Today marks two years. She would be about 17 months. It was rough...it's not any less painful.
I suppose perhaps it's like managing chronic pain (though I have never done that)... The pain doesn't go away, and it doesn't get any "better," but you get used to it. It just becomes part of living. But January 3rds (and to a lesser extent, August 13ths) are going to be hellish for awhile. Maybe forever.
I still love her as much. I still miss her and wring my hands wondering if I could have done something (I know I couldn't've). I was afraid I wouldn't love her as much/the same once I had a living take home baby, and I was sort of pleased and relieved to find my feelings about her didn't change at all.
Daphne now has a 10 month old "little brother." He had a brain injury at birth (HIE, oxygen deprivation; something akin to a stroke) and spent two horrifying weeks in the NICU, but as of now he is meeting all milestones and is indistinguishable from his "typical," brain injury free peers. But it's a years long game of wait-and-see. He could end up with any number of delays, disorders, behavioural problems, academic difficulties, etc., of varying severity... Or none at all.
I made Brother a "first christmas" ornament this year, with his picture, name, and the year on it. I made one for her too-- no picture, just her name and the year 2013. (We found out she was gone Jan 3, 2014; so 99% of the time she was with us was in 2013, and that's what felt right).
So both of my babies have special ornaments.
I hate January 3rd. I hate January 4th. I really pretty much hate most of January, actually. January through mid-March 2014 was the most miserable, mentally unstable, horrific time in my life, and I think I need to live a few more first-10ish-weeks-of-the-year periods before they stop stinking of horror and emotional devastation. They haven't yet.
Maybe this should just be a motherhood-related-greif-and-PTSD blog, at this point; because my son's birthday and NICU stay falls during that time period and I fully expect to spend sixteen days feeling sad and weird. I'm not sure I even want to throw his birthday party until after his coming-home-iversary.
I feel like life really wanted me to get a good taste of parenthood right off the bat. I have two children. One didn't make it out of her first trimester; the second tried to die at birth and has left me with extra EXTRA reason to worry. So they make you happy and fill you with love, but they can (and will) break your heart and destroy the fabric of your very soul with worry and misery on their behalf.
I thought this was going to be a better blog entry. Turns out it's just rambly word vomit. WHOOPS. Good thing I'm shouting into a void, here...