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Friday, June 12, 2009

10 months today

It was 10 months ago today that Jenna was born. She weighed 4.4 ounces and was six inches long.

I looked on a chart that gives estimates for the weight and length of a baby at certain gestational ages, and this new baby should be around 4.5 inches long and 3.53ounces. Another week and s/he will be bigger than Jenna every got to be.

Of course, this baby will do all kinds of things Jenna never got to do or did, and that really bothers me. Today, I bought another pack of diapers (thought about doing cloth but have decided it's really not for me) and some baby bottles, just in case. It made me sad to think about, because the only thing we had bought for Jenna was a pack and play.

Today, I was on the way to the store to pick up a few things, and a song came on the radio. It was that song by Tim McGraw "Live Like You Were Dying," and these lyrics just made me tear up:

"And a moment came that stopped me on a dime.
I spent most of the next days, lookin' at the x-rays,
Talkin' 'bout the options and talkin' 'bout sweet time.
Asked him when it sank in, that this might really be the real end.
How's it hit ya, when you get that kind of news.
Man what ya do."

So, some of it doesn't fit. We didn't look at x-rays, just ultrasound pictures. But, getting the results was a moment that stopped me on a dime, and we spent nearly two weeks talking about options and time and what we needed to do. I realize the song is talking about a terminal diagnosis for the person himself, but this was a terminal diagnosis for our child.

It seems like so many things are bringing the memories back up these days: songs, dates, the fact I'm about to be 16 weeks which is when the nightmare all began with Jenna. Monday, we are leaving for our vacation. It will be our first trip away (besides Brian's parents' house) since we lost Jenna. It will be our first time in a hotel since that disastrous trip to Atlanta. I'm afraid of the memories it will trigger. Sometimes, I feel like I might have post-traumatic stress disorder, but the truth is, I do believe it's all normal.

Today also made me think about how I've changed in the last 10 months. A year ago at this time, I would have died before giving a speech before 10 people, let alone the 100 or more that were at the hearing I went to. Even though I was passionate about politics, I wasn't passionate enough about any issue to write to our representatives, and I wrote many, many letters this past year. I've learned to stand up for myself and tell others my opinion, even if it is different than what they believe in. I'm more compassionate, reaching out to those who are facing a poor prenatal diagnosis and don't know what to do.

Sometimes, I wonder whether all the pain has been worth it. If I could change it, would I go back and never gotten pregnant at all that time? I'll be honest. I wish Jenna could have been healthy and be here with us and I'd never been touched by Trisomy 18, but I'm proud of the changes I've made in my life, proud of who I am today, and I know it wouldn't have happened without me losing her.

So, I'm glad I had her in my life, even for just the short time she was here. As the Garth Brooks song says, "I could have missed the pain, but I'd had to miss...the dance," and as sad as it makes me, I'm glad Jenna had the chance to dance in my belly for nearly 21 weeks.


JenJen said...

You deserve this trip away with your family, and I hope you are able to relish the time away.

None of us are the same women that we were before our babies died. We have felt the pain and anguish that no mother should ever feel.

Reese said...

Thinking of you---