10 months today I birthed my sweet girl. I birthed her beautiful perfect body, her sweet pale skin, her luscious auburn hair, sweet kissable lips and beautiful blue eyes.
Not a day goes by that my heart doesn't ache for her. Time has passed, the sadness getting put aside for moments of the day when I must be productive. I am able to be present most of the time. I am still standing.
School ended yesterday, always a bittersweet day. Those sweet children, who challenged me often as kids will do, "filled my bucket" this year. I realize as I wake up today, warm in the "SS Ruthie Lou", that those students unknowingly helped to heal parts of my heart, they helped me move through my days, helped me see Ruthie Lou in ways adults don't see anymore.
Don't get me wrong, school was very hard this year. The moments between sleep and wake were hard nearly every day knowing that I did not have time to journal or be in nature but work awaited me instead. I put my personal life on hold to some extent, to go back to work and that was so hard. There were moments when I wondered if it was the right thing, moments I really needed to be home to be "with" my sweet girl, in my backyard with the birds and the bugs. School was hard, working was hard.
On the other hand, school was healing. Several times a week, students would give me homemade ladybugs, drawings, notes or speak of Ruthie Lou. She was part of our classroom, her picture on my desk and in the "library", her ladybugs on the wall. She was not a secret here, she was present and an open conversation, one that the students often started. They healed that part of me, the part that people get nervous about or stay weary of, talking about my sweet girl. In my classroom, Ruthie Lou was "alive" and they knew me as her mama. I realize that this was a special class, one that will forever know a part of me that future classes will not, they walked a path with me that I hope to never walk again. T
hey also love Ruthie Lou's brother. They named him "Dinosaur baby" and loved him like they love Ruthie Lou. They would reach out for my belly when asking to use the restroom, they would ask if he was kicking or if I could feel him inside of me. They were consistently in shock at how large my belly was growing. They helped remind me how to be in love with this moment, not to live in fear of the day I birth him, the innocence that kids have is contagious. Not one student ever asked if we would have genetic testing, or an amnio or if he was "ok" as so many adults have. They know I love him, so they loved him, too. They were so excited to know that he was here, in my belly. I got to emulate their excitement daily. Such a treat.
And most wonderfully at school, I got to give those kiddos the love in my heart from/for my daughter. I know Ruthie Lou would want me back at work. I knew she wouldn't want me wasting the love in my heart, aching for her at home. I lived my whole life knowing I would be a teacher. I lived my whole life waiting to be a mama. I waited my whole life for Ruthie Lou and this little boy. In the meantime, since losing Ruthie Lou and waiting for my sweet boy to be in my arms, that love needs to go somewhere. Those students needed my love as a teacher, as a role model, as a role model. I gave them my heart, I gave them my all, even in times when it was so hard to get out of bed.
I returned to work January 9th and Ruthie Lou's 5 month birthday. I was weeks pregnant and not sure if it was the right thing for me but I knew it was the right thing for my kids, ready or not. Today is June 9th and Ruthie Lou's 10 month birthday. I am now 7 months pregnant and I am certain it was the right thing to do for myself AND for my kids.
In January, I thought I was going back to work for them but now I realize I needed them as much as I thought they needed me, maybe more. It was hard, as every day of this journey has been, but it has given me so many gifts, healed a small part of the missing pieces in my heart. Now as summer awaits and so does this little boy, I am ready to get back to me, I am ready to spend my time loving Ruthie Lou, getting to know her brother better, resting, reading, writing and lots of time outside. I am so grateful to have a job that allows for time off, a gift that most jobs do not offer, but that we all so desperately need. Ruthie Lou's birthday today, her "special" day tomorrow, a very appropriate weekend to start the summer...
I miss my sweet girl today, I miss her every day. 10 months, so hard to believe. Simultaneously, an eternity and the blink of an eye. I wish with every fiber of my being that she was here, in my arms.
I am mama of three beautiful babes; two sons whom I have the privilege of raising and my daughter who lived for 33 sacred days.