Today is my due date. The first baby, who might have lived if I didn't have APS.
When we first lost her (and because I can't know for fact, I imagine that she was a girl), I comforted myself with the thought that she wasn't meant to live. "It's usually a genetic defect," intoned the midwife, the obstetrics resident, the nurse. Funny, then, to learn that only half of all miscarriages, maybe sixty percent, are caused by defects. Is it really more efficient to assume that it's just nature's spell-check at work until the miscarriages pile up? For whom?
This was the baby I saw on the ultrasound, the one whose due date inspired real plans. My parents are here now because last July they scheduled a trip to come meet their grandchild. They decided to visit anyway. I needed it.
This is the baby who would have been ruling my days all this time, the one conceived on Adam's birthday. Whose flickering heart reassured me, until I was told otherwise, that she was fine, everything was fine, I was a worrier. The one whose remains were tossed with the day's medical waste. I wanted it done, over, to put the setback behind me. I wish I could bury her. Why shouldn't she have a place in the world?
There is the comforting borrowed Buddhist notion of souls alighting and departing. Did she only need those nine weeks two days to achieve...completion? Was she meant for this brief stay?
And then there's the thought that she wasn't meant for anything. She could have lived, but I have a disease and she died. Or maybe I would have miscarried anyway. Maybe it was genetic.
Some say that she was an embryo, not a person. I don't even know if she was a she. A potential. Isn't this the assumed view? It feels like unearned credit to call her a baby. Maybe we just don't have the words for this in-between life.
There are things I didn't know at the time. I wish I had, but I didn't. She should have been growing inside me all this time. But she died. She has become more real to us in the months since we lost her than she was during the brief time we had her. I am her mother. She was from us.