Brandon and I have talked a lot about how the 26th of every month is quite a bit harder than the 27th. This month, the 26th and 27th fall on a Wednesday and Thursday, today and tomorrow. And while tomorrow will be hard, thinking back on what happened six months ago from today is a lot harder.
It's weird to explain, but Carter's birthday is a beautiful day for me, despite the sadness that tinged everything. We finally got to meet our sweet boy, see his face, hold him, kiss his little chubby cheeks. We became a family of three that day.
Thinking about our appointment the afternoon before though, that's a different story. I don't know how much detail I went into when I posted his story; those first few weeks were all a blur. The day of our 39 week appointment, I left work and called Brandon to see how close he was, then told him to just go home and that I would pick him up on my way to the appointment. I can't stress enough how important this was on that day. We had never ridden together to an appointment. Ever. But for some reason, it worked out that day that we could, and I'm so grateful we did. We got there, the nurse took my vitals, and then the doctor came in. He asked if I had felt the baby move, and my gut told me to say no. It was mostly true, I thought I had maybe felt some movement, but I kept telling him no. He tried to find a heartbeat, but couldn't, then left for what felt like a million years to wait for the ultrasound to open.
I'll never forget the look on his face. He looked and looked and looked, and waited for there to be something, anything, but his face just dropped and I knew.
I felt like I had cried everything out earlier, when he couldn't find the heartbeat, but somehow my body still had enough fluids to keep crying. I will never forget the feeling of Brandon dropping my hand and holding me, but I remember feeling like he needed me to be the one to hold him. I kept saying "this is not real life, this can't be happening." I kept waiting to wake up, but it was real, and it wasn't going away. We left the office in shock, and called our parents with the most disappointing news I have ever had to share. My mom's reaction is one I won't forget either. I can't think about it without crying. We went home, put away the pack n play, cleaned a few things out of our hospital bag, and headed to the hospital all too calmly.
But from there, our experience turned into something special. Sure, we knew we were about to deliver our son that wouldn't be coming home with us, but we were so well taken care of. The first nurse was strong and sad at the same time, and made sure we were comfortable. We were visited by family, and got to laugh and smile and be hugged. All through the night, I got to experience labor pains. The second nurse and Brandon dealt with angry Caitlin, when the pain got so intense that I could barely take it, and I got to see just how much my husband loves me. Not every man would want to wipe away his wife's sweat with a cold cloth as she's yelling at him. And then, I got to sleep. I got to rest for a bit before doing the hardest thing I will ever have to do in my entire life. And then, I got to deliver him. Now, I'm sure that childbirth is not pretty (I don't know, I didn't watch), but it is the most beautiful thing I have done and will ever do. I pushed for seriously, all of about two minutes, and then they laid our beautiful sleeping boy on my chest. Few things rival the beauty of that moment. In fact, at least in my life, nothing will ever compare to that. And so we spent time with him, and we shared him with our parents. And we were taken care of and protected by a wonderful nurse who has become a dear friend. We had to say goodbye to him, but at least in order to say goodbye, we got to say hello. I wouldn't trade those hours or months with him to not feel this pain. I would take all the pain in the world to have as much of him as I can.
So today, six months after we got the worst news, I will be sad. Today I will cry and remember the things we felt as we sat in the doctor's office that afternoon. But tomorrow will be different. Tomorrow I will cry as I look through pictures of our beautiful boy, and I will remember what a special day October 27th is. And as the 27th of each month passes, I will remember our boy with light, happiness, and just a touch of sadness.