A Thousand Years… and I’ll love you for a thousand more.
When I learned of Christina Perri’s stillborn baby, I cried like I hadn’t in years. I don’t personally know her. We aren’t friends. We didn’t even go to school together. I had connected with her when I heard her song “A Thousand Years” during my 4th pregnancy. Prior to this pregnancy, I had experienced 3 miscarriages. Each was as heartbreaking as the last. So if I could “Will” this baby to stay, to be, to grow, to live that is exactly what I was attempting, and I think she was probably attempting the same. My heart ached for her, and so many like her over this past year.
As I listen to this song today, I’m instantly transported back to the moment when it became so much more than just a song on a soundtrack. I was walking with my husband inside of Buy Buy Baby. I had just been at home for 5wks on bedrest, and just got the all clear for some moderate activity. So off to buy things and plan. It was our first outing! We were kind of celebrating finally being in our second trimester as well. We had never made it this far before. It was a first. A milestone if you will. I remember we were bickering about our baby’s room. I think we might have even just found out we were having a boy. Another first for us! Knowing the sex of our baby gave light to new conversations, as well as disagreements.
The bickering continued down each aisle, and up another. I wanted Classic Winnie the Pooh, and he wanted a sports theme. We had finally made our way to the back of the store when Christina Perri’s song “A Thousand Years” came over the speakers. At that very moment a small stuffed animal caught my eye. It was tucked in behind some bedding and linen on a pretty low shelf. If you don’t know this already, I’m a whopping 4’10 or so. That meant the shelving was fairly low and any other person would have walked right past it, and wouldn’t have been the wiser. As I pulled out this taupe colored fuzzy animal toward me, I held it up to my nose and inhaled it. It smelled like a baby. I nestled it close to me, cradling it. So soft and even slightly weighted. All I could think was “this is what it will feel like to finally hold MY baby”. It was in fact a Classic Winnie the Pooh stuffed animal.
Right then and there my tears flowed silently, streaming down my face onto this plush animal I held so tenderly and delicately in my arms. The emotions I was harboring were more than I could hold inside. I had loved this tiny human. Plus 3 before him. This song was validating my every emotion. It no longer mattered what his room looked like, or if he would have my hair color or my husband’s eyes. I just wanted a healthy baby boy. I just wanted to hold him. To wrap him in my love. We just wanted him.
I listened to this song every day for the remainder of my pregnancy. It was my anthem, and not only for this pregnancy but for the ones before him. Pregnancy after loss was bittersweet for me. Up until that point I was plagued with joy and fear simultaneously. This song reminded me that whatever the outcome I would choose Love and Legacy. This song helped heal, validate, and restored my hope, and I even think a little of my heart too.
Today is Marshall’s 7th Birthday. It was a long journey getting him here. Complete with medical interventions, medication, 11 more weeks on bedrest, home health, and a NICU stay. He came home on December 23rd; just before Christmas.
I will love him and his siblings for a thousand years… and probably for a thousand more.
Dedicated to Christina Perri and others who have endured a similar experience. A piece of me is with you.