Brooke and Brandy did a better job breaking down the weekend, but I just had to write SOMETHING of my own.
On Friday, Mason and I flew to Chicago to meet up with 13 other baby loss mom's and their 13 rainbow babies. All of which I met because of this blog. I started this blog for me, for Addison, to write my thoughts down and what I got was so much more. I found other mothers going through what I was in relatively the same time frame and they became my people.
There is no other group/people in the world I would have braved a 4 and 4.5 hour flights to Chicago with a 13 month old by myself, but for this group I was pretty much willing to move Heaven and Earth to make this meeting happen.
Walking into Brandy's house for the first time with so many moms and babies already there was completely overwhelming, but in the best way possible. Hugging all these women who I have "known" for years, but was never able to wrap my arms around. Smooching babies who I loved even before they were born, babies who I waited for anxiously through nerve-wracking pregnancies and cried when they were born, babies who have siblings in heaven that I truly believe are Addi's bff's. And just like that after all this time such a big group of us were under one roof.
It was really something to look around the room and see that 90% of the moms were holding someone else's baby. It's like these babies KNEW how much we loved them and were happy to be held by all of us. It was easy to get something to eat or go to the bathroom because the room was full of women who loved my son as much as I loved their kids. You could see all the mothering going on between moms and all the babies, it was really something.
The conversation flowed easily and there was no explanation needed when switching from talking about our living children to the ones we didn't get to keep. There was laughing, crying, laughing and crying at the same time, chit chat, deep conversations and really just a beautiful understanding by everyone.
At one point we all shared photo albums of our babies. Most of us do not share our baby's photos online so getting to see pictures of these babies I have loved for so long was like seeing that missing piece. It was so easy to see them in their siblings and really just made me love them all the more.
I missed out on a new mommy group of friends when Addison was born, but these women are my mommy group. I guess that's one part I didn't miss out on after all.
I came home feeling better than I have since losing Addi. My heart will never be whole again, but after this weekend it felt closer to whole than I ever thought was possible. I smiled bigger and felt a peace I forgot existed. Like Brandy said, I'm only sad it's over.
Now that I have met so many in person, once will never be enough and I am already saving for next year's get together. Nicole, Darcey and of course Becky, 2014 better include you all.
Thank you to everyone who came, and for sharing your children with me, thank you for letting me share both of mine with you. I wouldn't trade this weekend for anything except Addison. You all mean so much to me. Is it 2014 yet?!?
I missed Addison so much this weekend, but in a way it's like she was there, it was like they were all there. What a gift.
|14 BLM+14 Rainbow babies. Forever missing Elizabeth, Bear, Cale, Hayes, Jack, Camille, Aiden, Julius, twins William and Ethan, Addison, Andrew, Ava, Eliza and Anna.|
|Sonja's sweet mom made these adorable hats for our rainbow babies in honor her granddaughter Elizabeth. Each hat representing a very loved and missed big sister or brother/s.|
|My very own Rainbow baby.|