My last happy day was December 6th, 2012. It was a Friday. I had bought a new car, and had a lovely little belly to show off. I had baked oatmeal cookies for my secret Santa at work and taken photos with my family for my grandma’s church directory. We still have those photos, the poses in which I didn’t think I looked too “fat”. I was convinced I didn’t look pregnant enough yet from some angles to seem anything but overweight. I am smiling innocently in those photos. I am tired, but I am happy.
Two years ago today I was being dragged toward a cliff’s edge and I was unable to stop it. They said it might be ok, my cervix might thicken up. But at 10:30pm I went into labor. We were watching the Late Show, or something. The pain was so regular. I sat in the passenger seat of my new car, ramrod straight, timing the contractions, my head full of white static, my fists gripped tightly around whatever they could find. I was about to lose everything I wanted, I was about to die in so many ways. But I couldn’t stop it. No one could stop it.
I never thought that I would be happy again, and I guess it’s true that I will never be happy in the same way again. Now I live in a world where babies are given and taken away. Where tragedy happens not just to my patients, or on the news, but to me. It’s a different world, a scarier world, and a more precious world, too. Two years later I no longer think of the daughter whose hand I would have been holding, whose diaper I would have been changing, whose hair I would be brushing. She has truly left me now, said her first goodbye when M was placed in my arms and her last goodbye when the adoption order was signed.
The ashes are still there, on my book shelf. The grave site is just a place. I still can’t quite bring myself to part with the last remnants of my only biological child, the only human being I ever created by myself. I still flinch when I see pregnant women or witness a happy birth scene on TV.
I wouldn’t change my life now for anything, even to get her back, but gosh, it still hurts.