When you are struggling to conceive, Facebook can be an incredibly hard thing to follow. People announcing their pregnancies, posting ultrasound pics, posting pics of their newborn. I was always happy for my friends but I was sad at the same time. Would I ever be one of them? Would I ever get a chance to announce my pregnancy? When I found out I was pregnant, I waited 11 weeks to share our news. I was nervous that something bad would happen. The day that we heard Nash’s heartbeat was the day I wrote on Facebook…” Just when you think life couldn’t get any sweeter it does, baby Schupbach due in January! That was June 19th, 2013…who knew the exact day a year later would be the day he died. When I posted it, I got an incredible response. People were excited. Most of the comments were something along the lines of, “I have been waiting for this news!”
I bonded with three people in particular that day. People I know and have spent time with but were not in my immediate group of friends. They became my pregnancy sisters. Misty, Christine, and Lindsi. We were all pregnant at the same time with our first babies! I found myself messaging them asking how they were doing. I clicked like on every maternity pic they had and they did the same with mine. Lindsi was the first to go into labor, then Misty, then Christine. These girls gave birth to beautiful babies Grady, Reece and Beckett. I was last…and so nervous! Soon our Nash would join the group.I knew when I posted pictures of Nash that I would always get at least three comments because of these three mothers. We always commented on pics of each other’s children. The great thing about being last was that I knew what was coming! The day before Nash died, Christine had posted a pic of Reece cutting teeth. I immediately felt Nash’s gums. Nothing yet, but I knew they were coming! It’s hard to see their pics now. I see them moving on, getting bigger, cutting teeth, crawling. I know that one day I’ll see them walking and even graduating high school. These babies will always hold a special place in my heart. Babies that moved on without him. I will never look at them and not think of Nash. As much as it kills me, I am still drawn to their pictures, I feel a connection to them. The only difference now is that I look at their pics smiling through tears. I feel an obligation to always keep up with what they are doing and who they grow up to be.
Callum is our godson. He is a year older then Nash. His dad Dave grew up with Todd. We were excited to see them grow up together. When I see Cal running around our house, it’s a bittersweet feeling. I love him so much but wish Nash was running right there beside him. When he is at our house, he grabs Nash’s toys and plays with them. Oh God how I wish they were playing together. Cullen, Brandon’s son, was a year older than Nash as well. My husband has told me multiple stories about the things Brandon and him would do when they were kids and teenagers. Now we had boys close in age that lived within miles of each other. I pictured Nash, Cal, and Cullen staying the night at each other’s houses. I pictured them coming home from baseball games and leaving their dirty clothes on the floor. I pictured them getting into trouble together. I could see us as parents talking over dinner about how crazy they were but how wonderful it was they were so close. I always wanted to be that mom. You know, the mom that even your kids friends call mom. I pictured being that person to these boys. I knew that as they grew older, they would know me not as Shelly but as Nash’s mom. Now, they will only know me as their parents’ friend. They won’t even realize how big of a part in my life they would have played. How could they? I, on the other hand, will hold these two boys close to my heart forever. I will watch them grow up, play sports, go to college and even get married. I picture myself at these events. Them leaving the baseball game with a friend thinking it should be Nash. Meeting their college roommate knowing it could have been Nash. Looking at the groomsmen in their weddings knowing Nash should be one of them. I know I will be there for all of these milestones in their lives, and I will always look at them with this incredible love but also with an overwhelming sadness of what should have been. One thing I know for sure though is that when I look at them, I will smile and think of Nash. To me they will always be Nash’s best friends.