Today is the anniversary of an event that I usually don't try to think too hard about. I don't often think about anniversaries at all. Generally May 27th passes me over in a haze of summertime picnics, digging in the dirt, and the overall chaos of a busy household. The past couple weeks however, I have not been home. I have been plowing through my nights at work on the maternity ward and each night haunted by memories and emotion that have not surfaced often in the past several years. These memories are with me today.
Seven years ago today Francisco and I were expecting our first child. I was 17 weeks pregnant and expecting a girl. I was going to name her Josie. He and I had met not long before, and were still getting to know each other, this unplanned growing life inside of me speeding up the process lightyears ahead of the traditional route. I was terrified by the abyss of unknown that accompanies first time motherhod, and at the same time I had never been so excited about anything in my life.
I went in for a routine check up at the OB office, accompanied by my mother, as Francisco was living in Miami, awaiting my arrival in just a few weeks. All had been well with the pregnancy until that point, and I felt healthier than ever. My closet was quickly filling with tiny onesies and I had read every baby book I could get my hands on.
The news of our baby's fate was dropped like a bomb, the words that every expectant parent dreads: "There's something wrong with the baby". We were sent to a high risk hospital in the area where our baby's fate was determined; congenital anomalies, chromosomal abnormality, incompatible with life, physician speak for the worst fate imaginable. The stoic doctor delivered the news as though he were reporting the weather, spewing forth long, complicated words to describe the loss of something so great that in four short months it had overtaken me. In minutes my world was shattered.
My body was hollow after it was over. My soul still holds an empty spot for my baby who was never to be. In the time she was with me I loved her with all of my being, and I can't help but think about who she might have become if she had lived.
The days and weeks that followed were the darkest of my life. I drove aimlessly around town and seriously contemplated crashing into buildings to put out the fire of pain that seared through my heart. I couldn't work, couldn't focus, and lost valuable friendships that I later longed for and regretted letting slip away.
The good that came of losing my baby was gaining my relationship with Francisco, who anchored himself to my side at this time and let me know that he wasn't going anywhere. We moved in together and a few months later I was pregnant with my beautiful Nathan, whose life I would choose over no other.
I am usally relieved to have another May pass by without being reminded of our loss, but this year I feel complelled to honor her spirit. I am grateful for all that I have, but my first baby comes back to me every so often and reminds me of what we can never forget.