37 weeks. That’s how long I’d have been able to feel you grow under my heart as of this moment if the both of you hadn’t grown wings and decided not to stay with us. We were SO excited to see what would turn out to be your first and only pictures…two beautiful, near-perfect little embies on a blue background, just before you were returned to the safety of my womb, where we’d hoped and prayed you’d snuggle into tightly and allow us to feel you grow inside me, until you were ready to make your debut just before my own birthday.
We were dreaming of what you’d look like. Whose nose and whose eyes you’d have, whether you’d more closely resemble your Daddy or me. Whether you’d have been blonde like me, or brunette like Daddy, and whether you’d be boys or girls, or even one of each. We had plans for our big announcement, for the BEST surprise Christmas gifts ever for our closest family and friends.
Now, instead, you are simply and quietly remembered in the tiny red dots snuggled inside the permanence of my fertility tattoo, and the embryologist’s photo of you, on which our doctor wrote “I intend to be a parent”, holding out hope for us.
The time since you left has been so much harder than I ever imagined; my grief over losing you has been at times almost unbearable. The closer we get to your due date – and to those of the many friends and acquaintances whose timelines nearly match mine, but with happier endings – the more I want to scream and shake my fists at the sky, demanding an answer which I’ll never receive as to why you couldn’t stay. Didn’t you know how very much we loved you, how very much you were wanted, and how very lovingly spoiled you’d have been? How many heartbreaking years we’ve tried, and how many thousands of tears we’ve shed, wondering when we finally get to meet you? Don’t you know how I’ve punished myself over my body’s inexplicable failure to allow you the opportunity to grow and thrive? How I’ve longed to be able to cradle you in my arms, nourish you at my breast, and sing you to sleep? How badly I wanted to be able to watch you softly sleep on your Daddy’s chest on the couch, how I would have held my breath, teary-eyed, as you took your first steps, attended your first recital, and gushed to me about your first loves?
You were promises we weren’t allowed to keep. For reasons unknown, it simply wasn’t your time yet. In the unforgivable silence, there are echoes of you, of what you could have been. As we approach what should have been your birth day and entrance into this world, please know you’ll never be forgotten. Daddy and I love you more than you can imagine. Until we meet again…