I am glad that Lucy's anniversaries have been and gone. The anticipation of the day lead to many tears. The anniversary of the day she passed was heartbreaking and I was terrified that this baby was going to die as well. Being pregnant on that day was just too familiar, the weather was even the same, every second of that day I held my breath waiting for tragedy again.
Thankfully it didn't come. On Lucy's birthday we spent the day shopping, we met with friends for tea and then when it went dark we let a wish lantern off and toasted our firstborn with pink wine. We held each other and cried hard. There is a little girl who should be here, and she isn't. She should be teething and walking and my windowsill should be full of changing pictures of her beautiful self, when instead there is just a solitary picture of her tiny, still body being cradled by two ashen faced grieving parents.
I am now on maternity leave. I crept away, silently. Last time we had cakes, food and celebrations - a big presentation and baby gifts. I was made a fuss of and everyone had well meaning advice about labour and birth. We laughed and talked and I was so, so excited. This time I didn't announce when I was leaving. I just left. Only a handful of people knew it was my last day. I felt ungrateful but I just couldn't face the big celebrations. I felt like a fraud after losing Lucy, I couldn't put myself through it all again. I don't want to count my chickens. How can I celebrate, how can I be excited when I don't know the ending of this story yet? I want, hope, try so hard to believe it will be the happy ending that we have waited nearly 3 years for. But that is such a long time, and so much loss and heartache. I feel embittered by it all, cynical, pessimistic.
So now I play this waiting game. Waiting, waiting for the end to come. And I know that one way or another I will be birthing this baby into the world, be she alive or dead. I feel terribly guilty for even considering the latter, but as nothing is certain I can't rule it out. I want so, so much to be a mummy to a living child this time. I cannot bear the thought of letting everybody down again, so many people are depending on me to make their dreams come true.
The Turn. (Ben Johnson)
It is not growing like a Tree
In bulk, doth make Man better be;
Or standing long an Oak, three hundred year
To fall a log, at last, dry, bold, and sear:
A Lily of a Day,
Is fairer far, in May,
Although it fall, and die that Night;
It was the Plant, and Shower of Light.
In small proportions, we just Beauties see:
And in short measures, Life may perfect be.