"There's hope in front of me
There's a light, I still see it
There's a hand still holding me
Even when I don't believe it
I might be down but I'm not dead
There's better days still up ahead
Even after all I've seen
There's hope in front of me
There's a hope still burning
I can feel it rising through the night
And my world's still turning
I can feel your love here by my side
You're my hope
You're the light, I still see it
Your hands are holding me
Even when I don't believe it
I've got to believe
I still have hope
You are my hope."
In honor of Infant Loss Awareness Month, I teamed up with a few of my closest mom friends that too have walked this same hard journey of infant loss. These mothers are brave & still standing strong. These mothers still have hope.
It is our mission here at The Color Blue and Hope to create a safe place and community that reminds every single mother grieving the loss of her baby that she matters. She mattered before her loss and within her grief. Her role as a mother matters. Her role within life after loss matters, and it is our hope to remind her that she still has hope - it never left her.
We are launching our 'SHE MATTERS' campaign with this mission in mind. We are sharing our stories in hopes that she'll feel brave enough to share hers. There's a mama out there about to face these same trials and we want to encourage her through her grief by sharing the hope in our lives after loss.
'SHE MATTERS' campaign will raise funds for mothers grieving the loss of her baby gone too soon, while raising awareness for infant loss & the hope found within. T-shirts will spark the conversation at the grocery store, mom's groups, between fathers and can serve a mighty purpose as a gift and reminder that she matters, especially in this.
PURCHASE YOUR T-SHIRT HERE.
TELL US YOUR STORY:
In August 2015, I found myself on the top of a mountain in Uganda taking in the natural beauty of the waterfalls surrounding me, and celebrating, with my husband and sons, a new growing life inside of me. We were living in Mbale, Uganda as missionaries, surprised and excited to be adding a third baby to our family, and quickly fearful of contracting malaria and other diseases while being pregnant in Africa. My pregnancy was going well, complete with morning sickness, exhaustion and lots of sweet baby kicks until I began having preterm contractions during my second trimester. We quickly found ourselves in route to Kamapla, the capital city, in search of the best medical care in the country. Our sweet little boy was growing and all around healthy, but there were no explanations for the contractions that kept me up through countless sleepless nights. I was on bedrest, away from our Mbale home, and our home and family in the USA, searching for answers. We had doctors appointments for weeks on end checking blood work, cultures, getting ultrasounds and checking my cervix. Eventually we were connected to doctors in the US who advised we travel back to the states for continued monitoring throughout my pregnancy. However, in route to the airport in Uganda, we were in a (minor) car accident and then upon our return to Florida I contracted Flu A. Our little boy endured so much, all the while healthy, snuggled within, but was delivered prematurely at 5 and a half months gestation, when my placenta tore away from the wall. Benjamin Josiah was born on January 22, 2016, living about an hour while snuggled on his mama's chest.
LIFE AFTER LOSS:
The week after we said an unexpected, tearful hello and goodbye, I wrote these words to him. "Benjamin Josiah, you have entered into a glory I can only imagine, and I long for the day we get to join you in heaven. Through my tears, this gaze toward eternity is a heartbreaking blessing from you." Grief has been the darkest night and the brightest light. My heart aches for my third born son. Death has brought pain unimaginable into my days. I wrote again to Benjamin,
"But through the pain and intense heartbreak I'm experiencing in your death, I do know this is why Jesus came. This is why He died. So that this bitterness isn't the end of the story."
I STILL HAVE HOPE:
The pain doesn't win.
The suffering will cease.
Because He took the weight of sin and death upon Himself on the cross.
That one day it will be no more."
This is Hope.
Jesus breaking into my brokenness and telling me with His life that nothing is wasted. Not one of my tears, not my son's life. It will all be redeemed. And while I long for the day my faith will be made sight, I have experienced glimpses of His glory like never before since Benjamin's death, as I've touched the heart of Jesus by sharing in His suffering, and as God has so personally spoken love over me in countless ways this past year and a half. We recently welcomed our daughter, Leah Hope, into the world this July. And as she was named- Leah meaning "weary"- we reflect on this hard, weary road BUT with hope in Jesus. "A thrill of Hope, the weary world rejoices..."
Laura is Wife to Matt, Mama to Owen (5), Wesley (3), Benjamin (born January 22, 2016), Josie Grace (whom we miscarried in Sept 2016), and Leah Hope (3 months). Enjoys watercolors, swimming, photography, macaroons, sushi and spending time with family.