Monday, June 17, 2013

What Dreams May Come

I have only ever once seen Allie in my dreams.  It was not too long after she died and I do not remember much of it except that she was a toddler and in a high chair and I could not get to her.  I can't remember if I was trying to feed her or pick her up, but I know I was just so taken aback that we were in the same room together, in a kitchen that I can still picture but know I have never been to in reality.  It was unsettling, but also kind of nice to know that when I was asleep, my daughter was somehow still in my brain and in my heart.

Last night I had a different kind of dream.  For the second night in 11 weeks, Miranda gave us 10 hours of sweet blissful sleep. It was probably the first chance I have even had to dream!

I was in a laboratory of sorts and there were cases (like soda machines) of jars and containers.  I knew it was a lab but yet it had a personal feel.  The room was painted in browns and creams and it felt very comfortable.  I stood there and looked up and saw this sign about one of the cases: Al-Leigh.  I have never spelled Allie's name like that and yet I knew it was her case.  I also knew that whomever was in charge did not know us that well or else they would not have made that mistake.

The rest of the dream is a blur.  In it, I was told by someone (no idea how) that they knew what had happened to Allie.  And that because of this knowledge, it would not happen again.  Her death would not be in vain.  I remember feeling a calm - not a sadness in her absence, but a calm that no other mother or father would have to know what that absence really feels like.  

When I woke up, I knew right away that it was a dream.  I glanced over the baby monitor and saw that Miranda was still sleeping.  Having her own dreams, perhaps.

The pain of Allie's death is still with me and it always will be.  But it is no longer the current that flows along side of my every day.  It seems, though, that it may be the current that flows beneath the surface, even when I cannot feel it.

In the past month, Gary and I have freely and happily celebrated Mother's and Father's Day.   We had been celebrating since 2011 as there was no denying that we were parents, but this year, we were able to really feel good about celebrating.  I guess though, and the end of the day, my mind still wants to know why.  Even with Miranda in our lives, even with the chaos and frenzy and joy and light that parenting her bring, my mind still clings to the past.  To what was.  Not what is. 

The dream has haunted me all day.  As I fed Miranda.  As we went to visit a family friend who has known me since I went to her nursery school when I was 3 years old.  As I had lunch with Miranda and my mom.  As I did laundry.  As I prepared dinner.  (Ok, heated up leftovers from yesterday!).  What sticks with me now, at the end of the day, is how sad I am that the dream was not a reality.  We will most likely never know why babies are born still.  We will most likely never understand the randomness of it.  My hope is, though, that someday we can prevent stillbirth.  That's a dream I would not mind having.  I will not give up hope that my new dream can indeed come true.

I still believe more than ever that Allie was the daughter I was meant to carry and that Miranda is the daughter I was meant to raise...and yet every once in a while, in the darkness and the still of the night, I guess I wonder what it would be like if I had them both here.  I guess I need to just search in my heart and know that in many ways, I actually do.

Miranda "Hope" being cuddled by Ann, the same loving woman that used to hold me as a little girl.

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