It’s so hard to imagine that you would be turning 5 right now. Your due date was 1/1/11. What a great set of numbers. Instead, I gave birth to you June 12, 2010.
Just two weeks before, I went into the doctor with your oldest sister so she could see you on the big screen. I was 9 weeks pregnant with you and she was 9 years old. We were both so excited to hear your heart beat. When the ultrasound technician said she couldn’t find it, I knew you were gone. Your sister and I cried so hard. We talked to the doctor and she gave me the option to have a procedure or to wait it out. Your sisters had all been born at home and I wanted you to be born that way, too. I knew you would be the last baby for us either way.
It took two weeks for you to come. Two long, painful weeks full of tears and dark thoughts. I knitted a little hat in honor of you. I needed to do something while I waited on contractions. I needed to not feel helpless, but I was.
On a Saturday afternoon, when I would have been 11 weeks pregnant, I went into labor for four hours. I didn’t expect it to hurt so bad and feel so much like your sister’s labors. Then it was over. You looked like nothing more than a tiny seahorse. You were still in your sac when you were born, but your placenta had been deteriorating for two weeks. I knew trouble was ahead.
That’s when things got really bad and I went to the hospital. The focus was suddenly off of you and it was on me trying to stay alive the rest of the night. For a long time after, it was confusing for me because there been some time to process losing you. What I hadn’t expected was that I would nearly die too. After we came home our friends sent cards and took care of us. I struggled with the shock of being in the final moments of my life only to be spared death and given a second chance.
Some years have gone by without much of a thought when the dates come and go, but this year you’ve been on my mind a great deal. When I see children turning the same age as you would have been this time of year, it hits. Sometimes I feel guilty for missing who you would have been because I’m so fortunate to have your four sisters to mother.
I never knew if you were a boy or a girl, but I decided to name you for my own grieving process. Your name is Bright. Like a star. Like the light that radiates through me as a result of years of processing pain, trauma, addiction, mental health struggles, and becoming a new woman after so much hard work. You gave me that light when you left and I will always honor you for that. Because of you, I was set free to become the version of the person I longed to be. Because of your presence in me for such a short time and our dramatic parting, I eventually attained happiness and success I never thought was possible.
Baby Bright, as your sisters still call you…thank you for every gift you’ve brought me these last few years. I wonder so often if you would have had red curls like your sister. Or if you would have been the boy that people have said we must have for a decade. Would you have had your daddy’s blue eyes and your mommy’s fighter spirit?
We’ll never know what you could have been, but I’ll never forget what you did for me. I am forever touched by the blessing of having you grow inside of me. Even if it was just a brief connection, you’ll always be in my heart.
Your Grateful Mommy