Fingerprints

I gave myself a long break from my blog. I’ve written religiously each week for years. I couldn’t do it this year. So for the past few months I’ve been silent. 

But I would be lying to myself if I said that writing hasn’t been therapeutic for me. It’s been a way for me to work through my stress, my struggles, my sorrow. 

So here I am again. Writing. I don’t know if it will be weekly again – I’m not going to decide right now – but I know I’m going to write when I need to. Like right now.

Fingerprints.

I can’t stop thinking about fingerprints.

It’s been eight years since I was pregnant with my third son. Eight years since I was looking forward to bringing him home.

But he died on April 22, 2010, just a few weeks before his due date, and I delivered him still – never to bring him home.

Eight years is a long time to miss someone.

I remember immediately after his death everything hurt so much. There were moments I didn’t know how I could live and breathe. How could something so perfect be gone? How could a tiny baby die?

Much of my life from that time is a blur. I don’t know what I did day-to-day and I don’t know how I took care of my other two living children. It was a dark, dark time.

A time when I couldn’t imagine my life without my aching sorrow.

Fast forward 8 years and my grief has changed. There are moments when it hits and I am terribly sad at my loss – the loss of the life I couldn’t wait to get to know. Anniversaries are hard. Holidays are harder. And the days leading up to his birth/death date seem to be the hardest.

But overall my life is good. There are times I am so happy with how my life is that it’s hard to remember how sad it once was.

Then there are times when I wonder if it all really happened. Did I really survive burying my baby?  Did I live through that nightmare? Those times bother me most.

That’s when I think of fingerprints.

My 9-year-old told me that fingerprints are formed when a baby touches things in the womb.

I didn’t believe him. So we asked Google.

Sure enough, fingerprints develop in the womb when pressure comes to a baby’s hand through touch. That’s when tiny ridges are formed which become fingerprints. The markings are completely formed by the time a fetus is 6 months old – three months before it’s due date.

Isn’t that amazing?

I’ve seen Luca’s handprint. I’ve looked at those fingerprint ridge lines. After hearing how they were formed, they mean more to me than ever. They are proof that he lived inside me. Proof that he was a part of me.

Proof that he touched me.

Proof that that sweet little baby with chubby cheeks and strawberry-blonde hair was real – and really mine.

In a time of my life where things are busy and crazy, a time when I don’t have many moments to sit and reflect on life, I need that kind of proof. Because although the hurt doesn’t sting like it used to, it will always be there. And it hurts more when I try to ignore it.

I will always mourn the little boy I didn’t get to raise with his siblings. I will always tell friends and family about him. I will always wish he came home with me from the hospital.

But from now on, when I’m feeling down, I’m going to think about fingerprints. Think about those tiny markings on my angel baby that immortalize our bond. They show how connected we were and how he literally touched my life.

It’s amazing how something so tiny – like ridges in the skin – can make such an imprint on my life today.

But I guess that’s another reason why I like fingerprints. They remind me of Luca.

Luca’s life changed me forever. Just like his tiny finger markings reflect the short time he was here on earth, I too will forever be marked my his brief time in my womb.

My tiny boy has made a huge imprint on me.

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