And more coming.
It was a year ago today that I started this blog. I opened the page with trepidation but also out of compulsion; I felt desperate to write my pain and to somehow make my little daughter’s life a public thing, even though I knew I did not want to share these pages with anyone I knew. I didn’t know what I wanted, really. I wanted to share her, but I knew the people who would most understand were not the people I was already trying to share her with. I wanted her to live, somehow, but to my friends and family she was already so very dead. I wanted a space that was for her and I wanted that space to be safe for me. I feel like I have found that space in the last year and I am glad for it.
I spend a lot of time thinking about this time last year and R and I have been talking about how hard it is to recall with clarity much of anything that happened during the first many months following Anja’s death. We functioned, but we functioned in a fog and that fog has settled over our memories of those months. Sometimes lately I miss that fog. In it, I was close to her. I knew exactly how it felt to carry her inside me. I still felt I knew her. Now, she feels like the biggest mystery I will ever encounter. Who was she? Mine, but what else? I will never know. And the bare hard fact of that tortures.
I think about this time last year and I think about this time in my pregnancy with Anja. I am 28 weeks today. Anja died at 29 weeks, 1 day. I had an ultrasound on Monday and because my hospital is a teaching hospital, there was a young resident learning about scanning who was working with me under the observation and instruction of one of the most senior obstetric radiologists. They spent an hour and a half studying this baby and everything looks perfect. I should be reassured, but everything was perfect with Anja, too. The autopsy showed absolutely nothing abnormal. I watched him wiggle and kick and wave and wondered what she’d been doing at 28 weeks. The same things? And what will he be doing this time next week? Will he still be here? On Monday at the ultrasound he was head down, back against my left side. Yesterday at my OB appointment, he’d flipped head up, back to my right. What if he got himself tangled up in the cord when he flipped? I can’t help wondering. What if he is slowly dying right now?
I know that he is most likely fine. I know that statistically what happened to Anja is very rare. But it doesn’t feel rare once it happens to you and when you know so many other people to whom it has also happened, or to whom other terrible things have happened. Babies die in our world, and wanting and wishing and hoping can’t change that.
Still, I rub my tummy while I wait for my tea at the coffee shop and on the weekend I bought just a few more baby items: 3 onesies and a sleeper. So, I am trying. I am doing the best I can.