Day 11: Supportive Family/Friends
E has a very special friend who she's known since she was 6 months old. His name is X. We all met at a Baby Signs workshop. I remember that we talked about teething, trading advice, then later met again in a Kindermusik class the following year.
I was newly pregnant with V. I don't think I had even told anyone yet. X would dismiss his momma, Michelle, and his Nannie to come sit in my lap during class. E was very independent so she didn't mind and I soaked up some little boy time as we swayed, clapped, and danced together. We laughed that X had two laps in the class, but he chose mine. Now I know that he had another reason for "picking" us.
Our two families grew close as the months passed. Last summer, E and X had a play date at a playground during which I had the chance to talk to Michelle about her first son, Raysen.
During their 20 week ultrasound, Raysen showed some anomalies that would make life after he was born difficult for him. His family prayed for a miracle and hoped that with medical interventions he would pull through. After 2 days of fighting, he passed away. Three years later, they were blessed with their rainbow, X, who was quickly becoming E's best friend.
I remember Michelle telling me she didn't want to scare me since I was pregnant with Violet and quickly approaching our 20 week ultrasound ourselves. I assured her that I wanted to hear all about Raysen. I sympathized with her, going home that night and saying to my husband, "I can't imagine going to your 20 week ultrasound not knowing anything was different, then finding out your baby might not live."
And well, we know how our story continues. Not a month later, it was us in that ultrasound room, getting the same news. Michelle was the one that realized I took a bit too long to get back on Facebook and announce the gender of our baby. She texted me, checking to see if everything was alright, while telling her mother (who we are also super close to) that she was terrified that something was very wrong.
My sweet friend was right about our news. I called her so often in those early days of Violets's diagnosis, hating that she understood, but clinging to the one person I knew face to face who had been through it and would talk to me about it. We looked at Raysen's pictures together, she gave me advice about what to plan and think about, we cried together, and I told her that I hoped one day I could be to someone else what she was to me. A life line in a bleak and barren grief landscape. A smile that whispered, "I've survived. You will, too." Tears that showed that the pain never goes away, but it change with time.
She told me that her husband reminded her, "One day at a time," which quickly became my adopted motto, too.
Michelle got to meet, love on, and hold Violet before she went to be with Raysen. Michelle and her husband returned the day we were released from the hospital without our daughter to help us load up the car, work on our discharge paperwork, and I know that her husband had a heart to heart with mine about what it meant to be a grieving dad. Their support was and continues to be priceless to us.
X and E will grow up together sharing the experience of losing a sibling. We attended Sweet Pea Project's Brothers and Sisters Picnic together this year.
Two here, two there. Together.
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