Some may say that I shouldn’t share this story, that it’s personal and should remain private. But your story, while short, is important and has made an inpact. I want the world to know that even if it was only for 11 weeks, you made a massive difference in this world. You made a difference in mine.
It was a year ago today that we said goodbye, but we really didn’t get the chance to have a proper goodbye. It all happened so fast. One minute I was whispering words I could never live up to, “It’s all going to be ok.”, “I’ll protect you.”, and then the next, a kind and young emergency room doctor was taking you away.
I write a lot about the hurt that followed, the feelings of inadequacy and failure. I write about what it’s like to live in the 365 days since that horrible night. But I’ve never written about you. Who you were and what you brought to my life. While I didn’t get the chance to celebrate your birth and the subsequent years of your life, you are still one of my biggest blessings. I remember the day we found out about you. We had plans to celebrate the end of summer with friends but I had this suspicion that you were there. I wanted to know for sure before we ventured out. I had taken a pregnancy test earlier that week and it had been negative. I had tried not to get my hopes up, but I really wanted to see that positive result. I remember being excited, scared and nervous as I waited for the result. I had daydreamed about this moment before. How would I react? How would I tell your dad? How would we shape your announcement into our world?
I returned to the bathroom to view the results and there it was, the double line that started our journey together. You were real. It was finally happening and I felt an overwhelming calm come across me. I was beyond ready to welcome you into this world.
The weeks that followed were exhilarating. I rushed into planning mode. You know, that type-A personality that I can’t seem to escape. I started with daycare and finances. It was important to us that you be afforded the best things in life and provided the opportunities to thrive and discover who you wanted to be and how you’d make an impact. We found the perfect daycare. It was just around the corner from our house. You’d be so happy there and we’d rest easy knowing you were in good hands while we focused on providing for you. The financial sacrifices came easy. We could give up elaborate vacations, nice bottles of wine, bi-weekly manis and pedis, new clothes, nights out with friends. You were worth it and we would make it work.
A few weeks later you gave us a scare and we found ourselves at the doctor’s office for an early ultrasound. My heart was racing and I’m pretty certain I held my breath for minutes as we got our first look at you. And then we heard your heartbeat. The world stopped in its tracks. Nothing else mattered. I’ll never forget that sound and the tears that welled up in both your parents’ eyes. There you were. Everything was ok. You were healthy. This was just a fluke and there was nothing to worry about. The ultrasound tech said so. She told us that the risk of miscarriage after hearing a heartbeat was extremely low and everything looked good.
I was suffering from a subchorionic hematoma, but it was minor and other than reduced exercise we were in the clear! What an enormous sense of relief.
The weeks continued on and we started preparing for ways to tell our families and friends. Your soon to be best friend was about to make her debut into this world and so we had to share the news with her parents, our best friends. We then waited to tell anyone else until I could join my mom for one of our Mother-Daughter weekends. I was looking forward to you and me building our own traditions like this. Time together where you’d feel comfortable sharing with me all of the things going on in your life. I’d offer the best advice I had to give. We’d share new experiences together and I’d be your biggest cheerleader guiding you towards your hopes and dreams.
The day before I left to meet my mom you gave us another scare. I found myself on the phone with the on-call doctor that evening, but the bleeding subsided and everyone seemed to feel confident that it was related to the Lovenox shot from earlier that day. With such a long flight ahead the doctor wanted to take every precaution to keep you safe. The blood thinning shots would ensure no clots formed on the flight. I was cleared for travel and headed out to meet my mom.
I arrived in Las Vegas on Saturday and she opened the “Blame it all on my roots” onesie we had gotten to share the news with her. It was the perfect way to tell your country music loving grandmother that she was going to have a grand-baby to spoil! We called my stepdad and grandparents. Everyone was so excited to meet you. We would call the other family members the next day and then tell the rest of the family at Thanksgiving, which we were hosting at our house. It would be perfect.
Mom and I had a great dinner that evening and enjoyed ourselves in Las Vegas, sans booze for me! We talked about registries, nurseries and all of the fun things we would all do together. I asked her if she would be there and spend time when you arrived and of course she couldn’t wait to be a part of your earliest days. She was already making plans for summers and winters in Tahoe. You’d learn to ski, like I had learned to do at the age of three.
The next morning, we facetimed with Dad and he showed us the nursery he had finished. He’d done such a great job building you a space that you would have loved. It was cozy and warm and we would make great memories together in that space.
Mom and I went to a great brunch and took a walk. I was happy. You were going to have such an amazing support system. You were one lucky kid!
After brunch I started feeling sick. We headed back to the hotel so that I could lay down and take a nap. An hour or so later I woke up. And, that’s when things started to take a turn for the worse. I wasn’t feeling normal and after a conversation with my OBGYN, it was obvious we needed to head to the ER.
I don’t remember when, but I knew that things weren’t going to turn out the way I had been planning. I knew that you were no longer a part of this world. You’d moved on and you’d left us for something far greater than we can imagine. I miss you, BCF. I miss everything that we were going to do together. I miss the things about you that I never got to know and all the experiences we won’t be able to share.
For the last year I’ve felt like I have failed you. I wasn’t able to protect you. I couldn’t give you the life that you deserved. I share our journey together with others because your life mattered. You have provided other people in our situation comfort in knowing that they aren’t facing this struggle alone. You’ve given them hope that they’ll find the light at the other end of that dark tunnel. You’ve given me strength to continue to make the days ahead count.
Through the many sleepless nights and the days of agonizing pain, I’ve realized that I haven’t failed you. You are exactly where you are supposed to be, with God. And He has protected you from day one. For that, I am thankful and grateful. We will get to see one another some day and it will be a homecoming event like none other.
Until that day. All my love,