I’ve been dreaming up nursery ideas for the spare bedroom. Pink and grey for another girl, turquoise yellow and grey for a boy.

We already have the grey paint, you see.

And I have lists of possible names. It’s a longer list for girls, with two at the top I can’t quite decide between.

I’ve been fantasizing about getting a do-over; embracing pregnancy and a newborn knowing that it would be my last such experience. I would savor every minute of it – the difficult and the incredible.

Charlotte would have someone by her side for the rest of her life. They would share a family and a childhood and a special bond that only they fully understood.

My life would finally be able to move forward. I could stop waiting for the last member of our family to come along and complete us.  Unbeknownst to us, our family was likely complete with the arrival of Charlotte. She was likely my only pregnancy and birth experience. My only tiny newborn. My only toddler. My only child.

I used to tease that Charlotte was a miracle baby, and it turns out there was more truth in that than I ever would have imagined.

I’m stunned by all of it, but especially the depth of my heartache. Waves of grief hit me at unexpected moments and I feel like I’m going to crumble.

As my sister-in-law says, we’re not out of the game just yet. But it’s the two minute warning and my defense is on the field and someone just snapped the ball to Peyton Manning.


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