Wow...it's just amazing the difference 365 days can make. One year ago today, my life was different. It was definitely a bittersweet day. One year ago today, after dreading this day for weeks, I woke up to the due date we were given for our first baby, the one we lost at around 10 weeks. The day had loomed over me like a huge, dark cloud, and it had finally arrived. David and I woke up and started to get ready to go to my Dad's retirement party, and I decided to take a pregnancy test. I knew that it was going to be negative, as they all had been for the previous four or five months. I figured that the day was already terrible enough, and I'd rather get all of the crappiness (is that a word?) out of the way at once. You can imagine my surprise when I got this:
I really, really didn't believe that I was pregnant. In fact, this is only one of the many pregnancy tests I took over the course of the week until I got in at my OB's office. I just knew that one of the days, it would tell me that I wasn't pregnant anymore. It seems like a lifetime ago that I got that test. I will always, always be thankful that I got this news on what I expected to be one of the worst days of my life. September 18, 2010 was still a tough day, even with this good news, because I couldn't help but think about what might have been.
For the last few days, as I realized September 18 was approaching, I've been thinking a lot about that little life that was with us for 10 weeks. I can't say that I've been sad, exactly...I can't really describe the emotion I've felt. I'll always wonder what that baby would have been like. Was it a boy or a girl? Would it have looked like me or David? There are so many what ifs, and they'd slowly kill me, if I let them. Over the last year, I've decided that I don't need to know why we lost our first baby. For a long time, I didn't feel like I had a "right" to grieve that loss, but now I realize that that child is a part of my story, and I loved (and still do love) him or her, and I have every right to feel grief over losing him or her. It's no longer a grief, exactly...I guess you'd just say it's a rememberance accompanied by a little bit of longing.
Today, one year later, God has blessed us with this sweet, sweet girl:
She is truly the most amazing thing that's ever happened to me. It's strange to know that if we hadn't lost our first baby, that this precious girl wouldn't be here...and I can't imagine a life without her. Perhaps our first baby gave me a glimpse at the amount of love I could have for another tiny person.
Any way I look at it, on this night one year later, I know, without a doubt, that I am blessed beyond measure.