My Three Precious Stones
The month following our loss, I found myself grasping at whatever memories of our angel babies I had. I feared forgetting the moments that we shared together. Suddenly, every second of every day that we had spent together became so precious. It became important to me that I remembered as much as I could for as long as possible.
One of the first things I did when I was out of hospital was to contact the jeweller who made Florian’s and my wedding bands last year. I wanted her to help me make a ring to commemorate our three little ones. A week after my discharge, still frail and bound tight in a medicinal cotton compression band, I went to see Cheryl. We discussed the ring I had in mind and settled on the stones I desired.
A day after our first wedding anniversary, on 30th September, Cheryl texted me. She said that the ring was ready. That same afternoon, I went to visit her to pick it up. It was a plain natural gold band, with a blue, a pink, and a purple sapphire set on its inner shank. I asked for the three stones to be set next to each other rather than be spread out within the ring. In a way, I wanted the sapphires to symbolise our babies, and I wanted them close to each other.
Of course, nothing can ever come close to taking their place. All I wanted when I thought of making the ring, was to feel them with me all of the time. You can’t see the stones when I’m wearing the band, but that’s the point. My three angels are here, with me, even when I cannot see them or hold them.
The Memory Box
The comfort box gifted to us after the babies were delivered is now used as a memory box. I have added some photographs to the box. It includes a few pictures taken while we were all on holiday in Italy, a collage of their ultrasound pictures, and a collage of my weekly belly bumps. It even has the pee stick testing positive for pregnancy that I did for keepsake after my beta-HCG test. I put in the money our friends had gifted to us at our gender reveal as well. That money will go to our future baby’s first bank account, or to something we need to buy for it. We haven’t quite decided.
I was talking with my psychologist about grasping at memories that have suddenly become so sacred. My memories of and with our babies are not very tangible. We never got to hold them, hug them, or smell them. We never got to memorise their faces, feel their warm bodies against ours, or have their hands wrap around our finger. There is little to remember them by.
My memory is all I can rely on. And my fear is that my memories of our angel babies will fade. If they fade, what will I have left of them? As much as I know I will never forget them, I find it difficult to wholly trust in my ability to recollect our time together. The memory box I have been filling up, is the closest I have to making my memories more concrete; less temporal.
Until today, I have been referring to our angel babies as Baby A, Baby B and Baby C. I have mentioned before that Florian and I hoped to name our future children after them. As such, we have not told anyone (aside from my Mum) their names.
This afternoon, I told Florian that I couldn’t do that. I can no longer continue to call them by a letter. They are our babies and they need to have names. I do not want our future children to have the same names as our angel babies because that will make them appear to be replacements. They will not be. They will be of their own selves, different and separate from their siblings.
And so, I introduce to you our angel babies – Adam, Emma, and Ava. Our beautiful, perfect children who came to us and left too soon. These names were not the ones we had intended for you, but they seem to fit you completely.
The significance of a name, I now understand. Speaking their names out loud, acknowledges their fleeting presence here on Earth. It is a small thing perhaps, but it means the world to me. It was the only gift we could give them – names.
Seeking the Rainbow too, was conceived with Adam, Emma, and Ava in mind. As I have mentioned to some: I don’t think that losing them can ever be justified. However, since we cannot change the past, the least we can do for them is to make good out of what has happened. Or at least, try. If this magazine can bring comfort and light to even one person, I too, will be comforted. If our darkness can help bring hope to others, then maybe our loss may count for something.
There are many ways in which parents try to hold on to the memories of their children, whether lost during pregnancy, or in their infancy. In fact, as we continue to move forward, I plan to continue making memories with them. I want to celebrate their birthday every year, share about them with their future siblings and plant a tree in memory of each of them. If, we ever have our own garden that is.
Memories are beautiful things. Just because our babies are no longer with us physically, doesn’t mean that we stop making memories with them. In doing so, it helps make that rift in our hearts a little bit smaller. And no, I don’t think we can ever forget the memories we had with them. I may fear it, but I know I won’t. Neither will you. That’s because we have the strength of parental love within us.
"Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things." - 1 Corinthians 13:7