Contractions began again after having stopped for a couple weeks. They're kinda close together, thinking she may be coming soon. Ironically, my own due date.
Contractions continue, not close enough together and not regular enough to go in. Thinking surely she'll come in the next few days. Trying to rest between contractions, but haven't slept since I got up in the morning the day before.
Wake up late, after a long night finally sleeping. We're finally 37weeks, Ember is full-term, walking on a cloud I'm so relieved. Go in for 2:30pm appt. Contractions in the waiting room, in the exam room. Nurse tells me they're too irregular to be doing much. Fill-in nurse-practitioner I've never seen before and a student try to find Ember's heartbeat. They can't. I'm 1cm dilated. And we go to the hospital for our seventh and final ultrasound. Ember died while I slept. Induction is started.
Ember's born, exactly 24hours after her heartbeat can't be found. I hold her, never want to let go.
The autopsy is performed. I see the incisions, the stitches on her chest. She looks like she's been butchered. I lay down next to her in bed, drift off in a prozac and valium haze and pretend she only sleeps. They take her away, I'll never see her again. We go home without her.
We lay on the couch all day and cry, the world is still so hazy, I hope it never clears. I stare at her pictures.
My step-daughter arrives to meet her sister. Their daddy explains Em has died, and goes back to work. I sit and stare at my daughter's sister. They look nothing alike.
We go to the funeral home and sign the cremation papers. I sign where David points, I can't see through tears. I spin in circles looking at the urns, we pick a small decorative pink one with flowers for her to come home in. The driver promises to take care of my baby, the world falls away to darkness. The hospital doesn't release her, they "can't find her".
Ember's finally cremated and comes home. I sit on the floor in her bedroom hugging the tiny blue velvet box the urn is cushioned in. I find ashes split in the box, she's not in a bag within the urn like we asked.
My birthday. I tell everyone to ignore it and cry when they don't. I thought she'd be my birthday present.
My step-daughter leaves. I have no reason to fake a smile or get out of bed. Ember's real urn, a vault that will keep her safe, arrives. Now her ashes have to be moved, or they may be split and lost.
Ember's due date. If she'd been born alive, she'd be almost three weeks old.
This is July to me. My birthday, forever without her. Her birthday, forever bittersweet and lonely. And all her special dates. If I could skip this month with all it's anniversaries, I would. Crawl under the bed, pretend it really hasn't been a year. That my daughter shouldn't be a toddler now. I can't explain how terribly my heart hurts. There are no words to describe this.