Sunday, April 30, 2017

Remembering Our Children

(Un)Fortunately, losing our children has brought my sister-in-law, Katrina, and I a lot closer over the last few months. There's no pain like it, and someone who's never lost a child will never know the feeling. Even with our stories being so different, we've been able to connect through our heartache.

Katrina lost her daughter, our niece, Alayna in September 2016 when she passed away in her sleep without an explanation. I had no idea what to think, how to feel, or what to say to Katrina to even begin to understand how she was feeling or what she was going through. In fear of saying the wrong thing or bringing up sad emotions, I tried to give her space, but really, that was one of the worst things I could have done.

When the boys were born in February, Katrina and I started talking a lot more. We could grieve together. I could tell her how I was feeling without being embarrassed because she had been there. We had a lot of good conversations and she really helped me deal with the mess of emotions running through my head!

As we were talking, the topic of tattoos came up. We both expressed how we've always wanted one, but never had a "good enough" reason to get one. Neither of us thought this would be our reason, but that's just the way life works out sometimes.

I've been so worried over the last month that one day I'm going to forget about my babies. I know we only had them for such a short, short time, but I still carried them and they left a HUGE impression on my heart! I don't ever want to forget about our two sons. When I first saw their tiny little footprints in the hospital, I thought about getting them as a tattoo so that they'd always be with me. I didn't think I'd ever do it, but it hung in the back of my mind.

Then Katrina and I started talking about getting tattoos for our children, and the idea started becoming a reality. For the last almost two months, we've been planning this weekend. We planned to get tattoos together to remember the sweet babies/child we lost. Then, we'd walk together, with our families, to support Annie's Hope which is an amazing organization that helped Katrina's family through their grief after Alayna died.

I felt like this would be a nice thing to do together to honor our children. So....we did!

On Friday afternoon, Katrina and I went to a local tattoo shop in her neighborhood and retold the stories of our babies to the cool piercing guy while we waited for our artist to get ready. Everyone in the shop was super nice, and we were both super nervous! Our artist, Toph, was very considerate of our wants, and was very patient with me when I was picky about my placement. Apparently my tattoos are technically upside down, but it's what I had been picturing in my mind for the last two months, and he was so sweet, and did it for me. :)

I was so worried that it was going to look terrible and that I was going to be stuck with it for the rest of my life! I am VERY pleased to say that I LOVE the way my sweet babies' feet turned out and I am so proud to carry them with me forever.

Baby A is on my right wrist and Baby B is on my left wrist. I chose these places specifically because that's the side I held them on when I held them together in the hospital.
The artist did enlarge them just a tiny bit so he could add a little more detail, but they are very close to true size and are almost identical to the tiny little prints we brought home from the hospital. They're absolutely perfect!

Katrina got a mother-daughter tattoo to honor and remember Alayna. She went back and forth for a long time on the style and placement, but I think she picked the most adorable and sweet tattoo! I absolutely love the way it turned out, right down to the bow that Alayna would always wear!!

It was such a special way for us to work through the grief and heartache we've been feeling, and will continue to feel. But now we have these beautiful, special tattoos to always remember that we are mothers to these children, too, even if they're not with us anymore.

Saturday morning, even through the pouring rain, we attended the Walk for Hope. It was full of positive, uplifting people there to support one another going through grief of a loved one. The kids loved walking through the rain and giant puddles - Anna had so much fun! This is one weekend I'll never forget, and look forward to many more walks to remember Alayna.

I wish this wasn't so blurry, but it was really hard taking pictures in the rain with a wet phone! We did a balloon release before the walk and this is Anna carrying Alayna's balloon :)

Nothing better than running & jumping through the puddles!


Love this because you can see the rose on the back of her shirt & her matching rose bow made by Katrina :)

Family selfie...sort our Team Alayna shirts

All of Team Alayna, smiling big despite the rain!

1 comment:

  1. What a beautiful way to honor your precious boys!

    I am so sorry your sis in law lost her Alayna. Both of your families are in my thoughts.