Today is my birthday.
And please note, for all the haters out there, this is not a pity party. But, it is my party and I'll cry if I want to.
It's another "milestone" I suppose that one has to hit after you lose a child. There are a lot of them. Things you'd never think about twice. The next one I'm dreading? The day we found out that a new baby was on his way. After that? The holidays.
I tried to forget.
Today is the day I was born. My Mom told the story tonight. The day before my birthday it was a gorgeous late-fall day. So perfect in fact that she scrubbed the floors, stripped all the beds, hung sheets outside on the line - all while she was nine months pregnant with me.
Exhausted from a busy day, Dad thought it would be nice to take her out to dinner. When she finally went to bed late that night and just started drifting off to sleep, I let her know that I was coming. And fast.
Out of her six children, I was the quickest delivery.
I can only imagine what that must be like. Going into labor at the right time, a vaginal birth, holding your baby. I have two children, and I've never had any of that.
Sadie never felt my skin against hers until she was six days old. Intubated and taken away from me was one of the most traumatic experiences I have ever gone through in my life. I think because she was our first, we had much higher expectations. Her birth was sad. The days following were devastating. We thought we were going to lose her. I hated seeing my baby in such pain. It broke my heart. I felt so helpless.
When I got pregnant with Sawyer, we were so hopeful. Things were going to be different, we always kept telling ourselves. And they were.
My water breaks at 28 weeks. Placental abruption. Emergency c-section.
"Your baby is very, very sick."
"There's only so much we can do."
And not even two days later, he died.
After I put Sadie down for a nap, I crawled into bed, engulfed by all of this. And I wept. For all the sadness. No balloons or flowers. No happy visitors. No baby nursing at my breast. Just empty, hollow sadness.
I don't cry for myself. I cry for my babies. You can tell me over and over again that Sadie won't ever remember and that Sawyer is in a better place - but why my babies?
Questions I will never have the answers to. But, I need to trust. And know, even through gritted teeth, that God is good. God is good.