On this day one year ago, we heard the horrific news that you were gone. That it was already too late.
Even though I'd woken up with a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach, I waited to go to L&D until a bit before noon. I think part of me knew something was terribly wrong, but I did feel reassured when I got the chance to talk to my doc, who was on call that day, and she told me everything was probably fine, but to just come in anyway to get checked out.
"Who knows?" she said, "Maybe he's ready to come today!"
We dropped off PJ at my parents', thinking we'd maybe just meet Luke that night, and why not? My Dad said goodbye, patted my tummy and told Luke he'd see him soon.
There was the line at check in--that we skipped, and just headed up to L&D anyway. We got there and there was Katye. She was so sweet and amazingly comforting. She told us not to worry--everything would probably be fine. This happens all the time.
But after that was when everything came crashing down.
There was the nurse--first with the doppler. Nothing. Then she left...and came back with another nurse. Still nothing. And I think that's about when things started hitting us--what we were really being told. Then came my doctor. She looked at the ultrasound machine...and I could sense her panic.
That's when the shaking started.
The shivers that come...when you understand the horrific news you're being told, but haven't been told yet. I never want to feel them again.
You were gone. Somehow, they told us. They weren't sure how or why. But we had to find out.
That's the part that I think most people don't comprehend when they hear you've had a stillborn baby. You still have to deliver the baby. You still have to go through everything every Mom who has a living baby goes through. With no reward at the end. Just silence. Then the tears.
I was terrified. I was already terrified to give birth to a baby. How was I going to do this?
I still don't know how I made it through this night, knowing you were already gone. I couldn't have done it without Jeff. Or my family. If anything...they made me feel less alone. But in the end, the terror of it being all on ME to get done...It was cruel.
Thinking about these very hours on this day last year hurts. I never want to feel those feelings again. This was the most painful, torturing day of my life. We waited out the night...waiting for the inevitable.
I was supposed to be excited to meet you--to see what you looked like--FINALLY--after 9 months of carrying you with me.
But now I'd have to also say goodbye to you too. In the same breath, I'd meet you and you'd already be gone.
It all seems surreal, still, how the day unfolded. Unimaginable, really. There are scenarios you play out in your head over and over--happy endings. And then there's the scenarios you would never imagine that suddenly become your reality. That's where we were. A nightmare come true.
We didn't sleep. I dozed to try and gain strength. Thank God for epidurals--it made the pain just a tiny bit less cruel.
It felt like the night would last forever. It really did. Like it would never end.
Or maybe I just didn't want it to end. Because it would mean we were moving farther away from being together. There was no stopping the inevitable, though. The panic set in, and somehow, I survived, without you.
It didn't seem right, but there was nothing anybody could do to change it. You were really gone. I thought maybe by some miracle you might not be--but everything we were told was right.
I will never understand this day. How we could go in thinking we'd have you, and how we could leave without you. In one day. We were discharged from the hospital almost exactly 24 hours after checking in. Everything that happened in those 24 hours was somehow real.
And now here we are at September 9, 2013--Today was nothing like I expected it to be one year and one day ago.
On this day one year ago, a lifelong adjustment of expectations began.