Birthdays have always been my favourite day of the year. It’s a celebration of life, and it’s a reminder of how fleeting and precious all of this is. Birthdays used to come at the end of a slow walk around the sun. Now I leap and run and cartwheel and fly. Life gets faster. But it also gets better.
3 years ago today, I was labouring to deliver my stillborn daughter. I was frightened, overwhelmed, traumatized, and heartbroken. It hurts to think about it.
You’re a sky full of stars,
I’m gonna give you my heart,
you’re a sky, you’re a sky full of stars,
because you light up the path,
I don’t care, go on tear me apart,
I don’t care if you do,
Because in a sky full of stars,
I think I saw you.
(A sky full of stars – Coldplay)
The last trimester of my pregnancy after loss was riddled with anxiety. I had never made it this far into pregnancy before. I thought to myself – if I can just make it to that point, the week where her sister died, and if things were still okay, then maybe I could finally relax. But instead, I felt a new layer of anxiety unearth itself around me, as I entered into parts of a pregnancy that I have never experienced before. With each day that passed, I fell deeper in love, and with each day that passed, I had more and more to lose. I was being seen at the high risk maternity clinic every week from 30 weeks, as we noticed that Reya’s growth was beginning to slow down. She had dropped from the 11th centile to the 6th to the 4th and then to the 2nd. Our doctor let us know that the chances of making it to the full 40 weeks was highly unlikely, and that we should prepare for a premature delivery. But he sounded optimistic, and he told us that she was a good size to be born, and that preemie babies at this gestation tend to do very well.
I seem to have come down with the flu. I’m disappointed because I had so much work I was supposed to do today and now the thought of reading a textbook and answering question banks seems a little out of my reach for now.
Instead, I thought, maybe I should curl back up in bed and write to you. It’s been a while, and I am sorry for that. This whole year has been such a big beautiful mess. I haven’t much felt like myself a lot of the time. More like – carving a new/old self out of whatever remained after my daughter died.
One thing I have been throughout this year, however – is present. Life forced me to be. I can’t be anywhere else but now. I can’t be any way else but this.
I am pregnant again. I had shared the news of this pregnancy a few weeks ago on instagram, so this may not be new to you.
But it has been 28 weeks of growing a little sister for Mia.