5 years ago, I should have been anxiously awaiting the birth of my first child. I should have been exhausted and excited, complaining about my soon-to-be little boy kicking my bladder and sending me to the bathroom throughout the night. I should have been washing crib sheets and onesies in preparation for our new arrival. I should have been watching his movements through my growing belly. This Wednesday, October 28, marks 5 years to the day that Jack should have been born.
Ah, what should have been. It's a real shock to the system...to your core...to your heart...when things don't go as they should have, especially when it involves your dear little boy. Upended expectations. Heartbreaking decisions. Life and death. All of those things surrounded Jack's birth day and the many days that followed. In fact, for me, Jack's "birth" includes much more than the actual day. The 112 days he spent in the NICU plus the 3 days "we" were hospitalized, trying to hold off the inevitable early delivery that preeclampsia so often forces upon an unsuspecting mother. And even all those days at home, breathing with O2 support, feeding through a tube, and isolating from illness.
All those "should have beens" are the reason that I am still talking about Jack's birth day. Preeclampsia devastated our expectations. Shattered our "should have beens." Even as we joyously celebrate each of Jack's birthdays, my emotions and my memory of the traumatic events are as fresh as the day they happened. In fact, I recently learned that traumatic memories are stored in a different area of the brain and are less likely to fade like typical memories. It makes sense. But it doesn't make it easier when seemingly innocent moments of today are suddenly awash with waves of fear and heartbreak of years past and what should have been.
So this week, I changed my profile picture on Facebook and I blog after months of not writing, because I want birth days and birthdays to be happy for so many babies and their parents. I want their to be a cure for preeclampsia so that Harper doesn't have to inform her doctors 30 years from now that she may be at risk for this awful disease.
So please, help us make birthdays better by being informed:
Signs and Symptoms of Preeclampsia
Or better yet, donate:
Preeclampsia Foundation Donate