So here goes.
As surprising as this may seem, we actually kept my pregnancy with Cason fairly quiet. We didn't tell anyone who wouldn't actually see me during the nine or so months I was carrying him. The exception was some family, of course, and my one good girlfriend up in San Francisco. The reasons are obvious. It just needed to be us. I didn't want the cheerleaders or the questions. I couldn't deal with either or the inevitable,"Oh, everything will be fine." reassurances that were sure to follow if I actually shared my running fears with anyone who dared ask me how I was doing or how the pregnancy was going. It was hard enough dealing with it with the people who did know and did see me everyday, I didn't want to invite anyone else into the bubble.
Even my husband kept the secret from his colleagues at work until I was past the point where we lost Caleb and even then he only shared the information with a few close confidants. I think we all understand the anxiety that was so tightly wrapped around the disclosing of this little tidbit of information. And the obvious unwillingness to not have to untell this story should everything go wrong again.
Fast forward the nine months and the safe arrival of our beautiful boy. Now came the time to actually do the telling. The birth announcement. So much to be told in one simple piece of card stock. I wanted the whole story of Cason to be there, not just his vital stats. This was not an ordinary pregnancy and Cason is more than just another social security statistic. He is the 'happy ending', right? He is the punctuation of a story that has been unfolding for two some years. He is the ending of one book and the beginning of a sequel, but his birth was the overlapping of the two stories and it needed, for me, to be told just like that. I needed both my boys to have a part in the telling. They both needed to be there in the announcement because they were both a part of the story. I couldn't leave Caleb out. He was/is too important a piece of Cason's life to ignore him.
Turns out they really don't make birth announcements for babies born after a stillbirth. They don't have a generic, fill in the blanks for that. There isn't any sample wording or examples of others to choose from. I had to come up with it on my own. My husband and I talked about the wording, how to fit all of the details into a few small words. How to pay tribute to Caleb and also celebrate Cason. I took to heart the symbols that I have come to know that represent loss and babies after. And when it was all said and done I found the right words, after about a hundred different variations were eliminated, and I found a wonderful printer who was able to create the perfect piece for us.
Here it is:
I love it. I covered up our names, but they are the last two lines on the left side. I'm not sure, before I post it if you will be able to read the print. If not, it reads,
and open arms by