4 years. Gary and I have been married for 4 years. 1460 days. That just does not seem like that much to me. Until I think about all we have been through.
I remember downloading an ovulation chart from the Internet and mapping out the best days to conceive. I remember being nervous and excited all at the same time.
I remember the first month of trying and getting a negative test and being so sad.
I remember the second month of trying and just knowing it worked. I remember smiling and even feeling smug because I knew I was going to be a mom.
I remember the first doctor's appointment. At 10 weeks, there was nothing to really do. They could not hear or see anything. Blood work confirmed what we already knew.
I remember bleeding and rushing to the hospital only to find out that it was normal. Well, not abnormal anyway. They did an internal ultrasound and that was the first time we "saw" our baby.
I remember the 3D ultrasound where we found our our baby was a girl. I remember the feeling of the soaring above the clouds. A girl!!!
I remember the other ultrasounds where we would see the progress the baby was making and was told everything was right on track.
I remember telling our family and friends.
I remember each fruit and vegetable our baby was each week (thank you babycenter.com)
I remember Gary painting the nursery.
I remember creating the baby registry and totally freaking out that I was in over my head.
I remember sleepless nights and heartburn.
I remember coming up with the name Allison Paige.
I remember my baby shower at work.
I remember my baby shower at home.
I remember Gary's baby shower at work.
I remember being ready for the baby to get here already.
I remember that when she finally did, it was the saddest and happiest day of our lives at the same time. Sad because our daughter never got to live outside of my body and happy because we still got to hold her and kiss her and love her.
We mourned our loss. We celebrated our child. We were torn apart from the inside but held on to each other. We did grief counseling and memorial walks and support groups. We planted a tree and others planted trees in our daughter's honor. We saw butterflies and sunshine as what she was to us and still think of her even more when either are present.
I remember that we tried to have another child. We sought all sorts of medical intervention. We spent more money than we had. We went through more procedures than I knew existed.
I remember each month of no luck.
I remember the month when it worked.
I remember 2 days later when the doctor called to say it did not "stick".
I remember feeling like I lost another child.
I remember thinking about adoption.
I remember meetings and classes and fear and anxiety.
I remember open adoption vs. closed adoption.
I remember domestic adoption vs. international adoption.
I remember fundraisers and hope and light at the end of the tunnel.
I remember the call that we got chosen.
I remember M every day for choosing us.
Miranda Hope is all that was missing from our lives. While not a replacement of her sister, she is light and joy and laughter and bliss. She makes Gary and I want to be better people and parents. She makes me love being alive.
I remember Gary being at my side each and every minute of each and every day. So 4 years to some may not be a lot, but 4 years to us is a lifetime. And I remember it all.