For an embarrassingly long time, I have been hoarding pregnancy announcement photo inspiration on Pinterest. My account is littered with a series of private boards, all arranged in neat obsessive-compulsive categories from the pregnancy announcement to newborn photos and baby shower themes — I had it all ready. I was pinning parenting articles and keeping lists of baby names on my phone, all in preparation for when my time would come.
Josh and I have consistently been a fan favourite with kids. We are the adults laying on the floor exaggerating injuries while your adorable little humans are pelting us with toys. And believe me when I tell you that we are loving every minute of it. So when we decided it was time to start trying, we were incredibly excited.
When we discovered that we were pregnant, we were so thrilled at the thought of sharing the news. We had just lost my father and knowing that I had this little life in my belly is what kept us strong. She gave us something happy to talk about.
We went through my collection of announcement inspo and decided on our creative. I picked up that all too familiar letter board and the eucalyptus I love so much, then incorporated some gifts from the people closest to us to help us with our big reveal. Josh and I laid it all out on our bed and started snapping pictures. I held on to that photo for an excruciating time before we finally decided it was time to tell the world.
Back on February 18th, we announced the pending arrival of our first child and on March 28th it was followed by an announcement of a different kind.
March 23rd, 2019, despite a combination of progesterone, a cerclage and modified bed rest I went into early labour due to a short cervix. Our daughter was not quite strong enough yet and we lost our girl, Liliana Evangeline Grace Nicholson.
We were faced with an important decision in that moment. Would we quietly remove the photo and grieve in silence, or would we announce the difficult truth?
After a short discussion, we decided that we wanted to share the news. We did not want our daughter to be a secret we hid from the world. We wanted people to know the beautiful name we gave her. We did not want to tuck her memory away like the box that holds her ultrasound photos or the hand and footprints we took home that day. I did not want to reserve her story for one-on-one conversations with friends when they struggle on the road to becoming a mom. I delivered her into the world, heart beating. We held her and watched her for hours before saying our goodbyes.
The messages that I received while grieving at home in the wake of our second announcement were so important. The connections I made with other women who had experienced the loss of a child (at any stage) were pivotal for me. To those women, I am endlessly grateful.
Today was her due date and I didn't want it to go unnoticed. It may not be the day she entered the world, but it will forever be the start of something she put into motion.
For our darling, Liliana ♡