Today it’s a privilege and honour to share a guest post from Melissa Sulley. Melissa is the founder and maker behind josiah + co. A business that creates each pair of booties with “Heaven Babies in Mind.” She’s a member of the #ShitClub and as a part of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Month (October) we can’t thank Melissa enough for sharing these words with us.
Losing a baby is never easy. Despite how early or late in your pregnancy you had to say goodbye, it changes you. It etches you with indelible marks you can never forget.
I’ve birthed too many tiny babies. At various stages of pregnancy my babies have slipped from my body into the afterlife, leaving me to navigate life on earth without them. I’ve stumbled through numerous due dates and death dates and pregnancy loss awareness dates, and it never gets easier, the sting is always there.
I’ll never forget the time I heard our second son no longer had a heartbeat, or how he felt in my hands when I birthed his lifeless body at twenty weeks. I’ll never forget the emptiness I felt leaving the hospital without him.
I’ll never forget the baby I held in my womb for five short weeks, and the sorrow I felt when I began to bleed. I’ll never forget how incompetent my body felt.
I’ll never forget Family Day of 2016 when I had to pull my nine week baby from my body because my body would not give them up. I’ll never forget the shock my body felt as I held the tiny sac in my hand.
I’ll never forget the three more babies I held between sixteen and eighteen weeks, the translucency of their skin, and how frail their bodies felt. I’ll never forget feeling like I was going to break them even though they were already broken.
I’ll never forget the pain of labouring babies who I wouldn’t get to take home, babies who would never inhale their first breath. I’ll never forget the hospital rooms, the inductions, the hemorrhaging and emergency D&Cs to remove retained placenta. I will never forget any of it, because those kinds of experiences never leave you. They stay with you forever. They become an indelible part of you.
Yet, despite those moments of pain, fear and trauma, I remember strength, hope and faith.
I remember how as I stared pain and fear in the eyes, my body learned strength and endurance. I remember how as hopelessness began to enfold me, my body learned how to hope again. I remember how as doubt began to consume me, my body learned how to look at faith in a whole new way.
I remember discovering the lives of each of my babies growing inside of my body. I remember how my body changed, and morphed and made room for their tiny hearts even if for just a short while.
I remember them.
I remember my Josiah, my two little bubs, my Jeremiah, my Jordan, and my Jezreel. I remember how they gave my heart hope, how they birthed in me empathy, and compassion, and fierce love. I remember how they gave me new breath, and a new lens to view life.
I don’t believe everything happens to us for a reason. What I do believe is that we have the power to channel these painful experiences into something beautiful. The pain will break us. We will be broken open, emptied out, and put back together so that we can breathe again. And as we learn how to breathe again, our tiny babies won’t be forgotten.
This October, during Pregnancy + Infant Loss Awareness Month, we remember them. We speak their names and share their stories and shine light on the pain of their absence. Together we will remember them. We remember them this month and every month for the rest of our lives.
Melissa Sulley is the maker + founder behind josiah+co. Fuelled by coffee, wine, and donuts, she makes crochet booties for all ages. Each pair of booties that she makes are “Handcrafted with Heaven Babies in Mind” as a way to honour babies lost through miscarriage. You can find Melissa over on Instagram (@josiahandco) and online at www.josiahandco.ca