Today was her due date.
I wasn't sure how I would feel this morning. Would I be sad? Angry? Would things be surprisingly, and disappointedly, normal? I was braced for a range of possibilities, but I didn't expect relief. Bittersweet relief.
On March 15, I walked into the hospital pregnant and walked out without a baby. So many of you held us up while we grieved. And even though the pregnancy physically ended that day, my heart and my mind stayed with her. For 30 weeks, I was aware of the developments that would have progressed had things not ended so soon. I saw my friends whose pregnancies continued and I watched their bellies grow - and have now watched their babies be born. While I've spent the last five months pregnant with this one, my heart has covered two pregnancies with one breath - one that is physical and one that was emotional. Maybe that's why the whole experience has been painfully fragmented. Those mama emotions were so fully wrapped up in mentally seeing her pregnancy through, I couldn't move into a place of connecting here, both in the womb and in my heart.
As a doula, I have the honor of attending births. I stand beside women and hold their hands as their babies move out of their bodies and into the world. That home that gently protected and grew those children for so many weeks will eventually return to its starting point....or somewhere near there...ready to do its work again.
The life of each of my kids started in this belly of mine. And though our October baby moved out seven months ago, my heart needed more time with her.
I needed to carry her to today.
Today is her birth and I'm ready to let her be born. I'm ready to let go and to make room for the one coming soon - and oh my goodness, it is crazy just how soon that actually is.
So we bought a box. The cards, the hospital bracelets, the sonogram pictures, the letters we wrote her - it all goes in the box, our place for remembering and celebrating.
We celebrate because she lived and we are confident that this means something for eternity. We celebrate because her life, and the exact number of days it held, means that this one can roll around today and kick me in the side. That's a gift we will only appreciate even more in the future.
This one has waited for me and now it's our time - time to get excited and more deeply invested, time to plan and prepare and dream big. Monday morning we'll be taking a peak at the family jewels - or lack thereof!
Thank you to everyone who remembers and celebrates with us today. Her 'birth' is bittersweet and I have many tears to go, but we rest in the peace of such a good God, who loves us deeply and understands this grief more than we ever will.
"Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you." (Psalm 143:8)