That night I don’t think I slept at all. I remember watching the minutes tick by. I remember staring at my belly. I remember her feet poking out at me. I laid there rubbing my belly the only thing that was keeping her alive for a few more moments. I wanted to freeze time. I finally gave up on sleep and went outside to call my mom. I remember telling her it wasn’t fair, I’m supposed to have crapy teenage years with two girls, I’m supposed to have three cars and crazy Christmases. My baby isn’t supposed to die. I shouldn’t be deciding if my baby should be in the ground or on my mother fucking shelf. It’s not fair. The tears would hit and I thought they’d never stop. Last night I wanted to feel something other then numbness today I wanted the numbness back.
I couldn’t eat,I couldn’t sleep,I couldn’t do anything. And the worst wasn’t even there yet. The calls kept coming the texts kept coming, hey how’d the doctor go. She is going to die I’d say and that was it. But we still had two people to tell she was going to die.
How do you tell your kids that their baby sister is going to die? I didn’t know then and even now I still don’t know. Somehow we managed. Somehow we got it out. It was one of the hardest things I have ever done. We were at my parents house sitting outside by the pond. I don’t even remember what we said. Rylee cried and Emmett got so mad. I do remember we told them she was going to be with papa. That she would always be in our hearts. Rylee wanted to know why they couldn’t fix it. They fixed uncle Eddie’s heart when he got sick. Why couldn’t they fix her. Emmett wanted her home. He was so mad saying over and over no I don’t want Annaleigh to die. Me either my sweet boy. Me either.
The day passed in a blur. We left the house, we went shopping just to stay busy. It seemed like babies were everywhere. Leaving the house was a bad idea. Back we went. More phone calls we had to tell Eric’s mom. She lived out of state at the time. No one wanted to believe it. How could you, how could anyone believe it.
What are we going to do with her? Do we bury her? Do we have her cremated? How do we decide? We have different feelings on burial. But we both said I can’t put her in the ground. I can’t leave her out in the cold. If I can’t have her here with me I at least need her body home. I need to carry her up the stairs and I have to show her her room. So that is that, it’s settled she will be cremated. She will be born soon and she will be cremated.
I hate this.
I hate this.
Wednesday came today we see the doctor. Today we plan our daughter’s birth and death.
I can’t go in there. I just can’t. I have no choice I have to. We sit there in the car for an eternity. I finally get the balls to open the door and make some lame movie quote that I completely butcher and we laugh. We laugh but inside we are all dying. We get out and go up the elevator. I step out and standing there is a dad with his brand new baby. I froze. Nope can’t do it. I’m leaving and no one can stop me.
I wish. But running away won’t change it. She will still die no matter how far I run. Eric and my mom hold me and we make it to the office. I sit with my head down and cry. We don’t look at anyone. God please get this over with soon. I can’t take it much longer.
They luckily take us back quickly. I still have to pee in a cup which I think is pointless. Then I hear it. I’m at an ob office I should have expected it but I didn’t. Thunk thunk thunk galloping like a horse, a healthy baby safe inside its mommy right across the hall. I come out and they are hearing it to. In front of us is a wall full of the babies that have been born here. Oh God it hurts. Weight, blood pressure, what is the fucking point. She is dying and inside I am too.
We get to the room I never want to go to that room again. We go over options with my favorite midwife. Thank God for her. We don’t want to wait. We want her born as soon as possible.
Tomorrow. Ok tomorrow. She will be here tomorrow. The doctor comes in and goes over everything. I know the drill it will be my third one. Is there anything I need any questions. Only one I need Blair to be there. I can’t get through this with out her. Of course she says, she would love to be there.
I want to have one more ultrasound I want to see her one more time. The kids want to see her one more time. So we schedule one for in the morning. Then we all three walk out in tears.
We have to eat. And we have to pack. What do you pack for a baby that is going to die. A baby that is this premature. 26 weeks but measuring so much smaller. She obviously won’t need her clothes they are way too big. Her hats are to big. I have to make her one. Footprints I need them and hand prints I need the molds. God how do I buy this stuff?
Thank God for best friends. She went and bought my molds, and paints for my belly. Now all that we had to do was pick out her blankets. That means going in her room. Fuck.
In and out pick the blankets and get out. No we stood in there just staring. How, how on earth was this happening. I lost it. I threw things and screamed and cried. Eric finally pulled me out and went back in. It was my turn to be the strong one, it was my turn to pull him out. It was just us the kids were at my parents. We just say on the couch and cried. It was late and we had to get going. We managed to finish packing and left the house with her for the last time.
Her hat I had to make her hat. How small should it be. I figured a coke bottle would be small enough surely it would work. So we sat up watching raunchy comedy and I knit her hat. It was normal but so not normal. How we managed to sleep that night I still don’t know. All I know is morning came to soon.