Today’s photo challenge was to post a self-portrait of yourself before the loss. I couldn’t find just 1 photo that I felt conveyed the true happiness, joy and excitement we felt before Avery left us so I put together 3 of my favorites.
The left photo was taken by my husband (at my dismay) after they started my induction. We had to walk the halls for 30 minute intervals and then we were to go back in to be checked. We did this for 4 hours. It was long and boring but we were so excited that our baby girl would be making her grand entrance. This photo was taken on June 5, 2012. Avery was born via c-section at 2:27 am on the 6th. Which leads to the next photo (top right). This was taken by our wonderful anesthesiologist minutes after Avery was born. This is our first and only family photograph. I was tired but overcome by emotion and excitement that the pregnancy was over and our family was finally the 3 of us. I love that you can see my husband smiling even though he has the mask on. We both were ready for our future as parents. The last photo (bottom right) was the last photo of Avery and I taken just after we arrived home from the hospital on June 8th. I was so content and happy to be home with my beautiful daughter. I was ready for life as a mother. Little did any of us know that just 4 days after we brought her home, we would be rushing back to the hospital via ambulance praying that everything would be OK. Just 4 days later, our world came crashing down taking with it the people in these photos.
Looking back at these photos as I prepared for today’s challenge made me realize how naïve we were. My whole pregnancy I completely took for granted so many joys of pregnancy-feeling her move, hearing her heartbeat, holding her close. In my “perfect world” I saw my future with my daughter growing up in front of me. I never imagined the day I brought her home that our days were so limited.
I had no idea until after losing Avery that 1:4 pregnancies end with a loss of the child either during pregnancy or within the first year of life. 25% is a hefty number to be completely oblivious to. I will never be the person in these photos. I will never have the same excitement, anticipation and hope in my eyes. I have been hardened, tainted and I fear I will never come close to feeling these things again.
Today makes 16 weeks since we lost Avery, 16 weeks of not knowing the person looking back at me in the mirror. 16 weeks of missing my daughter, the one who brought so much joy into our lives. 16 weeks with trying to come to grips with the fact that she is gone and I cannot change it, I cannot bring her back or make the pain go away. Oh what I would give to be the girl in these pictures again.