Rashida's precious daughter turned two during March. In this blog she reflects back to the time her daughter was born.
"On her birthday, I sat on the bed by myself and I took out the special
keepsake box that we got from the hospital. "
This year my baby girl would have been two years old.
On her birthday, I sat on the bed by myself and I took out the special keepsake box that we got from the hospital. The box itself has a special place with her name and details of her birthday including the time she was born, how much she weighed and her length. In the box there is a journal and little momentous like her blanket, baby bracelets, and a picture of just her tiny little toes (because I knew that would be all that I could ever handle and the memory of her beautiful face as I held her is forever etched in my mind), and a postcard of a teardrop on a leaf symbolizing both the intense suffering of loss and hope for the future.
This time of reflection not only serves as a remembrance of my baby, but is also a reminder of how strong I am and what I have the ability to deal with. At times when life feels overwhelming or I’m afraid, I look at that box; especially on her birthday. I realize that I no longer have anything to fear and there are bigger issues than the little nuances that plague us all day to day. It shows me that because I’ve already been through one of the worst things that can ever happen I will get through whatever I am going through. Her memory reminds me that I am a survivor (of preeclampsia/HELLP Syndrome) and I’m still alive and thriving.
Her memory also makes me grateful for the child I have now because I know that I would not have my experience now as a mother without the one I experienced with her. I’m so appreciative of my angel for making space for her sister to come into this world.
That is why I celebrate her and commemorate her. Whether that means just spending some quiet time alone in prayer and appreciation, releasing a balloon or lighting a candle I make sure that I take a little bit of time out of my busy schedule.
We do it for every other holiday. In my house, holidays are a big deal and birthdays are no different. By definition a holiday is simply a day set aside by custom or by law on which normal activities, especially business or work, are suspended or reduced. Generally, holidays are intended to allow individuals to celebrate or commemorate an event or tradition of significance.
Losing my child is one of the most significant events that has occurred in my life to date and for me that means setting aside some special time to remember her and show appreciate for what her short presence in my life has helped me to become.
Happy, Happy Birthday baby girl!
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Rashida McKenzie is the Founder of High-Risk Helpers, a maternity concierge service for expectant mother's experiencing high-risk pregnancies that result in bed rest. She is also the mother of a baby girl named Maya (who was born after 22 weeks of bed rest) and an angel who inspired her to advocate for pregnancy loss awareness. To learn more about Rashida or High-Risk Helpers, visit http://highriskhelpers.com/