My friend got married and it was beautiful. This wedding played an important role in my pregnancy. I had a lot of worries while pregnant, most of them for good reason, and since I worked with pregnant women, I often needed a “safe” distraction, something unrelated to babies, something I enjoyed. The wedding was just that. These were closest friends getting married and Chris and I were both in the wedding party.
I had envisioned the day differently. I envisioned all the ladies getting ready together. I would have brought my baby for that part, so I could nurse and not leave my one month old home for so long. I could picture my baby in a carrier, with her little legs in casts sticking out. I could really picture it. That vision got left behind when we learned of the oligohydramnios. I started crafting a new vision, one that meant possibly missing the wedding because my baby was in the NICU. Or relinquishing my role as a bridesmaid because I couldn’t leave my baby for an entire day. Toting her to the church to watch the ceremony and leaving her with my mom for just the reception. All these visions involved a baby that lived. So being at the wedding, living a reality that I didn’t let myself envision was hard. I was proud that I held it together all during the day. Even while the makeup artist asked if I was happy (a very complicated question to answer). Even while one of the other bridesmaids pumped. I smiled and stuffed that pit in my stomach out of my thoughts.
It was during the reception that I broke down. I missed the cake cutting and the dances with the parents. I had several moments where I had to excuse myself to cry in the back room or pace outside in the fresh air. I cried for a couple reasons.
It is so hard to see people who were pregnant at the same time as me. It feels like a slap in the face. It’s not their fault, people are allowed to be pregnant, have babies and be celebrated. I am just so mad at the universe that I am not one of those people. And seeing these bellies is a reminder of just how awful I feel.
I cried while slow dancing with Chris. In my head I thought of how we looked to an unknowing someone watching- a couple, in love, having an intimate moment on the dance floor. I couldn’t help but think- they don’t know. They don’t know that our baby died. That the intimacy was love but it was also sadness.
Seeing pregnant women and dancing with Chris both brought me to tears. This was not how it was supposed to be.
I love weddings. I love eating good food. I love the happiness of the occasion. I love dancing with Chris. I want my friends to do this wedding all over. In six months, when maybe I can breathe more easily. When I can make it through a day without crying. When I can celebrate them selflessly, the way it should be.