I wonder what’s going on lately, if it’s just the result of relentless anxiety and frustration about this future with a family we have such tremendous desire for but no control over whatsoever, or if it’s a factor of that second year. The second year being harder in ways than the first because ‘you’ve gotten through all the firsts’ and the expectation is that those will always be the most difficult to live through. I don’t know, but I find depression and my ache for her coming around more frequently again. Like cycling through a washing machine...you can go around and around but the scenery never changes. Staying awake thinking about that night again, those days in the hospital afterwards, coming home without her - realizing anew that THIS HAPPENED and she really isn’t here. There is no do-over. No time frame where you’ve paid your dues to hell and get your child, your life back. We will not get to have this little girl made of him and me.
With animalistic ferocity I want to go back and hold her. The other day on the way home from work I was stopped at a train and made the mistake of looking at some of her pictures on my iPhone. The one that stopped me this time was the one above. I love toddler Flintstone feet. They are made for kissing while you’re changing their diaper and bonding and making stupid high-pitched chatter designed to elicit smiles and coos. What hit me again in looking at her little toes and wrinkly soles is that...she was perfect. She was perfect. Little pads of her toes, their flawless arch. She had every teensy bone, every organ, every everything you could ever want expect or hope for in a newborn. We know. The autopsy said so.
If we don’t get to raise her, I just want to hold her again. Inspect her. Feel her weight on my skin. Take her in in 3-D. Imagine how her face would change if she opened her eyes. Hold her little bottom in the palm of my hand. I want to wrap my hand around that tiny foot, kiss it, hold it to my cheek and know that I don’t have to say good-bye until I’m good and ready. I want to feel her hair on my chin.
The pictures we have prove she was real. Oh, but it’s such a mind game to go there. On one hand it almost feels like none of it ever happened. It’s easy enough to forget something that isn’t present in your every day. You have to look for it. Her room, my scar. Those people that were there have to take themselves back to the hospital and say “I. saw. her.” Really remembering that we held her and she was real and she’s not here now...it’s still disorienting. Confusing. You want to remember what she felt like, everything about her, and yet that very thing also makes you want to implode. That we actually came to a point where we asked a stranger to come and take her away speaks only to how discolored she was becoming. To the idea that soon our mental vision of her would be not beautiful, but disturbing. Most people can’t see a dead baby at all. But she was our girl. A bit of pallor or purpled skin could not mar her tiny perfection. But it doesn’t stay ‘a bit’ forever. I wish I were a time traveler. I wish I could be a crazy girl who lives in her own time bubble and just stays in a room with her husband and holds her daughter forever, perfectly content. Instead of just a crazy girl.