I remember sitting in my perinatologist's office one afternoon. We had learned just how sick Wylie was a few days prior, maybe. I lost count of all of the specialists we saw and what appointments we had and what days they happened, but I remember sitting in the lobby. Another couple had been handed a pamphlet on some kind of fetal anomaly diagnosis as they waited their turn to be seen. The mother-to-be rubbed her belly and sniffled a little. On the other side of me, a mom-to-be giggled with anticipation as she waited to learn if she was carrying a boy or a girl. She and her husband guessed, second guessed, laughed. I just wanted to pull my eyes out with my fingernails. Instead, I cried. I cried until no one was visible in the room anymore. I cried until they called me into an office room to wait so I stopped horrifying everyone else in the lobby. I cried because I felt my daughter move and had to wonder "was that the last time?" and then, when it wasn't, close my eyes and let myself fill with dread in knowing there would be a last time.
I think of the pain of her birth, the induction and the labor. I think of the silent room as she was born, the scurrying of doctors and nurses and then my screams filling the quiet air where her cries should have been. I can remember it all and sometimes I am grateful for it, even for the ability to recount the bad times. I held my sleeping daughter in my arms and kissed her soft skin and my insides were quitting, I was sure of it, my body was just imploding -- but I am grateful for those memories. I am grateful for my time with her.
You sometimes are asked if you would change anything. I don't think that I would. Of course, I would give my daughter a healthy, whole heart and would want her to be here living with us. Of course I would want her to be here and okay. But if she couldn't be, I would get pregnant with her all over again. I would live through the pain again. I would suffer all over again just to have those memories of her, my beautiful little girl, and the way she felt in my arms.
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