A Constructed Life

To the child I never met

Dear Baby,

You would’ve been our third child. You were not planned, your occurrence happened accidentally, despite our diligent use of birth control. And for that reason, you seemed like a message from the universe, telling us our family was not done. It was meant to grow more.

I’ll be honest and say I had a hard time wrapping my head around your existence and saw many challenges with your arrival. We’d need a bigger car. How would we all fit in this little house? Would we ever get a babysitter again? How would I find more of myself to give when I already felt tapped out? There were only a handful of moments when I let myself feel a tingle of happiness over your existence, when a memory from my earlier experiences of motherhood would return and I’d realize I’d get to experience those things again. I started trying to find a name for you almost immediately. I wanted to find the perfect combination of adorable and underused, something that started with the letter B, to complete the alphabetic trio of Adeline and Crosby. Your birthday was meant to fall right in between theirs – September – and your name would’ve followed suit. It all seemed like the perfect fit. Your due date was your daddy’s birthday.

I am sorry you didn’t make it. I am sorry that I never met you. I am sorry that your life was only 7 or so weeks long. I want you to know that even though you weren’t planned, I still loved you. But I think somehow I knew you weren’t going to make it. I hesitated to think about you or to plan for you or to talk about you. And about 10 days before we learned you had died, I told your dad that I didn’t feel pregnant anymore. And shortly after that I began bleeding, which ended in an ultrasound showing your little undeveloped body. I knew instantly that you didn’t make it. I knew what a 12-week-old in utero should look like and you were just so small. I could barely make out the beginnings of your limbs.

And what I learned was that I wanted you, I was just too shell-shocked by your existence to know it until I learned that you no longer existed.

In my heart, I always felt that you were a girl. I had a dream early on about you and I awoke thinking I had felt you kicking. Three solid kicks. I can still almost feel them. I knew it couldn’t be real since you were far too small, but I am so grateful for that dream. To at least have had the sensation of you moving.

I will always wonder about you, about what would have happened if you had been allowed to live – how our lives would’ve changed, how Addy and Crosby would’ve reacted to another sibling. It is hard to let the idea of you go. Cause even while I felt overwhelmed by having another child and caring for and adapting to a third, I did start getting used to the idea of you joining us. And I knew at the moment of your arrival everything would’ve clicked into place. The universe’s grand plan would’ve made sense and we would’ve rearranged our worlds to fit you. And the love – we would’ve loved you so much. And I feel so sad that I don’t get to. I’m so sorry.

A miscarriage is a horrible thing to experience. But it makes me that much more grateful for the two healthy children I already have – that my body was able to have children at all.

So now we will begin the process of trying to get back to a place I thought I never wanted to leave – being a family of four instead of a burgeoning family of five. I will never forget about you and will always consider you one of my children. I just wish our story would’ve ended differently. Maybe in another universe it does. Maybe you get to grow into a strong, healthy baby and we get to take you home and build a life with you. Maybe in another universe there is a photo album of you filled with your pictures and milestones. Maybe in another universe I get to kiss you and tell you to your face that I love you. I like those plans for you and will chose to believe that somewhere out there, you do exist.

I love you and will forever miss not having the opportunity to know you.

Love,

Your Mama

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