For five weeks out of the year, I am no good. In my mind, I am not a good wife, mom, friend, or employee because for five weeks out of the year, 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.
Driving to kaiser Oakland, 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.
I didn't know babies died.
And then, I did.
Lots 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. My birthday.
When I woke she was breathing.
I held my daughter alive on my birthday. No gift could 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 with my 2 boys, 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.
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.