With Felicity's 2nd birthday just around the corner, I've spent a lot of my time thinking on life two years ago. I'm not so consumed by the sadness anymore obviously and for the most part am grateful for each memory I have that relates to her. Those memories are all I have to feel close to Felicity.
My due date was September 28th, the day my parents returned home from their annual two week vacation. We all thought I'd have the baby while they were gone, though I really wanted my mom to be there for the birth. We tried a natural induction on the 30th of September which involved my midwife stripping my membranes, a castor oil smoothie (ew!), homeopathics, and some other things. Labor seemed to get going and then puttered out.
I remember spending our evenings watching "7th Street Theatre", which I had purchased for our anniversary. Several times while sitting there, I thought my water had started leaking, though it was all in my head. I remember the weather getting cold and only having one long sleeve shirt and one pair of pants to wear. At that point I thought I was going to be pregnant forever. (I was 41 wks and a day when she was born, even though both of my big boys had been born in the 39th week).
I remember taking a walk with my mom the night before Felicity was born. I waddled and groaned with each step. I think I even remembering shedding a few tears, thinking my very pregnant state was going to never end. The plan for the following day was to go with Paul to a midwife appointment and then spend the day together and de-stress by maybe going to a movie or something.
I remember the intensity of labor the following morning. I remember the shock and horror of birthing a purple baby and having her cord easily tear completely in half as the my midwife pulled her from the water of the birthing tub. I remember all the people who descended upon our home when Paul called 911. The cries and pleas we both uttered repeatedly as we were taken to the hospital via ambulance still ring in my ears.
I remember how when they moved Felicity back and forth from our room in the hospital, they covered her up so that no other patients would see her and be scared because she was obviously dead. I remember forcing myself to eat a ham and cheese sandwich for lunch at the hospital, while gasping for breath because of all the crying I'd done.
I remember coming home, but to be honest the days to follow are a blur. I can't remember if I ate regular meals, slept all the time, or sat practically comatose on the couch. I remember my inability to go downstairs where Felicity had been born for the first week or so. I remember googling "stillbirth" and "true knots" and reading everything I could find.
I remember my mom and my aunt laboring to create a bulletin for Felicity's memorial service and me saying that it wasn't really necessary. It turned out amazing and it's one of my favorite things about her service. I remember going to hold and comfort Ethan as he broke down in anguished sobs when we watched the NILMDTS video of our photo session for the first time.
I remember my intense need to be hugged by everyone at the memorial service. The physical contact seemed like the only thing holding me up. I remember Paul carrying Felicity's casket at the end of the memorial service out to the cemetery.
I remember all these things and many more. They are not easy memories, but I cling to them because they are all I have.
Despite not having Felicity here, I am looking forward to her birthday. Paul gave me the greatest gift a few weeks ago by announcing he's taking the day off so we can be together as a family. Knowing that has given me the strength to do some planning. I look forward to sharing Felicity's day with you soon!
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