We came into 2009 anticipating an eventful year, but we only expected happy events. As we settled into being married (we got married in late 2008), we started trying for a baby and searching for a condo to buy. Everything came together all at once: we found out I was pregnant the day before we closed on our condo.
We were elated and shocked, and I fell in love with that baby faster than I thought was possible. I was terrified that something would go wrong (I’m an eternal pessimist), but regardless of that, I loved her with everything I had. Two weeks later, I started spotting. Even though I had been assured that it could be nothing, it was still scary. I was on a business trip at the time. I called my doctor’s office, and a horrible nurse there told me that I could be miscarrying, and after looking at my labs, coldly told me that it wasn’t a viable pregnancy. She was assuming that I was almost seven weeks pregnant at the time, when I was actually six, so she was wrong, and I knew that, but it still didn’t make it any easier. I remember exactly where I was standing in the Orlando airport when she said it. It turns out that nurse was right, but not in the way she thought.
That spotting stopped, but Dave and I were still on edge. As each day went by with no additional spotting, we relaxed a little more. Then, that following Saturday night, it started again, but this time with heavier, red blood, accompanied by cramping. I thought for sure I was miscarrying, and we were crushed. I didn’t call my doctor’s office until Monday morning because I knew there wasn’t anything they could do. When I did call, they had me come in immediately for an ultrasound. I don’t think Dave or I were breathing when it started, but we both burst into tears when the tech pointed at the screen and said, “there’s the heartbeat.” We were in awe and so relieved.
I remember exactly where I was sitting the first time I thought I felt Jillian (I’m still certain it was her). I could feel her more and more every day, and it never got old. We were certain Jillian was a boy, and were shocked 11 weeks later when we found out she was a girl. We had already picked a couple of girl names. We tried calling her Molly for a day, but it didn’t stick. Jillian was our next try, and by the end of that day, we knew we had a winner. Dave called her Jilly pretty quickly, and I said that I only wanted us calling her Jilly, not the whole world, so we agreed that we would only call her Jillian in front of others. So much for that.
Everything stayed uneventful until December 5. I was in Orlando that week, and just five days before Jillian was born, I walked past the spot where I was standing when the nurse had told me the pregnancy wasn’t viable, rubbed my belly, and told Jillian we were proving that stupid nurse wrong. I was supposed to come home on Thursday, but had to extend the trip until Friday and didn’t get home until 10:00 that night. I am so thankful every day that my water didn’t break until Saturday. My heart races at the thought of this all happening away from home (I know there is great medical care available there, but being away from home would have made the situation even worse, especially because Dave wouldn’t have been there).
The rest of the story has already been posted here.
I was wondering yesterday if I’d look back someday and decide that 2009 wasn’t the worst year of my life because of the time we had with Jillian. I’ve decided that’s not going to happen. I don’t think there’s any way, no matter what, to not think of the year that includes losing a child as the worst year of one’s life. On top of that, it wasn’t just a bad year for us. There are many tragedies that have happened to important people in my life. I’m more than ready for the book to close on this awful year. I won’t forget the good times we had, and for the rest of my life, I’ll try to focus on those instead of the sad times.
I know 2010 won’t be ideal. I know that certain days, especially March 24 (my due date), December 5 (Jillian’s birthday), December 9 (the anniversary of Jillian’s death) will be filled with pain. That said, I’m hoping that only good things happen for everyone. It has to be a better year.