Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Mom to Grace Biondi Morlan
Born still, May 19th, 2003
Des Moines, Iowa

After struggling with infertility my husband, Luke and I were so thrilled to learn we were pregnant with our first child. We did all the things expectant parents do: We read the books, signed up for classes, decorated the nursery, kept a journal with entries we wrote to our cherished first child throughout our pregnancy. I read and sang to the baby and Luke, a music lover, played a variety of his favorite artistes to my growing belly. My baby shower was planned and everyone was excited and the count down was on.
Grace Biondi Morlan died when I was almost 32 weeks pregnant from placental infarcts. With the words of “there is no heartbeat” I started to scream “our baby, our baby, our beautiful baby” and Luke laid his head on me and sobbed. She was born May 19, 2003 on a rainy morning. Luke said that the world was crying for us. We held her and loved her as best we could. She had a head full of dark curly hair. We laughed that she had the “famous Biondi lips” which is a dominate characteristic in my Italian family. We told her how we met, how much she was wanted, desired and loved. We tried to fit a life time of stories into a few short hours. She was baptized and we kissed her goodbye for the last time. Our world changed…forever.
After all this time I think of her everyday and I am forever grateful that she came into our lives. We named her Grace to remind us of God’s love and His promise to us. And for a long time I needed constant reminders of those two things, and for a long time I questioned if they were true or if they even applied to us. I remain amazed at everything that Grace taught us even though she didn’t live to open her eyes or take her first breath. She taught us much about love and pain. These lessons were not always easy, but they have been profound and life changing nonetheless. Grace blessed us with many gifts. We were touched by the kindness of strangers and friends alike. We learned how to truly count our blessings, we inherently became aware what was important in life; we learned how to not take love for granted. We met some wonderful people and became closer to old friends. Yet I was drowning in grief and guilt. I was convinced that I did something wrong and that I didn’t deserve to be a mother. Then I met the co-founders of Healthy Birth Day. After my first meeting with these amazing women, I felt that I could breathe again and that I wasn’t drowning for the first time. These women were my life line that first year of grief and have since become family.   Grace eventually blessed us with 3 healthy children. I know that she hand-picked them just for us.
Grace changed me. Not in ways that I had asked for and not in ways that I expected. I think that she made her mother a better person. I wrote Grace a letter for her funeral. In it I stated that even though our grief was unbearable, I wouldn’t chance a second of it. We were given the beautiful gift of knowing her, and even though our time together was much too short, the love in our hearts was worth every ounce of the pain. We are richer by far having held her a moment than never having held her at all. These words are still true.


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