have to talk about it. Well...the first person who walked in said, "You must have a new baby at home!" all happy and excited. She was so shocked when I told her that actually no I didn't. SOOO awkward. Hopefully those moments are almost all done at this point.

Olivia's Mom said...

I'm sorry that you had to deal with that initial encounter, but so glad your hubby was there to help fill in when answering the dreaded question.

I'm impressed by your strength, and proud that you made it through! Keep holding on to that hope! I love the mention of Journey, by the way. Every time I hear that song, I think of the movie "View From The Top" and it makes me smile. It will now have more meaning to it, and is a great encouragement! Thanks!

Harper Grace's GiGi said...

You did good sweetie, I'm soooo proud of you, as I always am, but now even more so... & my sweet son-in -law, I'm thankful everyday that you & Chris found each other. (LOBSTERS FOR SURE) I know how much he loves you, that makes me so happy! I love you all very much!
Mom, Bonee' & Gigi

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