A Letter From Cadence's Mom - July 20th, 2016
A year ago today we launched The Perfect Cadence. Thanks to your help and support, we have been able to accomplish so much this year! We have thrown baby showers for seven new moms, hosted a free pop up shop where moms came and "shopped" for awesome baby items, and we have gifted over 10 moms with new baby welcome kits and other new baby essentials. We also welcomed Cadence's little brother last year and we are witnessing first hand the joy he brings to the world. Indeed, it has been a full (and fulfilling!) year.
Today also marks two years since George and I got the news that would forever change us. I remember a lot about that day, though I don't reflect on those memories often. I remember buying Cadence pink and green ruffled socks minutes before my ultrasound. I remember the panicked look on the ultrasound tech's face when she couldn't find Cadence's heartbeat. I remember the strange doctor who I had never met grabbing my leg and telling me she was gone. I remember the same doctor later explaining that I would be induced to deliver her. I remember the look of absolute horror on my husband's face as he explained between tears to the doctor that there had to be some mistake, because just two days earlier we had an appointment and she was just fine. I remember the moment when I delivered her and remember vividly the doctor saying "she is absolutely perfect", and she was. She looked just like her dad and if you didn't know that she had no heartbeat, you could look at her and think she was just a perfect little baby that was asleep. And I remember not wanting to send her away with the nurses, knowing I would never see her again.
I remember asking how this could happen and never getting an answer. One thing I don't remember is asking "why us?" At that point in life my favorite grandmother, who was a saint in my eyes, was suffering from dementia and didn't even know my name; my best friend had been diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer, and we had recently buried my mother-in-law just three months after she was diagnosed with Leukemia. I had come to accept that bad things happen to good people, so why not us?
While I didn't ask God why, I did repeatedly ask Him (pretty aggressively I might add) why he didn't take me too. It was one thing to let this happen to Cadence, but in my eyes it was another altogether to separate us. To me, it seemed like the cruelest thing in the world to separate us. I really didn't care where it was, I wanted to be with Cadence. The last thing I wanted to do was rejoin the world after we lost her. I was hospitalized for several days after the delivery and I never left the hospital room. Not just because I was on the 'Labor and Delivery' floor where all the other moms had babies that were alive, but because I just did not want to face the world. I wanted to disappear.
Why do I mention this now? Well, when I look at what life has brought us these last two years (and what we have done with it!) I can't help but be grateful that God didn't answer my prayers in those dark days. I still don't have an answer for HOW we lost Cadence but I do know that there was still work left for me to do after we lost her and, in my opinion, that is the reason I remained here without her. Lots of folks are currently experiencing a period of loss - loss of a spouse, loss of a child, loss of a parent. Some are even dealing with non-tangible losses, such as loss of optimism, loss of hope, loss of opportunity. If I can offer some unsolicited advice, I would encourage you to try to see past that loss even if for a brief moment and look at your continued presence as an opportunity to contribute to something bigger. Give what you have to the cause, whatever your cause or gift may be. For me, all I had to give once I lost Cadence was love so that is what I have partnered with George (and with you!) to try to share. Your gift may be something else entirely but if you woke up this morning, no matter how discouraged you may feel, share it! And when you do, please think of Cadence. It means the world to her dad and to me.