For five weeks out of the year, I am no good. In my mind, I fail at being a wife, a mom, a friend, or employee because, for those five weeks, I live a parallel life. I stand here straddling with one foot here and the other in 2011 wishing I was still there.
I would relive even the most heartbreaking, soul crushing moments if it meant I could run my fingers through her hair again, kiss her puckered lips, smell her baby skin and feel her 6 lb body against my chest. What I would give for those 33 days again.
After being discharged from the hospital less than 12 hours after delivering our baby, I replayed her labor over and over again. Her heart never decelerated. She showed no signs of injury. We had every reason to believe she would recover from whatever plagued her. We drove 2 hours convincing ourselves of this fact.
I didn't know babies died.
And then, I did.
Five weeks later, she died.
A lot has happened in the middle of those 5 weeks. A lot of hope, praying and pleading. A lot of love, snuggles and kisses. A lot of crying, crying and more crying.
And then I woke, on the day that I knew would be her last. The day that happened to be my first day of life. My 31st birthday.
When I woke she was breathing.
I held my daughter alive on my birthday, no gift will ever compare.
And then, she left.
I haven't celebrated a birthday since.
I just can't.
So for five weeks, I check out. I'm here, but I'm only half paying attention. I have obligations that I must tend to during these days, important ones even- teaching a new school year and my son's birthday, being top of the list.
So, I plan birthday parties and English lessons.
And my days are full.
But my arms feel empty still. Even holding my 2 sons, I will always be missing one of my 3 babies.
So, if you catch me during Ruthie Lou's month and I'm “off”, I promise it'll pass. Just don't count on it being this month.
Come find me after September.
Don't miss Amie Lands' next book!
OUR ONLY TIME: STORIES OF PREGNANCY/INFANT LOSS
WITH STRATEGIES FOR HEALTH PROFESSIONALS
COMING THIS FALL!
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I am mama of three beautiful babes; two sons whom I have the privilege of raising and my daughter who lived for 33 sacred days.