A year ago today Emily was born, though we didn’t know about her until the next day and didn’t take her home until her 10th day. Still...this date weighs heavily. I know it’s not about me at all - it’s about her first breaths of oxygen and her mother’s experience with pregnancy and labor and all the rest.
But it was almost us, celebrating her first year of life with close friends and messy cake and probably tears of overwhelm. Almost us, with every milestone and memory and smile between last July 2nd now. Almost us.
Not one single day has passed since we said goodbye that I have not thought of her. Many in which I’ve looked at her pictures or watched the few videos we have - probably too many times. We have so many more pictures of her than of Anna, so many more moments... I love that and I hate that. Love that we had the time to discover ourselves as parents, to learn and worry and revel in her. Hate that our best parenting memories are of someone who isn’t and never legally got to be our daughter. I hate that the only “real parenting” we’ve gotten to do is for someone who was never really ours and in the end, just a silky dream that someone else gets to play out.
It kind of runs in the same vein as the ‘feeling guilty for giving the living child all the love and attention and memories that we can’t give Anna’. Like we’re cheating Anna and leaving her in the dust in favor of this breathing, moving child (for when we had Anna, for what we’ll hopefully have with Hilamina). I KNOW it’s Reality and I KNOW there’s no other way and I KNOW... I know. But it still feels inherently wrong.
My favorite baby memories are of Emily, my heart is broken for not having either of them, I’m angry that Anna gets the very shortest end of the stick.
Anyway... thinking of you especially today, Emily.