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Friday, July 9, 2010

Two years ago today

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.


mama2lilev said...

I don't have a brillant idea or even a little suggestion. All I can give you today is my support, love and BIG HUG. I will be thinking about you and Jenna.

Ami said...

It's hard to know what to say.

I'm less than coherent today because of the surgery, too.

But I did not want to let the opportunity to acknowledge the loss of your beautiful daughter go past.

Hugs from here, too.

Pam the Realtor said...

Maybe just the fact that you have educated me a little bit about this? I have never heard of it before I read your blog.

Diary of a Social ART-tivist Mommy said...

when a loved one goes I have found it helps to live fuller in their honor. My dear friend of many years died at a very young age and for a while I felt guilty going on, or even smiling....enjoying life.....but now everytime I experience anything beautiful I 'dedicate it' to him.....