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Loving a Baby No Longer Alive

Today is a big week for our family. November 9th is the day, five years ago, that we said hello and goodbye to our sweet baby Leo. The above picture was one of the only pictures I have of me when I was pregnant with him. We took this picture to announce our pregnancy on FaceBook. In honor of our sweet baby, I would like to share something I've never shared before. A little piece of my baby, who he was, and who he was going to be.

I'm an empathetic person. I am very in tune with the feelings of others. I believe those empathetic skills were in full force when I was pregnant with my three children. For all three of my pregnancies, I had very clear impressions of their personalities. My living son was a wild child in the womb. He was constantly moving. I could tell he was going to be adventurous, high energy, and have a passion for life. And oh boy was I right. His favorite thing to do is run and jump around on the furniture. He loves Spider-Man and loves to pretend to be him and fight all the bad guys invading our house.

My impression of my youngest daughter was also right. She was not as active, but she seemed sweet. I had the impression that she was going to be a sweet, cuddly, and loving child. This was actually a problem during pregnancy, as she had snuggled up against the placenta and gotten herself in an undeliverable position to the point where we had to have an ECV to move her. And now she is the sweetest, snuggliest little toddler. We had a hard time getting her to walk because she just wanted hugs and refused to let go.

It was only recently that I accepted that these impressions I had of my babies while in the womb were accurate. And if that was the case, then the impression I had of my baby that was stillborn was also most likely correct as well.

My impression of Leo was that he was a sensitive, artistic soul. He would have been involved in some kind of arts like theater, choir, or art. I felt that he would have loved reading and drawing. He would have been shy and quiet, more interested in one-on-one conversations and uncomfortable being the center of attention. I think he would have been creative, kind, and sweet.

This year, I am allowing myself to truly love my son, all that he was and all that he could have been. It hurts. It hurts deeply to open myself up to all the love I have for my son who is no longer here. But I have to. Love and grief are intertwined completely. We cannot truly grieve if we cannot truly allow ourselves to love.

My sweet baby Leo. I love you. I love who you were, and who you could have been. I love the place you hold in our lives. I love our short, brief moments together. I love all the precious memories we had while you still breathed. I love the memories we make together even though you are not here.

I love you my sweet son, and I always will.

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