I will never forget the first time I held you in my arms – covered in placenta and other unmentionables- I handled you with care because our journey had been such a difficult one.
it seems cruel to say, but I was never supposed to meet you … at least that’s what the doctors had told me that day. it was the day of your anatomy scan, I knew you were a girl but I wanted the ultrasound pictures to prove everyone wrong. you were blossoming inside me and tears filled my eyes as the sonographer pointed out all your perfectly sculpted features. when she printed out the pictures and gave them to me, my whole body was warmed with happiness. you were perfect, and I was so in love with you.
so when the sonographer told me to sit tight while she grabbed the doctor on call, I couldn’t help but worry just a little. a doctor had never come in the room after an appointment, something must have been wrong. my mind raced as we waited impatiently and, although he entered the room with a smile, my unease was unsettled. he informed me he would be taking a quick look at my cervix, just to make sure everything was okay – I forced a smile and tried to relax while he took a second look with the wand.
“I’m going to give this to you straight, your cervix is about 4cm dilated and you’re in the middle of a miscarriage”
the silence was deafening. don’t get me wrong, he was still talking, but I couldn’t hear a word he was saying. face hot and tears that seemed to burn my face as they ran down my cheeks and dropped down onto my chest, I shook my head and took a deep breath.
“so that’s it? there’s nothing we can do?” — “well, you can undergo a surgery called a cerclage. if your circumstances allow, the cervix will be stitched closed in the hopes of preventing any further dilation. but be aware that even if you are able to get the surgery, it’s not a guarantee. if your cervix continues to dilate, the stitch will be cut and the baby will have to be delivered.” — “let’s do it! I don’t care, I have to try and save her”
after informing me that their staff was not equipped to perform the surgery and that I would need to be transferred to their mother hospital to undergo the procedure, I called my mom and asked her to meet me there. your brother didn’t understand what was going on. why mommy sounded scared, why I was crying, why I couldn’t get out of the bed as they rolled us down to the ambulance bay.
that ride seemed to last a lifetime, and the 24 hours that followed felt like an eternity. finally, after round the clock cervix checks, a food ban and an uncomfortable night’s sleep, I was told the surgery would happen later that morning. my faith had never been stronger than it was that day – I just knew that no higher being would give me my baby girl, a little sister to my sweet (not so) baby boy and then just take her away. the procedure was quick and painless, even though it was weird being awake the whole time. 36 hours later, I was released to go home.
no work. no lifting. no stairs (this was my biggest challenge because we live in a townhome style condo). none of that mattered though, I would do whatever I needed to do to make sure you had as much time as you needed to grow stronger. the months passed and the bright side of it all was that I got to see you every week during our checkups. the stitches held and one by one we reached our milestones. 24 weeks (little major organ development and low survivability). 28 weeks (lungs growing, mediocre survivability rate but manageable with the right care). 32 weeks (you would have to stay in the hospital for a few weeks but you would be okay). and then we reached 36 weeks and I swear I let out a breath I had been holding since hearing the word ‘miscarriage’.
you put me through a lot in the two and a half weeks that followed. the stitches were cut and I expected you to slide right out, but instead you decided to play ‘now you see me, now you don’t’ with me over those 17 days. you toyed with my emotions but that only made me more anxious to meet you.
on the 6th of the month, we had an appointment and found out my blood pressure had skyrocketed. based on the previous weeks visits, it was evident my preeclampsia was back and in full effect. so I was sent to the maternity ward to prepare for an induction and voila – 7 hours later, there you were.
here you are.
almost three years have passed Cupcake, and I still look at you in awe. in appreciation. in utter gratitude for your presence. you are a spitfire Cupcake. smart and sassy with an attitude that surpasses my own. you find happiness in everything and laugh so much more than you cry. every touch, every sound, every moment is cherished.
they say I can’t call you a rainbow baby because I didn’t miscarry before I gave birth to you, and that’s fair. so I call you my unicorn baby, because so many people thought I would never lay eyes on you, yet …
here you are.