Here we are. Your day, two years later. We call it your birthday, and indeed you were born on this day, the only child I delivered naturally. Born sleeping, some say. Born dead is too hard, too harsh. Born still. Stillborn. Still born.
We waited in the hospital for you to come. I was terrified. What would you look like? What would we do when you came? Would it be physically painful? You came, and there was some pain. And there you were, a tiny, fully-formed baby girl, just so small. Perfect hands, perfect feet. We looked at you together, examined you closely. Held you, sang to you, took pictures of you, kept you with us overnight. You were not beautiful. That is terrible to say, but it is the truth. What is also true is that it did not matter how you looked. It did not matter at all. You were our darling baby girl and our hearts were broken.
I don’t know how we survived those moments, or any of the time since. I know that before we lost you, I had contemplated the death of a baby and thought that it would be impossible to survive. How is it that you are not so broken that you can never be repaired? How do you get up from the couch? Get out from under the blanket? How do you stop the giant tears, quell the voice that repeats, “dead baby, my baby, my baby, my baby…”.
Two years later, I cannot say exactly how we got here. If you saw us out at a restaurant, or walking down the street, you would not know what we’ve been through. You would not see any of the brokenness. We look normal (whatever that is). We look happy. And we are. There is so much happiness, so much joy. Your big and little brothers make every day an adventure and even when I am tired, or exasperated, I try to remember how lucky we are. We are so lucky. How can it be that we lost you, that we ache for you, and yet still feel lucky? Every time I feel it, I want to spit. Lucky? In some ways, yes. In a very big way, no. But maybe that is how we get better: one foot in front of the other and move forward, visit the therapist, the acupuncturist, the support group, the walk to remember, do the dishes, do the laundry, feed the dogs, feed the kids, vacuum, plant flowers, shovel snow, shop for groceries, go to work, exercise, read the blogs, write the blog, sleep, cry, yell, scream, repeat. Repeat over and over and time passes. One year. Now two.
Your baby girl is still gone. She is a memory, kept in a corner of your house, guarded by dragons, stars hung close by, candles, flowers in a little vase. She is a part of your every day, and she is not. Here, and not. Lucky, and not.
I miss you so much, my sweet baby girl. Your Mama, Daddy, and brothers all miss you so. You will never be forgotten.