We sat on the back deck last night, in the dark, soaking in the last night of summer. I sipped a glass of wine, my husband smoking a cigar, the baby monitor on the table between us.
I had that pressure building in my chest all day. It started with those memory photos that Facebook so kindly shows you. It showed me, two years ago, smiling in front of hot air balloons with my sister and Rebecca. If anyone looked at that photo you would just see a couple of happy, smiling, girls. That is how Facebook can make you look to the world, like nothing is wrong. If you were to know the truth, I was standing there forcing that smile, hiding my baby bump behind that sweatshirt, feeling the weight of the world on my shoulders, no make-up on my face because I cried constantly.
I was pregnant in that photo and many others from that day. Pregnant and carrying a baby whose heartbeat, we had just learned and saw, had stopped. We went on with our weekend because that is what happens, life goes on and we had to do something to fill the space before surgery was scheduled.
It was just two years ago but the end of summer and change to a fresh season will forever be marked by the loss of our first little girl. It is hard to just let the day go by. Several days of pain and waiting, marked in my memories.
So there we sat last night, my husband and I, suddenly I let the tears go. For him, it is harder to understand. For him, he looks at the sleeping baby on the monitor and knows everything worked out and it all happened for a reason. For him, as he said, he didn’t have the physical attachment. It isn’t that he doesn’t care, he does, but I think for him it is easier to look at Cora and just be okay with it.
For me, I wish I could move on from it and not let it bother me. I wish it wasn’t such a painful reminder that comes around once a year. I want to look at Cora and say that she erases that painful time. But it did happen and from time to time my heart strings get tugged and I’m right back at that place. It is such a fucked up thing to think if our first little girl made it to this world, we wouldn’t have Cora. So I can’t wish for one over another. I feel bad wondering what one would be like today when there is a healthy, little girl, sleeping away in her crib.
There is a baby book at the top of Cora’s closet that was started. It holds words that I wrote, several ultrasound photos and I bet if you closed your eyes, you can hear the conversations my husband and I already had about that little girls life. Cora’s holds the same starting words, the same ultrasound photo’s but hers keeps going. The babies that make it and the ones that don’t for reasons we don’t always understand. For the mamma’s that carry them around in their hearts, wondering what they would be like.
I dried my tears last night, sitting there in the dark. My husband slowly easing the conversation to something less heavy. The life we lead because life does move on. We are looking at swim lessons, planning a first birthday party and easing our family into fall. I finished my drink, he finished his cigar, we blew out the candles and he gave me a hug. Grateful for the baby here on earth and the baby in our hearts, the memories will always be there.