The day. January 14th. My wedding anniversary. This year, thirteen – lucky thirteen. While searching this morning for a quote to commemorate the day, I tripped across the following:
A strong marriage rarely has two strong people at the same time. It is a husband and wife who take turns being strong for each other in the moments when the other feels weak.
How true that speaks to the past year for us.
But for me, the day will always be a tinge of both happy and sad. My due date with Nelle was January 14th. Or the 12th. The original date given to me was the 12th, but then in subsequent visits a different measuring chart or something and it was changed to the 14th. I kept asking about the date difference, wanting to go back to the 12th. Since I knew it would be a planned c-section, delivering a week earlier, I knew that meant two days’ difference in being “not being pregnant” anymore. But no one listened.
I brought it up again at my 20 week ultrasound, when the due date flashed across the screen. But it was in that appointment that we learned that Nelle was growth restricted, and suddenly the due date no longer mattered.
I tried to tell myself over the past few years “The 12th. The 12th. The due date was the 12th.” But it always creeps into my head that my chart said “14th.” I try to tell myself that the due date doesn’t matter – a scheduled c-section would have meant that I never would have delivered on the 14th anyway. She would have been born on the 7th. But still. The 14th. The 14th. Same date as my ten year wedding anniversary.
This year, she would have been three years old.
My rainbow baby, Autumn, has been under the weather for days. It started with vomiting, and then a trip to the emergency room when her temperature was below normal and her hands, feet, and lips had a bluish tinge. My first thought was that she wasn’t getting enough oxygen, and that calling her doctor in the afternoon would likely mean we couldn’t get a same-day appointment, and mention of the blue would likely mean that we would be sent to the ER anyway, “just to be safe.”
All was fine, and I felt a little foolish as we left – thinking I had overreacted. As I always seem to overreact with her. But how can I not? In the back of my head, I always wonder if something was missed with Nelle – either earlier in my pregnancy, or something after she was born that would have given us an answer. Doctors aren’t perfect. What if something is missed with my sweet Autumn? What if I miss something?
Last night, Autumn only wanted to be carried. Ger was also under the weather, so I put her in the Ergo while I made dinner. She nestled into my neck and I found myself thinking “You’re here. You’re here. You’re 17 months old. Not three years old.” Not the three-year-old that I thought I was going to have.
That due date. It seems so silly to remember it. The date that no longer matters to anyone but me. Yet every year, I find myself wondering on this date about what would have been.