This time last year I was newly pregnant and I didn’t even know it yet. I got my positive test December 11, 2011. I never thought I’d be trying to get pregnant again one year later. Lately, I find myself reliving my pregnancy with Hannah. I wake up in the morning, use the restroom and remember getting my positive pregnancy test. I fix myself a cup of coffee and remember the debilitating nausea and vomiting of hyperemesis gravidarum. I get Derek dressed for the day and I remember buying all of Hannah’s clothes and receiving blankets. I fix dinner and remember sitting at the kitchen table telling Danny I hadn’t felt Hannah move for a few hours. Every hour of every day there’s something that reminds me of my pregnancy, and even though I cherish the memories I had with her – like how hard she kicked when Derek laid across my stomach – most of the time all it really does is remind me of what I don’t have.
The week before Hannah died we went to San Diego on vacation. Our hotel was right on the beach, so we slept with the balcony door open. Derek woke up to the sound of the waves crashing outside our window. I took him out on the balcony and saw the wide-eyed wonder of an innocent two year old taking in the world in front of him. He was in awe of the ocean and I was in awe of him. I was getting so excited to see him interact with Hannah. To see the wonder in his eyes as he tried to understand his baby sister. Instead, I watched as he laid a pink rose on Hannah’s casket.
Sometimes I swear if we just went back to the beach, we would find her there waiting for us. I had a dream of her and she was about three years old, twirling and dancing on the beach. There was no one there but us. I could hear her laughing and I felt overwhelmed by the love I had for her. Recently I had a dream that I was holding her. She was about three months old – the age she would be if she had been born around her due date. I looked into her beautiful eyes, tried to memorize every detail of her face, indulged in how wonderful it felt to have her in my arms. I woke up incredibly sad, but grateful. I’ve created memories in my dreams and I cling to them because it’s the only way I’ll get to know her in this lifetime.
And I really have to be ok with that for now. It’s the only way I can make peace with has happened and move on in our journey. She is forever a part of our lives, and even though my days are permeated with memories and sadness, I’m still happy to have been the heartbeat and voice she heard every day.