I would be seven months pregnant right now. Or have a four month old baby.
When we first learned that Nelle was growth-restricted, without knowing the cause, the doctor told us that one option we might have to explore would be inducing early – very early, as soon as she could be viable outside of the womb. But without knowing the cause, she might have a better chance on the outside. I was 20 weeks at the time, and briefly we talked that induction could happen as early as 28 weeks, if they could not figure it out. It scared me to deliver that early, but I have known many premature babies that were fine. I thought “Maybe only 8 more weeks. Then we can get her out.”
At 21 weeks, 1 day she was gone and I delivered her.
Even with no indication that anything was wrong with Iris, with each passing week, I kept thinking “If there’s a problem, I only need to make it to 28 weeks or so. Then she can be viable.” I only made it to 16 weeks, 1 day.
Not only do I look at every day with what “should have been” but I am starting to receive reminders of where I was at this time last year. I was a few weeks pregnant. I was starting to tell people. After losing each of my girls, I went back through my Facebook profile and deleted every reference to my pregnancies. But the likelihood is that I did not catch everything and On This Day will remind me. My writing from a year ago will remind me.
I was sorting through old bras this morning in my drawer and came across a maternity/nursing bra that I had missed packing away. I thought “SERIOUSLY?”
By accident the other day, I found a t-shirt stuffed in the front pocket of my suitcase. It was from our trip to Hawaii last summer, never worn. I bought it after we had checked out of the condo and were on our way to the airport to fly home. I was 11 weeks pregnant at the time, and the t-shirt didn’t fit; I bought it for future use. Then completely forgot about it. Now I look at it, and remember that trip. I see all of the photos of our smiling faces and I am juxtaposed with happiness, and now pain as I look at my figure, knowing I was pregnant. I can never erase that aspect from the pictures.
So where I “should be” is so different from where I am and never expected to be. I should be in a different place. Instead I am writing.