I don't know if today will be lucky, unlucky or (most likely) something in between. But 13 years ago today, August 5th, 1998, became the worst day of my life, before or since -- the day I went for my six-month prenatal appointment, and learned that my baby girl, the baby I had hoped and waited so long for, the only baby I would ever have, was dead inside of me.
Two days later, I delivered and held her tiny, lifeless body for a few all-too-brief hours. It was the thunderbolt that split my life in two -- before and after stillbirth, the life I thought I was going to have and the life I ended up with.
One month earlier, on July 6th, dh & I had marked our 13th wedding anniversary. Well, sort of. We had to cancel our plans for dinner because I came down with a migraine. An omen, perhaps?
Had she lived, our little girl would be entering her teenage years in mid-November. I know some parents like to joke about how the teenage years are "every parent's nightmare." I want to tell them I've already lived every parent's worst nightmare, & believe me, having a teenager ain't it.
I'm writing this post in advance and, as usual, I am not sure how I am going to be feeling today or Sunday. There is so much I could say (& have already said, over the past almost-four years in this blog and, before blogging, on message boards and listservs).
I guess what I want to say, right now, is this: it's 13 years later, and yes, I've survived. I'm 50 years old, infertile and childless (in the living child sense), and know that I will remain so -- but I'm still here. Doing pretty well in many respects, actually.
But while I'm in a much better place overall than I was then, stillbirth still sucks just as much as it ever did.
And I still miss my daughter.
I will love her & miss her as long as I live.
12 (August 7, 2010)
11 (August 5, 2009)
10 (August 7, 2008)
1998 Memories: Wednesday, August 5, 1998: Gone
1998 Memories: Friday, August 7/Saturday, August 8, 1998