Another friend for Carter

This weekend was super nice, and very much needed after the busy month we've had so far. An hour after we got home from Boise last weekend, Brandon had to turn around and leave for Vegas for work. He got home Wednesday night and for the rest of the week/weekend we had really big plans to do absolutely nothing. Thursday afternoon we laid in bed and finished Big Little Lies (well, I finished it, Brandon napped). Friday was somehow relaxing and productive all at the same time. We got our Utah drivers licenses (which you're supposed to do before 60 days of living here but I feigned ignorance and held onto my Idaho license as long as I could!) and saw Spiderman that night. On the drive home from the movie, we saw a little rainbow in between the mountains on the east side of the valley. We ran home to grab our new camera, but by the time we got back outside, the rainbow had kind of started to spread and disappear, but we snapped a few pictures anyway. Then we drove back down the street to take some pictures of this lone sunflower on the side of the road. I know all this is kind of unnecessary to tell you, but having that time with Brandon to appreciate the little things made for a really nice evening!

It had been three weeks since the last time we were able to go see the babies, so we were pretty excited to get up to Logan on Saturday. We took them some Mickey-shaped crazy straws, a Disney keychain, and a little Hogwarts Express train. Brandon also bought them each a poker chip while he was in Vegas, so we left those too. When it comes to Disney, I almost feel like we spend more money on them than we would if they were there with us, and I love it. We bought them each a stuffed animal from Disney World too, but those are at home in the nursery. It was nice to spend some time at the cemetery, rearranging their toys, cleaning off the headstone, and giving them their new little trinkets. We took home the souvenirs from Amsterdam, and the Disney things will stay until our next trip (which, let's be honest, will probably be Disney again).

Brandon always makes an extra effort to pick up anything that has fallen over on any of the other headstones, and in doing so, we realized that there has been another little baby buried near Carter. When the first few babies after Carter was buried in front of him, we left each family a journal, and a note with our story and contact info on it. I leave the contact info, because I remember how alone we felt in the hospital, and I want to make sure these families have some sort of support, even if it's just a random stranger who knows some of what they are going through. There was one family I didn't leave a journal for, but we ended up meeting them at the cemetery on the day we spread Little Bean's ashes, and even though I am so grateful for the timing of it, have always felt bad that I didn't leave one for them. Brandon asked me on Saturday if I wanted to leave one for this new family, and at first I kind of declined. It had been a rough week, and I wasn't sure if I was up to writing our story down again, but in the end, I decided to do it, and am so glad I did.

The mom texted me last night, and my heart has been aching for her all day. Everyone's loss story is different, but it's hard not to feel at least some of what the parents are going through. I reach out to these women because I don't want them to think they are the only ones who have experienced a loss. I am so grateful to be in the company of strong parents that honor their children, and am so thankful for the support they have given Brandon and me, but most of the time I really wish we were the only ones. It breaks my heart to see and hear these other women suffering and feeling similar to how I felt. I know only a little of the pain, anger, and devastation they feel, and I wish I could take it from them. Losing a baby, especially so close to a due date, is not something I would wish on my very worst enemy. It is the only tremendous loss I know, but if losing Carter and now Little Bean could save everyone else from having to experience it, then I would gladly shoulder that burden.

It gives me a sense of peace to think about Carter and Little Bean, wherever they are, doing great things with other angel babies. I appreciate the parents who have unwillingly made this sacrifice since we lost Carter in October, but if the forces in the world care at all, I think Carter has enough friends for now.

I wrote a post a while back about how to help a grieving parent, and I would like to add to it here. If you know of someone who has experienced a loss, please let them know they aren't alone. I've had a few people tell me my blog has helped them, or that they planned to pass it along to someone they know. My blog is just one of so so many resources available to parents who have lost a child. There are blogs, support groups, counselors, websites, Facebook many resources for a part of life that we shouldn't be experiencing. Please pass them along.