Four months have passed since Lauren died and was born.

Again, I am startled that so much time has passed. I still remember how it felt to have her inside me, to feel the pressure of her small body against my insides, to see the ripples of her movements across my belly. I thought by now the phantom kicks would have stopped, but they haven’t. They keep coming. Not so often now, and not even every day. But it is still a reminder that she is here with me.

As though I could forget her! My sweet angel, the thought of whom passes through my mind every hour of the day. I can do nothing without thinking of her. She haunts me, a most welcome ghost. It would hurt more to lose her, now that the memory of her doesn’t always bring tears to my eyes. The sting of her loss never lessens, but it has become more bearable. I am learning to live with it.

The tears still come – they will always come. I imagine that twenty years from now – forty years from now? – I may still have moments of weeping when I think of her. That wave of loss will come crashing over me again and even when I am contented with life, I will weep for what I lost. That too is better, I think, than forgetting her.

I have her totems as reminders of her. Little things I associated with her when she was still inside me. Many babyloss parents have special mementos of their lost children, a symbol that they associate with the dear life no longer with them. Animals, often. Or flowers.

My memento of Lauren is the clover. Before we knew her gender and long after we chose her name, we called her “Lucky.” It was Geordie’s nickname for the baby, given to her early in the pregnancy, perhaps the seventh week or so. We were sitting on the couch in my apartment in Moriya, snuggling and ruminating on this unexpected turn in our lives. He said, wonderingly, “What a lucky baby to have come into our lives. To have us as parents.” From then on, we spoke of the baby as Lucky. Even after we learned I was carrying a girl, we called her Lucky. Her given name almost never slipped from our lips.

Because of the nickname, I began to associate clovers with our baby. When I bought my pregnancy journal, I chose one when a clover motif. Because I dislike the color pink and we didn’t learn the gender until the 31st week, I wanted a green and white color scheme for everything: clothes, decor, furniture. We called her Lucky, and over the course of the summer, I came to understand how lucky we were to have her in our lives.

It’s become a hard word to hear now. I’ve said it a few times, and after it’s slipped from my mouth, I pause, thinking of her. Clovers are still her emblem; she comes to mind at once when I see a patch of green in the midst of Florida’s sandy brown soil.

I have not called her Lucky since I was admitted to the hospital. It hurts even to just say the word; to use it in reference to her sends a stabbing pain into my heart. Lucky was the baby I carried, that I day-dreamed about, the baby I never knew I wanted. Lauren is my daughter, the real thing, the truth. Lucky is the past, the expectation; Lauren is the present, the reality.

Four months, and I miss her as much as I ever have.

My Lauren, my daughter, my precious child: I love you, I miss you, I want you more than ever. I think of you always, of what you were when you were with me: my cherished baby, my squirmy girl, my stubborn darling.

I am lucky to have been blessed with you. My good luck charm. My Lucky.

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