We lost her. Like some of you out there, we lost our baby too. Her name was Reyana. The whole story leading up to the day we found out we were pregnant was a long series of tests, and timing, and procedures, including one that actually led to a second emergency surgery. And you’d think that having to make love every two days was ethereal and a solid roll around cloud 9, but not always. Sometimes, though we loved each other, and loved intimate moments, we were simply trying to make … her.
Preparation For Parenthood
The years we spent trying we cleaned the house, mowed the yard, planted flowers, went to work, visited friends, rode bike, and went on vacations. We were normal. We lived fully. We were “normal” for 9 years until she arrived on the tip of a pregnancy stick in the form of a solid line. Oh I had to swallow my heart multiple times, we were pregnant! We jumped and whooped, and … some time passed and we lost our Reyana. It seemed cruel.
Preparation For Not Being Parents
Time passed and we got support, help, and counseling. Counseling mattered to us. We found each other there and gained more strength as a couple than we’d ever known. We still mowed the yard, and went to work. We saw friends, and went to church. We pursued the life one pursues when they are not parents. We went on vacation to Yellowstone one year September, for cryin-out-loud. We went out when we wanted to, and stayed in when we wanted to. We watched whatever movies we wanted to … but nothing really prepares you to not be parents after a child slips away. We had much to enjoy, but to prepare yourself for the ache that settles in one’s chest after your baby dies. How do you convince yourself that you didn’t die with your child? Stay with her/him, stay together, and get busy living.
But we also learned that we could memorialize Reyana. We made a plaque in her name, and put it into our flower garden. We celebrate and mourn her each year in our special way. I give my wife a gift, and we take the day we lost her together, as we did then. We learned to come together instead of reaching out to someone or something else. We’ve also been to a funeral with others who have lost their child. Lastly, we learned we couldn’t hole up and retreat from everyone. We sought solace and comfort from friends and family and were blessed by them. Maybe this was our most important part of grief and recovery.
To some degree we remained “normal.” We still mowed the yard, and went to work. We not only gained and understanding of how to save and strengthen a marriage, we grew from fractured individuals to a relationship that would not break.
Learn To Free Your “We”. Who Could You Become?
You’ll find your space again. Takes some work, and really only a smidge of hope at the beginning. What could you become together? How do you become a “together couple”? Seek that out. Learn to free the “we”. Life isn’t lived with your heads in the clouds. There’s less to see up there. Your life is right in front of you, where the two of you are. What happened to us when we learned to consider who we were individually and who we were together? We starting writing our life story together. So, face each other, hold hands, and take a step.
Who We Became After Freeing Our “We”
Some time later we knew we would also become counselors to help guide couples through where we’d been. We also wanted to do this together, just as we had the day our Reyana died. We now counsel couples together, as one unit with them in the room. We call it Co-counseling. We became a “together couple” in days of pain, and a forever couple, every day after. We wouldn’t want it another way right now either. We’re the experts, sure. But being a real couple with you in the room has meant more than expertise ever could.