Today, however, is different. I have that first day of school pit in my stomach feeling as I get ready. Today I find myself in this beautifully decorated, posh waiting room, wearing shorts, a ragged plain t-shirt, hair up and no make up at all. The poor girl behind the counter is probably thinking...whoa...whatever she is getting done, they sure have their work cut out for them! Today's appointment feels daunting. You see, this is the last of appointments (believe me there were many) where the last time I was here I let them know I was pregnant. My doctor was so excited that not only did she document it in my chart but she scrolled it across the top bar of the computer screen. Now today...when that computer screen pops up, they will ask about the baby. My heart is heavy.
My name is called and I am escorted to the exam room.
The nurse tech checking me in is very sweet. I cringe as she pulls up the computer screen. I wonder after this visit if it will scroll, "dead baby" across the top?
She says nothing. She asks me all of the routine questions, "How much time do you spend in the sun?" "Do you still live at..." "Any medicine changes?" "Any recent surgeries or procedures we need to know about?". My heart gets caught in my throat...I gave birth...my baby died. But I don't think that is what she means. So I reply with a "no." That is it, she is done with her part. Phew. I feel like I dodged a bullet to the heart. Well to be honest, a bullet to the heart would be a blessing, it would be fast, basically painless, and it wouldn't cause agonizing suffering.
Before the tech leaves the room, she spots my hand/footprint necklace. She comes closer to see it and asks proudly, "is that your baby's prints?" I respond proudly back with a "yes".
I love my necklace with her tiny prints, but I can't tell you how few people acknowledge them (except from those who knew I was having them made). This was a welcomed interaction.
I sit in the exam room for 45 minutes, freezing as the paper dress they have me wearing is no match for the room's arctic chill. I flash back to my last appt. I was 8 weeks pregnant. I was so excited to tell my doctor. She kept telling me how I was " just beaming", and having known of our earlier miscarriage, kept telling me that she, "just knew this pregnancy was going to be alright". (Something I will never say to any pregnant woman...because unfortunately no one can ever guarantee that. )
My heart hasn't yet found it's way out of my throat and I feel my eyes beginning to well up. Please don't cry, not yet, not here. This is the last time I have to tell someone that is expecting a joy-filled story, about the heartache that has accompanied it. (though my heart and my head knows this won't be the last time).
I compose myself minutes before my doctor and the nurse come in. As they position me on the exam table...the nurse immediately asks me if my bracelet is a "mother's bracelet". It is my silver and garnet bracelet that says Sofie's sweet name. Again one that has gone seemingly unnoticed even though I have worn it every day. I nervously tell her yes and she says it is beautiful and tells me of the one she has as well. I feel like a normal mom.
The doctor didn't look at the computer screen and doesn't seem to remember my joyous announcement from my last appt....I am more than fine with this. She flips me over onto my back and as she examines my stomach, she notices my "linea nigra". She asks if I have been pregnant recently. I gulp back my heart and tell her that I had a baby in January. She asks when, "the 26th" I reply. She smiles. She notices my necklaces and reads Sofia Isabella's sweet name out loud. She asks if this is our first. I say yes. She says that she has one born in January too, and that Sofia is going to be incredibly independent. If only she knew just how independent. She doesn't need her mama at all. *sigh* There is so little that I can even do for her. The exam is the over. I have made it through....with no tears, well not in the office anyway.
I get to the car and it is a different story, the tears flow freely as my mind processes the morning.
In the background a familiar song comes on the radio that I have heard countless times, but my understanding of the words are so different now:
"Where is the moment we needed the most ?
You kick up the leaves and the magic is lost
You tell me your blue skies fade to grey
You tell me your passion's gone away...
You're faking a smile with the coffee to go
You tell me your life's been way off line
You're falling to pieces everytime...
Because you had a bad day, you're taking one down
You sing a sad song just to turn it around...
Sometimes the system goes on the blink
And the whole thing turns out wrong..."
Isn't that the truth. I am having a low moment in the car...my baby is so independent, she doesn't even need me at all. This is a difficult pill to swallow. As I cross an upcoming street I notice it's blurry name through my tear-filled eyes. Legacy Drive. I replay this morning's events. I dreaded having to share with another person that expected a happy story, that my beautiful baby girl died. Today I didn't have to.
I was able to share Sofie. I shared her perfect little prints, her beautiful name, and her birthday...only. I only shared that she lived. The part the matters the most. Her life is her legacy, not her death. She began inspiring love, hope and faith the moment she entered this life...not because she left it. I begin to feel joy win out over the pain at my revelation. Sofie's life is her legacy! Just as I ask her out loud, "and you aren't done yet are you baby girl?", a beautiful, large yellow and black butterfly flies right across my windshield. Coincidence? Perhaps. Special? Definitely. She isn't done yet...she's got so much more to share. My baby girl may be independent, but just maybe she does need me. She needs me to continue her legacy, to continue to share her life, so that she can continue to spread her love. I promise you, baby girl, your mama's not done yet either. I will always share your story, but more importantly your life, so that you can continue to awaken a sense of love in every heart that learns of you. I love you, sweet pea, to the moon and back, always and forever. ♥♥