She speaks.

I was always a talker. As a child, my teachers were constantly moving me away from my friends in class because I could not stop socializing. I loved to share my experiences, and give my two cents in every discussion.

At 20 weeks pregnant our baby was diagnosed with a congenital defect but we expected her to be just fine. But as time went by, her condition became more and more severe. At 25 weeks pregnant, we learned our baby girl had become so sick, she likely wouldn’t be with us much longer. At that point, I began to lose my voice. I didn’t have the strength to tell anyone how bad her condition had become. I stopped corresponding with loved ones because speaking the words “Aria is terminal” was just too much to bear.

Aria passed in our arms shortly after her birth, and we only informed our immediate family. It’s not that we didn’t want to share her life with others, but admitting it to the world made our horrible situation seem more real.

Beyond that, I feared how people would react to our news. Would they judge me? Would they think I failed as a mother? I was so afraid of being picked apart by the world.

It took almost two weeks for us to feel ready to share the news that Aria had returned home, and even longer to explain why she couldn’t stay. Thankfully, my biggest fears did not come true, and we received an outpouring of love and support.

But during those first few weeks, I felt like I had lost my voice for the very first time. I wanted so badly to tell the world about my precious little girl, but the words just wouldn’t come.

So I started to write. I wrote it all. My emotions flowed freely through every single sentence.
Writing has healed so many of my wounds, and helped me to process many facets of my grief. Writing has freed me. I couldn’t stand feeling like I was being silenced. It was as if the tragedy that took Aria’s life was also taking my voice.

This is exactly why I have become so unapologetically outspoken about my daughter’s life, and all the little ones walking alongside her in heaven.

We matter, they matter, and our voices deserve to be heard.

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