Today we wake up in the morning as we always do, with kisses and cuddles and milk and giggles. But this morning is different, because today is your first birthday. You are ONE.
It is a quiet Monday morning, snow has fallen over night and has settled softly around our home, a pale white light leaks through the windows and spills onto us. Your warm body laying on my chest. I am home to you. And you are home to me now too. I remind you that your father is at work now but that he kissed your forehead and whispered “Happy birthday my 1 year old girl” into your ear while you slept, right before he left in the morning. We listen to your birthday song – forever young by Bob Dylan. You are still sleepy so you lay quietly on me while I pour all my love onto you as you get ready to greet the day. To greet your day. This is your day. Every day is.
My daughter turned 6 months two days ago. 6 months of her. My life feels almost unrecognizable now. Everything is new – for the both of us. I felt this was a good time to reflect on the days following her birth – a precious time of my life that was equally chaotic as it was sacred – imprinted into the fabric of my soul forever more.
When I was pregnant with Reya, I attended the high risk maternity clinic every 1-2 weeks. During one of these appointments, as I walked down the hallway, I saw that the door to one of the examination rooms was open. Inside, there was a couple; the woman was sobbing into her hands, her husband’s eyes were dark and wet, and he was holding her.
I felt that woman’s pain that day, and I will always feel her pain. Because I was her, not too long ago. And I am coming to realize that no matter how much time passes, I will never be too far from that pain. The pain of losing your child.
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.