When I think back to the last day I was truly happy without a tinge of sadness or without a bittersweet feeling, my mind drifts to Fourth of July weekend 2008. We went to my aunt's house for a cookout. We shot fireworks. I was looking forward to my doctor's appointment on the following Monday because I knew we would set up my big ultrasound to find out what I was carrying. I was 16 weeks.
Dr. McGowen asked me at that appointment if we wanted to do the AFP test. I wanted to do it, mainly thinking of Down Syndrome and Spina Bifida. I did it because I wanted to be prepared if I was going to have a baby with one of those disorders. I didn't even really think about Trisomy 18. I wasn't going to have a baby with a fatal disorder. That kind of thing hadn't happened in my family in years. Our babies had almost always been healthy.
Two days later, July 9, I received a call at work about my AFP results. A one in 10 chance of Trisomy 18, she said, and started to reassure me about false positives. I just remember saying, "That's the one that's incompatible with life, right?"
Everyone tried to reassure me about the odds. A 90 percent chance she didn't have it, they said, but I knew deep down she did, especially after we went to the level ultrasound the next day.
Today starts a bad time of the year for me. Last year, I went into a funk that started July 9 and lasted about two months. I don't want that to happen again this year. I read on another deadbabymomma's (our name for ourselves for my blogger friends who don't know) blog about not just grieving their deaths but also celebrating their lives. I really want to do that with Jenna.
She lived, even if it was for just a short period of time. She changed my life. She changed my focus and made me see what life is really about. Her life pushed me to change mine. I am back in school, pursuing an old goal because she existed. I don't avoid people who have experienced a loss of a child, even though I used to. Now, I offer my support. Her life did all of that for me.
So, I am trying to think of small ways to celebrate her life between now and Aug. 12, with some kind of bigger celebration that day. I want something people all over the world can participate in because her story touched so many people all over the world. She was so small, yet she touched so many. I am open to ideas if anyone has any.
Living Room with Fireplace Design Ideas
2 years ago