I was days away from being full term with Sneaky. I’d been going through prodromal labour with him for weeks. And I was miserable! I went to L & D nearly every day, thinking labour had finally started. I was contracting around the clock. With zero effectiveness. And I had this friend, Annie, who was expecting the same day I was. We shared due dates. And she was expecting a little girl she was naming Valentina. She was going through this prodromal labour stuff too. Over the course of our pregnancy, we’d become great friends. We shared the same dreams for our babies-to-be. We talked about the food we were craving. The frustration over our prodromal labouring. And we even arranged a marriage between our children. It was to be the first internet arranged marriage while in utero.
On the 25th, we both were sure our waters had broken. We both visited L & D. I remember penning an extremely angry rant about how it wasn’t my waters after all, but the woman next to me was only 37 weeks along and hers had broken. She was finally meeting her baby. I was so impatient. And so was my sweet friend. Her waters hadn’t broken either. I wrote her a message shortly after they unstrapped the monitors and sent me home. She informed me she was going to binge on sweets to console herself, and I replied that I was buying a bag of chips I was going to go at solo to do much of the same.
And in the morning, I received her terrible reply that’s haunted me ever since. Her baby had passed away. I just couldn’t believe it. That was one of those chapters you intentionally skip over in the baby book. Or don’t even see, because it just seems like it can never happen – it’s too improbable, too unbelievable that this day in age babies die in utero – and often for no explained reason at all. I’ve never cried so hard over anything (well, except maybe when my father died). But I cried so hard for this woman I didn’t even know in real life. Cuz see, she lived in Austin, and I was in Toronto. I couldn’t attend the funeral, but I sent flowers, and a bear, and swear I just sat there for days wishing I could do something MORE. Anything, to make this NOT be her reality. And it took a really, really long time to stop asking unanswerable questions like how it could happen to HER. Someone SO deserving. Whilst I, and a lot of our other fellow due date month-ers, went on to have babies who grew, who cried, who embarked into the terrible twos. Like mine. Sneaky, who was born exactly 2 weeks later. It just never makes sense.
Two years ago, is the day Annie had to hear those terrible words NO ONE ever should have to hear. She asked for everyone to do something in remembrance for her sweet first born daughter, and this was what I did. This January, on the 2nd anniversary of my father’s death, she welcomed her rainbow baby, Samantha, into the world. Screaming.
Baby V is in her eyes. I love this little girl, just as much as I loved her big sister. Thinking of you, Annie, and your beautiful Valentina – today and every day. ❤