Today is April 3, 2013. My little girl is getting bigger by the day. In 3 days, she’ll be 8 months old.
On April 3, 2012, I had my anatomy ultrasound and we found out that Emma was a girl. I remember it very clearly — the little ultrasound room at my doctor’s office, the cold goo on my stomach, the feeling of being poked and prodded with the sensor, the bubbly personality of the tech who told us we were having a daughter. Jose and I looked at each other with big smiles on our faces, and called both of our parents before we even left the parking lot. That afternoon after work, we went to Target and bought a pack of girly onesies to celebrate.
That was a really good day.
On April 3, 2011, I was in the emergency room. I remember that very clearly too — the rough hospital gown, the random late-night Cartoon Network crap eminating from the tiny TV, the deep fatigue of finding myself still awake in the wee hours of the morning, Jose’s hand gripping mine. I remember the doctor telling me in the nicest way possible, confirming what I already knew, that I was having a miscarriage. The day before, I had been about 9 weeks pregnant. And then suddenly, I wasn’t.
That was a really bad day.
I never wrote about that first, sadly very short pregnancy. Outside our immediate families, I’ve only ever told a small handful of friends, and not even then until I made it to the relative safety of my second trimester with Emma. It was one of the worst things I’ve ever been through, but I chose to work through the loss in my own way, on my own terms, and I’ve never regretted that.
But I was thinking about it again today, two years later, and it occurred to me that maybe I will always think about it on or around April 3. I don’t know. But I might. I have read so many stories similar to mine on other blogs and forums, and in the months before Emma came along, it gave me comfort to realize that I wasn’t alone — that other people had experienced losses, many far worse than my own, and still gone on to have plenty of happy, healthy kids. It feels like the right time to put my own story out there.
Last year I remember thinking about the bittersweet coincidence of finding out that my baby-to-be was a healthy little girl exactly one year after losing what would have been our first child. But we still had 4 months to go before Emma arrived, and I couldn’t help but be irrationally cautious about “tempting fate.” So I did my best to put it out of my mind, because it was supposed to be a happy day — and it WAS a happy day.
But this year I’m not scared of it anymore. I’ll probably always remember that horrible day in the hospital. But I now have happy memories of leaving that same hospital with my adorable newborn daughter just over sixteen months later. And April 3 is also the day I learned that Emma was going to be Emma. And it’s the day I’ll go home from work and watch her roll around on the floor as she learns to crawl, and open her mouth wide for a bite of yogurt or oatmeal at dinnertime, and giggle when I blow raspberries on her tummy.
I can think about Emma and about the baby we never knew, and I can be a little sad but mainly happy. Mostly, I’m just struck by how much has happened in only two short years. Life is…well, it has a way of keeping you on your toes, doesn’t it?
You take the good with the bad, or the bad with the good. But either way, there’s good.