The due date revisited…

One year ago today was Mabel’s due date. Honestly I might not have even remembered it had a friend not mentioned it yesterday. A year ago this day meant so much more. I had already birthed Mabel, but the passing of the day felt like the passing of the time I was supposed to be pregnant. One of the many concrete days that marked the end, reminding me I was not longer pregnant with my baby… the one that died. I knew I would not see March 14 while pregnant. The risk of stillbirth with Down Syndrome gave me the option for early induction, which I would have gladly taken. Then the oligohydramnios diagnosis moved the induction date even earlier- to 37 weeks. Only in my last week of pregnancy di we witch it back to 39 weeks. Mabel has us all humbled, thinking we could actually predict the day she came, when she decided to make her entrance into this world at 36 weeks. So all the planning, the dates, ended up meaning so little.

Last year I was sad on this day. Today I am emotionless. I didn’t even remember. Got me thinking…

Did I not remember the day because now her actual birthday means so much more? Did I not remember the day because I am moving forward (not moving on… I don’t like that term)?   Is this progress? Do I even try to make meaning of my forgetfulness?

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Day 27: Express

36+2

Today I have been without Mabel more days than I had been with her. For 36 weeks an 1 day she was safe. Despite the low fluid, my body nourished her, grew her and comforted her. All her needs were met and she wanted for nothing. She was safe. She didn’t need kidneys or lungs- my placenta did all their work for her. Her clubbed feet fit nice and snugly in my uterus. The holes in her heart made no difference- just added to the flow. Her extra chromosome was invisible inside me. I would have kept her in longer if I could. A few days before labor I asked if we could push out my induction for two more weeks and was thrilled and relieved when my high risk doctor and midwives thought it was a good plan. Mabel thought differently. She decided at 36 weeks that she her time inside me was up. I like to think that had she stayed inside longer, she might have died or had such distress I would need a c-section, and so she chose to come on her own so that I could meet her alive and have the vaginal birth I had hoped her.

last photo of me, pregnant at 36 weeks and 1 day, moments before Mabel and I became two separate beings.

last photo of me, pregnant at 36 weeks and 1 day, moments before Mabel and I became two separate beings.

Today is 36 weeks and 2 days since that day. She has been out longer than she has been in. In a few more days she’ll have been buried, in the dark of the earth, longer than she had been snuggled in the dark of my womb.

Her memory fades with time. Sometimes it’s hard to believe that she was real- that this really happened. Holy sh*t, I had a baby. I was a mother. My daughter died. I don’t remember what it felt like to be big and pregnant except for the random phantom kicks I still get. They are sparse and an awkward reminder because my baby had no fluid, so she wasn’t the biggest kicker. My pregnancy almost feels invalidated by her death. No one will ask me about my experiences when they are pregnant for the first time. No one will seek my advice. No one will ask for baby clothes hand me downs. And then they’ll have their babies and I ‘ll be even more useless, because though I had a baby I know nothing of parenting a live child- unless of course someone wants advice about taking their baby off life support.  I know a few things about that.

I thought I would do something to mark the day I turned 36 weeks and 1 day without Mabel, but the day came and went. It feels like my due date felt- an end to something that I don’t want to end.

Today I’m sad that the time I will be without my daughter will continue to grow longer and longer but my time with my daughter will forever be shorter.

#CaptureYourGrief