Anniversary Days

Lucy would have been three months old today. What are three month old babies usually doing? I don’t think Lucy would have been doing the things a term baby would be doing at three months. She’d still be in the NICU now. We’d still be in Bakersfield, pumping and washing and driving back and forth across town to see our little girl. Now I always just feel like I’m waiting for something – waiting to be told I can go back and see her again. I’d do almost anything to see my happy, brave, sweet baby again.

I think days like this are always going to be hard. There’s her birthday, March 28th, the day she died, May 21st, and my original due date, July 24th. But then there are the 21st and the 28th of every month, and there are Wednesdays (when I think “she would be x weeks old today”), and there are Mondays, the day she died. I’m hoping over time those smaller anniversary days will stop being so difficult, because it’s hard to live life when every Monday, Wednesday, 21st, and 28th are especially painful. Today, though, is too early to think about that. Today was really hard.

For the first week or so after Lucy was born, I would feel phantom kicks. They’d make me happy for a second before I remembered that there was no baby there to kick. After a while, I didn’t worry about that so much because I had Lucy to worry about, and she made me so happy. Now there are different phantoms: the tiny sounds she made when she was trying to make happy sounds while we cuddled, the hum of the machinery keeping her alive, and – above all – the alarms beeping from her monitors. That sound haunts my dreams still, and I don’t know when it will stop. I hated it, hated it so much then, but now I miss it because it meant she was alive and I still had to worry about her.

We’re slowly moving forward. Things are strained, but we’re making plans. I’m finding it helpful to try to plan a course of action to ensure that what happened with Lucy never happens again. I’ll post more about that later when I figure out what I’m going to do, but it looks like there is at least one good option for us. That makes me feel a little hopeful, but also makes me so mad. Lucy was perfectly healthy, and she didn’t have to die. If I’d known about this procedure, or known that I might need it, I’d be looking forward to another happier anniversary day – Lucy’s birthday, in about three weeks.