I’m not sure if most people remember the exact date they started trying to have a baby with their hubby, but I do. It was 10 November 2003. I know this because it was exactly one month before our 3rd wedding anniversary. I was 26 and would graduate with my Master’s the following month. We owned our own home and had the perfect room for a nursery. It was the right time for us to grow our family, and we were so excited!
Fast forward to now… 10 November 2017. One month until our 17th wedding anniversary, and we are living a childless life.
I used to dread this day. It was a reminder that another year had passed, and we still did not have the baby that I so desperately wanted. This day had lost all joy. There was no more anticipation, excitement, can’t wait until… There was simply the reality that we had severe infertility and our dream was likely to never come true.
Since accepting our childless life, 10 November is no longer such a sad, depressing day. Rather than allowing it to consume me in grief, I have changed its meaning. It is now a day to do something special for littles in memory of the baby that we were never able to have. So, each year, I try to find a special way to honor our dream that grew in our heart…
This year, as I read Heather’s Story on Our Misconception, I discovered how I would pay tribute to our 10 November Anniversary. Heather’s beautiful baby girl, Kennedy, was born sleeping. Out of this horrific tragedy, she decided to honor her daughter by making angel gowns from donated wedding dresses to help others going through the same grief that she and her family experienced.
I had considered donating my wedding dress to such an organization several years ago, but I never followed through. After reading Heather’s Story, I knew it was time for me to donate my gown.
So, I took my dress out of the closet and removed it from the garment bag that had stored it for nearly 17 years. It was still a beautiful snow white. Actually, I had forgotten how gorgeous it was, with a princess cut, silky top, lace bottom, and small buttons lining the back and bottom of the sleeves. As I touched my gown, I smiled and remembered all the hopes we felt on our wedding day.
My mom took pictures of me holding my dress and then, she helped me cut out the extra tulle. Next, I carefully folded and rolled my gown, placing it in a box so that I could ship it to Kennedy’s Angel Gowns. I lay my hands on the silky soft lace and prayed that my dress would create gorgeous angel gowns that would be given to just the right families, providing them a small amount of comfort during the most difficult time in their lives.
After emailing Heather, I discovered that they encourage you to cut your own memory swatch from your gown. So, hands shaking, I carefully cut a piece of lace from the bottom of my dress. I must say it is a bit odd to cut your wedding gown! And then once again, I gently placed my dress back in the box.
As the realization that I was giving away my wedding gown really sunk in, I began to cry. It has hung in our closet for nearly 17 years. It is simply always there… My sweet hubby gave me a long hug and reminded me that it was going to be used for a wonderful cause and told me to think about the families that it would bless… And before I could change my mind, I took it to UPS and shipped it off to Virginia.
As difficult as it was for me to give away my wedding gown, this pain is minuscule compared to the grief that Heather and other families who lose littles must endure. Some may think me selfish, but I actually prayed to God, asking Him not to allow me to get pregnant if I was going to lose the baby. I simply could not imagine going through that pain, and I was afraid the grief would break me. So, I truly, truly hope that the angel gowns made from my dress bring some comfort to heartbroken families. I am in awe of their strength…