Now I Know
by Julie Carleton 
As long as I can remember, I have always wanted to be a mother. I believed that having a family of my own to nurture and love would make me a truly complete person.

You can imagine then how happy I was to discover that my husband Mike and I were going to become parents. I fell instantly in love with our baby and dreamed of the day that we would bring her home. It would be a filled with diapers and baby powder, strolls in the park and artwork on the fridge.

But those dreams were shattered the day our baby died, the day that she was born still. It was a life that would not be.

Words cannot express the depth of our grief as we buried our only child. I thought the emptiness would swallow me whole. I fell so cheated. How could I possible say good-bye to my baby? My desperately wanted, ever so loved, child was a child whom I never had the chance to know. We had been robbed of so much. But it was not until the birth of our second child, sixteen months later, that I realized just how much we had lost.

For now I know what it is like to hold our live child in my arms,
to feel the warmth of their body and the beating of their tiny heart.

I know now what it is like to bring our baby home from the hospital,
to watch them sleep all nestled in their blankets.

I know now how incredibly beautiful their innocent eyes are
and how soft their skin feels.

I know now how they can melt your heart with a smile
and how sweet they smell after a bath.

I also know now how scary it is
when they get their first fever or bump on their head.

I know now just how loud someone so tiny can scream when they are hungry.
Oh … I know the true meaning of sleep deprivation!

But I also know now just how strong the bond is between a mother and child.
They are dreams come true, the closest thing I know to a miracle,
surely never to be taken for granted.

Yes, I know now what I’m missing with my first child.
The grief and sadness are now stronger than before.

I will never feel complete, for now I know what we truly lost.