I don't know who she was, but I miss her. Today I really miss her.
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I don't know how I know she was a girl, but I do.
Today, as we prepared for a family celebration, I said to my husband, "Imagine doing this with an infant?" She would have been just about a month old today.
It remains the hardest and most important thing I've ever done. I had a miscarriage between the girls - this womb has held and loved five babies. All five fill my heart, and shape my soul in different ways.
You'd think it wouldn't hurt so much. You'd think the well executed choice and the lack of regret would be healing, but it still hurts. I don't have any words to explain why, I only know that it does.
The gift of being human comes with the full spectrum of pain and pleasure. Sometimes it's hard to separate the two. In this case I am immensely grateful for our ability to make a choice, and also deeply sad that we had to. I thought I had an IUD. Placed three years prior, it came out without me knowing. I call it the immaculate removal, and sometimes I believe it miraculously disappeared so that I could learn some more lessons of motherhood.
We chose termination for our sanity, for our living children, for our future, but that doesn't mean it came as an easy choice. In stepping through the process I learned how many other mothers like myself have made similar choices. Mothers who knew their homes were filled perfectly as is, and that adding another ingredient would not just stir the pot, but boil it over.
Through the termination and in the last nine months I've longed for resources, but there aren't many out there. We mothers who choose fetal termination are still taboo in the general public. Thousands of women are not telling their stories, sharing their pain, or healing together, but we're all out here hurting in waves of unexpected emotion. Too many of us are bottling up the tears as we walk the path with our living families.
I write this for all of the mothers who hurt, all of the mothers who silently grieve, all of the mothers who are so ridiculously proud of themselves for doing the hardest thing they've ever done.
You are strong.
You are beautiful.
You are enough.
Allow yourself to feel.
Allow yourself to grieve.
Allow yourself to receive.
You are not alone.
I am holding space with you,
Amanda Kingsley is a 38 year old mother of three. She's committed to a life of growth, expansion, and adventure with her partner of 20 years. In addition to her family as a number one priority, Amanda finds joy in her work as a life coach, podcaster, blogger and network marketer. Connect with her at www.amandastarkingsley.com.