I frequent our local Catholic shop and have had my eye on this since right after Nicholas and Sophia died. I thought of buying one for them but since I could only fill out about 6 of the pages and since I think my blog is a better telling of their birth story than any book could hold (not to mention I kept a baby journal during their pregnancy), I opted to not. With Alexander, I decided I'd buy one afterwards and, just as with Nicholas and Sophia, didn't after he passed away. So, Peter's mom and I went to the bookstore to introduce Bobby and Maya. The owner had reached out to me after Nick and Sophie had died and has been praying through each of our pregnancies. She even gave me a beautiful prayer card after Alexander and told me she'd continue to pray that God would grant us living children in this world but that, if that werent part of the plan, that He would hold our shattered hearts together. So, I thought it only fitting to take the kids in (and of course, I picked the windiest, coldest day we've had). So, loaded the kids up in their snowsuits and packed them in the car and off we went.
The shop owner was so kind and recognized us (even though I havent been in there since April!) and told me that she kept the thank you note I'd sent her (after she gave me the prayer card) by her desk and prayed for us every day. She hugged and kissed each baby and chatted with Peter's mom while I ventured into the baby section, where, even now, with two live babies in my arms, my breath still catches and I feel like a fraud... and my heart aches that I am buying things for Bobby and Maya that I never had a chance (or the need) to buy for the others. But, I picked up 2 of the baby books and put them on the counter.
Staring at me, next to the baby books, was a rosary. The words read: Awareness Rosary "Pink and Blue": the pink and blue ribbon is symbolic of Infant Deaths, Miscarriages
I didnt know what to do, except buy it. I had an uncontrollable urge and had to have it, even though I have a rosary that I pray for loss and a rosary that I pray for the unborn and yet another rosary that I pray for mothers. Yet... Something said "BUY IT NOW".
I asked her about it and she said that she had just ordered them but wasnt sure how to let people know about them... What to say... How to help... And she asked me. She asked how she could help other mothers and fathers in their grief.
I told her to encourage parents to name their babies, even if they miscarried the day after that BFP and had no concrete evidence of the gender... That, if they didnt "feel" boy or girl, to choose a non-gender biased name, like Francis... That, if they had no idea what to name their baby, to go with the suggestion a priest once shared with me: Mary or Joseph. I told her to share that, regardless of how young, their baby was a person, loved by them and by God, and that their child was waiting to be reunited with them in Heaven... That the Blessed Mother will watch over them and hold them until the parents are there to do it themselves. We talked for several minutes, about grief and parents and miscarried babies... How, even in the Catholic faith, where babies are considered 100% people at the moment of conception, the special grief of parents who lose a child to miscarriage, stillbirth, and infant loss is often unaddressed or, at best, under addressed. It was heartening to see that she was interested in how she could help when people come in, looking at books on grief, and it was nice to feel like I could help in some way. I'm due to go back and drop off some Mystery meditations I've been working on, as well as some of the Mary, Help of Orphaned Parents prayer cards we had made.
Of course, I found out why I needed to buy the rosary. And my heart still hurts...