Wednesday, April 14, 2010
facing the firsts
Another question from Butterfly Mommies...
What were some of the 'firsts' that you encountered after your loss? How do you plan to, or how have you dealt with special anniversaries and holidays and the memory of your little one?
I'm facing a big first right now - the first anniversary of our first miscarriage next week. In many ways, this anniversary will conclude a year of a lot of firsts. I don't exactly want to celebrate the day because it's not a happy day. I don't really consider it a birthday because our baby wasn't born in a traditional sense. It's not a death date because we have no idea when our baby died. So we're simply acknowledging the day because it's the only date we to which we can tie anything concretely. That there is something different about the day. I just want to spend time with Paul doing something together that makes us happy. I'm planning to leave work early (at the time when he's off), and we want to go to dinner. A dinner out isn't a usual occurrence for us on a weeknight. And I want to buy myself flowers for my office - something I enjoy. I'm anticipating the day, but I'm looking forward to be past it.
About three weeks after my first miscarriage was Mother's Day. That was tough because I would have been 20 weeks then, and it was just a date I had marked on the calendar. A couple of milestones. I was definitely sad to not be pregnant. And no one acknowledged me on Mother's Day. And no one acknowledged Paul on Father's Day. We have decided to celebrate those days this year, even if it's just the two of us. We deserve that.
Another first was marking the due date that didn't come to be, but the anticipation was worse than the actual day. We had hopes for that day, but nothing happened on that day. I hope that I don't always track the due dates.
Christmas was the singe hardest holiday for me this year. Christmas is my favorite time of year, and I had so been looking forward to having a little baby with us this year. We didn't. And I was no longer pregnant with our second baby. I had a second miscarriage the first week of December. So much was hard about those days. So hard. They weren't happy days. But I survived them.
There were lots of other firsts...first Monday after each miscarriage (they both happened on Mondays)...the first day back at work...the first month...the first baby shower...the first time holding a baby. But some of those were bigger than me. The first baby I held was my baby niece, just minutes after she'd died. I would not trade those moments for anything. The first baby shower was celebrating friends who are expecting a baby in July after four unsuccessful pregnancies and IVFs. Of course we're celebrating their baby, and I look forward to snuggling him or her in a few months. I survived all of those, too.
I still have several months left of firsts for our second baby, leading up to the first anniversary of the miscarriage. Maybe they won't be as hard since I've now been through many firsts already. But I expect some things to still sting.