From reading other blogs, I know there are a number of women struggling through this month. Women whose babies were born this month, or died this month, were born and died this month, or died and then were born this month. None of these situations apply to me, but I am struggling too with the thought of August.
It was in August 2010 that R and I first started trying for a second baby. For several months, we had been planning to start trying in September, because for a variety of reasons it was more practical for us to have a baby no earlier than July 2011. But we couldn’t wait and we felt reckless and daring and thrilled to be starting again.
Two years ago. Two years since we set out, hopeful and oblivious, to add to our family, to give E a sibling and ourselves another baby to love. Two years, during which my focus has been almost unremittingly set on the state of my uterus, on conceiving and gestating and babies, babies, babies. Two long years of waiting and wanting and losing and hoping and losing some more and grieving, grieving, grieving.
August 20, 2011 was the due date for the first pregnancy we lost. Both R and I were sure that baby was going to be a boy. I still think sometimes of the image I had of our son, white-blond hair like my brother had as a baby, like R had, too, and blue eyes, fat and drooling and laughing at his sister, swinging back and forth beside her at the playground.
And then there is the sense I’ve always had in August that we’ve turned a corner toward the end of the year. The start of school, Thanksgiving, Halloween, Christmas: it all comes barreling at you and then suddenly another year is gone. And this year feels already like a lost year. The year my daughter was three will be just a blur, a smear, really, washed out by grief and exhaustion. I regret this already, deeply, sometimes, I think, almost as much as I regret Anja’s death.
August. She would have been four months old if she’d been born at the right time and alive. A chubby thing, working on rolling over, grabbing at toys, smiling and laughing. I can’t imagine it, really, because in my head all I see are her red, red lips and her swollen eyelids shut tightly, her tiny still chest. She was unquestionably, unavoidably dead and since the night I learned it was so, I’ve never been able to picture her any other way. Still, she was beautiful. She was loved. Is loved. In August and always.
Love to all who are struggling with August. With always.