Today is (was?) my due date. It’s been 5 months that I’ve known I wouldn’t be holding a baby this month.
Peter is a part of our family. Not a day goes by that the girls don’t talk about their little brother. Sandy can be a bit domineering and Abby likes to remind her that, “I’m a big sister!” Sandy says, “Yes, you are Peter’s big sister but I am Peter’s bigger big sister.”
The girls talk about their baby brother so casually, it brings up questions from people we don’t know well. “Oh, you have a baby boy at home?” Well, not exactly.
At my first appointment with Sandy, I asked my doctor how long we should wait to tell people we were pregnant. I was 9 weeks pregnant. He said everything looked good on the ultrasound and to go ahead and tell whoever we wanted, that miscarriages were very uncommon once an ultrasound had showed a beating heart.
I was blessed to have a healthy pregnancy with Sandy. With Abby, we had some hemorrhaging that was very scary, but it all turned out okay. I felt a bit invincible. Sure people have miscarriages and lose babies, but it didn’t seem like it could happen to me. Now that it has all of that invincibility is gone. Now there is so much fear of getting pregnant, fear of losing another baby. Fear of putting myself through that again, but mostly fear of putting my girls through that. I think the girls have dealt with this in healthy ways, but when I think of how little death I had come into contact with before my late teens, it makes me ache when I hear my 2-year-old say she has a baby in her tummy and it’s dead. She says it so matter of factly. But should a 2-year-old really be that matter-of-fact about a dead baby?
I woke up this morning feeling very melancholy, but I had to stop and think about why. My body fought so hard to keep Peter, even after we knew his heart had stopped beating. And, somehow, my body knew that today was his due date.