When Ryan and I first miscarried (nearly 3 years ago) a friend told me about a motherhood necklace she got after her miscarriage. It's from a web site called Red Envelope and looks like this:
My friend wore this necklace and when people asked her about it she told them the story of her first little one lost to miscarriage. I asked Ryan to order one for me and it give it to me when the time felt right. I thought it would be a good way to not only acknowledge that I was a mother, but this necklace could be a reminder of the little one I lost.
The following February, on the due date of the baby we had lost, Ryan handed me a red box. I had completely forgotten about the necklace. The moment he handed the box to me I knew. And the tears started falling. It had been eight months since the miscarriage and my heart was still so raw. My grief was overwhelming. My arms ached for a life I never got to meet.
I still have that red box.
I still have the card that Ryan included inside.
And I still have that necklace.
And I have never worn it.
I thought I could wear it two years ago in memory of my baby. I thought I could wear it as a way to heal. I thought I could remind myself that I was a mom, even though my arms were empty.
But I couldn't. It was just too painful. So instead I tucked it away for 'someday.' It resembled a hope unfulfilled. When I saw the little white mesh bag that held the necklace, I would hold my breath in anticipation of the day I would get to wear it - when I had a baby to hold in my arms.
The fall came and went. I now had a baby to love. Then I discovered I was pregnant and my dream of having life grow in my womb is coming to fruition.
And I still haven't worn my necklace. I'm not sure why.
But I think it's time.
This necklace is a reminder to me of my first baby. It's a reminder to me of my second baby. It's a reminder that I was a mom long before I held a little one in my arms every day. It's a reminder to celebrate the gift of motherhood. It's a reminder to thank God for Samuel and for this new life.
Some days it might be hard to wear the necklace as I recall the pain and hurt associated with losing two little ones.
Some days I might be giddy with joy over the delight in wearing a motherhood necklace and raising my children.
Some days I might wear it to honor the babies I lost and the babies I now love.
Some days it will be a reminder of the long road to motherhood, the 'gift of infertility' and the blessing of waiting on God's perfect timing.
But today I'm just going to put it on. I am going to wear it in remembrance. I am going to wear it in gratitude. I am going to thank God that I am not the same person I was the day I received the necklace as a gift. I'm going to see it as a token of the lessons I've learned and the journey I've experienced.