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I don’t normally make New Year’s resolutions. I prefer the idea of bettering oneself all year long solely for the sake of bettering oneself. I want to get more awesome as each new idea and opportunity arises, whether it’s January or July.

This year, however, I am making two resolutions:

1. To speak of all THREE of my children often. I don’t speak of my beautiful babies very often because I know it can be an uncomfortable topic for many; but you need to understand, that I need to hear their names, even if I’m the only one saying them.

The Catholic Church teaches us that we are co-creators with God when we conceive children, that husbands and wives create the body and He creates the soul at the same time. God doesn’t just pick from an existing collection of souls to send down to the new body. Each child is conceived with a brand new, unique soul that has never existed before. There are two unseen souls flitting about the earth, and they are mine and I am theirs, and they matter just as much to us as Samuel does.

Eli and Baby #3 (still working out a name) are very much a part of our history and our future. There is no denying our love for them.

2. To speak up when someone tries to dismiss my pain as invalid- a gentle reminder that our babies are always worthy of remembrance. That pain is pain, and grief is grief, and loss is loss.

None of us want this title: Bereaved Parents.

No matter what the circumstances, the death of a baby or child is devastating and will stay with a parent for the rest of his or her days. We don’t know the extent of anyone else’s pain, and there is absolutely no right or wrong way to grieve. There are no levels of pain or comparison when we speak of kids and babies who didn’t make it. It is awful and unfair in all situations.

To tell a mother that her littles matter less because [take your pick: age, gestation, time passed, surviving children, etc.] is unacceptable and downright rude. I’m tired of letting the comments pass because I don’t want to deal with the confrontation or be reduced to tears yet again. I can’t do it anymore.

I’ll admit, in the three years since our first miscarriage, I’ve seen a lot of good come from society. A lot of support. I know we have it so much better than generations before us, where NO ONE spoke of the pain that comes with losing children. I have been blessed with a lot of compassionate women who, even if they’ve never been there themselves, will generously lend an ear and a shoulder for me to talk about our babies.

That said, there is still so much room for improvement. I hope that by being open about our losses and honest when someone says something unintentionally hurtful, that years down the road, when Sam and/or his peers are having and losing children, their communities can support them wholly and without the added pain that comes from simple misunderstandings about what makes us hurt and what is a salve for our souls.

What are your resolutions? How have you seen your community come together?

Wishing you all a happy 2015! I hope you had a very merry holiday season filled with love, family, and friends.

xo, A