Ranay Staley - "Forever in My Heart"
"I would have given my last breath so that you could've taken your first."
November 29, 2016: 2 pink lines appeared and my world changed in an instant. My hopes and dreams for myself soon turned into hopes and dreams for my baby. Although I would never get to hold her in my arms, holding her in my womb was the best feeling in the world. The most beautiful sound I've ever heard was the sound of her tiny heart beating. I can still picture the pain on my doctor's face 1 week later when she told me "I'm so sorry, but there is no heartbeat." I felt like my own heart had stopped, that my own life had ended. I can't explain the amount of pain I felt that day. In the short 8 weeks we had together, I grew to love my baby. When I lost her, I lost a lifetime of hopes and dreams. It was the hardest thing I've ever had to face, but I got to be her Mom and I am forever grateful for the brief time we had together.
The doctor reassured me that my next pregnancy should be better and I had a good chance of carrying a healthy baby to term. I was terrified, but hopeful when I became pregnant again. I did everything I could to ensure the safety of my baby. I would have done anything to save my babies, even if that meant giving my own life to keep them safe, but that was not an option. There was nothing I could do to protect them. I did everything I could. I listened to the doctor. I prayed and wished and held onto hope. I wanted nothing more than to be a mommy, but the outcome was the same. I had to say goodbye before I had the chance to say hello.
"I never got to hold you, or bounce you on my lap. I never got to read to you, or watch you as you nap. You slipped away so quickly, before I said your name. And I want the world to know, I loved you just the same."
~ A Peterson
I am a pediatric nurse. I love children. Their smiles melt my heart every day, but I am often reminded of my losses. People innocently ask "Are you a mom?" Every part of me wants to say "Yes. I am a mom to angel babies", but I always say "Not yet" because people don't know how to respond when I tell them the truth. They tell me I will be a great mom someday. Someday. I see newborn babies every day. I watch my friend's become pregnant and have babies. I am over the moon happy for them, but at the same time I wonder when my "someday" will be. When will I get my rainbow after then storm?
I am now considered "high risk" due to my advanced maternal age and multiple, consecutive losses. With every loss, the chance of having a healthy baby goes down. My journey to motherhood has been heartbreaking, but I will never give up hope. I will be a mom someday.
Why do I talk so openly about my losses? It is not for sympathy or to make people feel uncomfortable. I want people to know that my babies existed. I am a mom. That it is OKAY to talk about miscarriage (and it's okay if you don't want to talk about it). We all have different ways of coping.
Why running? It is my outlet. My therapy. Running helps me work through grief and the endorphins boost my mood. Running is a part of my life that gives me some control. I run in their honor. On April 30th, 2017 I completed a virtual 10k for infertility and miscarriage awareness. Thinking of them during the run moved me to tears. I needed to cry. I needed to remember. I needed to release.
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