June 16, 2016 a day that would change my life forever.
Today is the Eve of Avery’s first birthday. At this moment I am remembering where I was and what I was doing when the first signs of distress happened to Avery and I. You never think that at 20 weeks and 4 days pregnant your average work day would begin with traumatic events that even a year later can leave you numb at the thought. A year ago, I had entered the bathroom stall at my work and realized something just didn’t seem right. A speck of blood that would turn my world upside-down. I can still feel the tremble of fear coursing through my body as I called my doctor for an immediate appointment. The faces in the lunchroom that witnessed me crying and stressing out as I called my husband. It is a permanent picture forever etched onto my mind.
My husband and I spoke last night about that call. Something we had not talked about in a long time. Two lives changing simultaneously. He was getting ready for a meeting when I called, having to explain to his boss his immediate need to leave work, and the drive home, worried…but never expecting what happened.
As we waited to see the doctor we were in disbelief. Nothing could be wrong. Our baby was fine. “The Bean” as we lovingly referred to him was ok. And looking back, in reality he was. He was still fine. Healthy, happy, a strong heartbeat, but he was in danger. My perfect little man, was not going to live past another 24-hours.
I can still hear the echo of my doctor’s voice explaining that I in fact had an incompetent cervix. My body could no longer hold the weight of my tiny little boy. He was the size of a banana…how was it that my body could not handle that? As we fled to Rush Hospital with a 10% chance of saving Avery, a part of me was still in denial. I felt like I was strong enough to save our boy, I was going to protect him. I had to…as his Mother. I had to hold on as much as possible to save his life. Unfortunately though, in this life you don’t get to make all the decisions and there will be events that happen that are not in your control. This was one of the moments in my life. And in Avery’s short life that the Universe had other plans for him. On June 17, 2016 at 3:37 a.m. Avery made me a Mother.
June 16, 2017
Today I reflect on myself and the sweet baby boy that changed who I am.
At this moment, I can reflect on this last year and say that I have done the best I could have with the trials set before me. I have spent the last year finding ways to honor my child and heal myself, but also to reach out to hundreds of families and do what I can to help them as well. It hasn’t been easy and there have been many set backs, but there have also been gains. Many gains. Many feelings of pride, joy, love, and accomplishments.
Everything I do for Avery is to heal my broken heart and to be a Mother to him from a distance.
Planting a yearly memorial garden for Avery has given me a new appreciation of nature and the healing powers of the Earth.
Celebrating Avery’s due date on October 31, 2016 with his name written on a leaf and included with balloons that were released. His balloons included a note for tracking which made it all the way to Michigan.
During Christmas 2016 I honored Avery and approx. 140 other children gone too soon in Avery’s Garden Reclaimed Memories Christmas Tree. Honoring babies artistically changed me and would soon guide me down the path of my current ongoing project.
Shortly after, I launched my purpose. Avery’s Garden Grief Journaling which is then categorized into a theme that turns into Avery’s Garden coloring book series.
Everything that I do for Avery his to preserve his life and to honor him from a distance. I’m still his mother and it is my responsibility as his mother to make sure that he has never forgotten. It’s the only way that an angel mom can love her child that she can never hold or celebrate the important Milestones with. Even though he is not near me his presence will continue to guide me on my path and change the person that I am.
Volume II: With Wings They Fly will be available tomorrow.