Last Saturday evening, Rich and I brought the girls to LaSalette Shrine to see the lights before they shut 'em down for the season. Maybe lame but we've found that the best way to enjoy holiday attractions is to visit them after the holidays. I read posts on FB of folks sitting in traffic for two hours and at the end, not even able to get into the parking lot. We waited in traffic for approximately 2 seconds. Our timing was impeccable as the lights flashed on right as we turned into the parking lot.
When I was pregnant with Abbey, we sold Rich's Saab to a couple who lived somewhat in that area. For some reason, I started thinking about the night we finalized the sale and dropped the car off at their house. I had followed Rich in my car and Abbey had been kicking up a storm to the music I was playing. On the drive home, I told Rich how I thought the baby was going to be a concert pianist. Well, more like I dreamed that she was going to be a concert pianist. Seems ridiculous now but we were just doing what all other expectant parents do. We imagined what our baby would look like. We speculated on whether we would have a boy or a girl. We had hopes and dreams. I sometimes can't believe how naive I was.
I don't know why these memories resurfaced when they did. My brother also lives somewhat in that area so it's not like we never drive through there. Maybe because I had tucked in the back of my mind that I should ask Rich about lighting a candle for Abbey at the shrine. Maybe because that's just what happens with memories. They come and go at seemingly random times.
I sometimes feel like others forget what I went through because of where I am today. I went to hell and back. Yes, I survived and I know I'm so very lucky compared to others but that shouldn't negate my feelings. I still carry around a chunk of guilt and grief in my heart. Some days it stays deeply burrowed against my soul but it's there and always will be. My baby suffocated inside of me. She didn't die a sudden, painless death. It was slow and she struggled to live. That will stay with me always.
During one of my MFM appointments when I was pregnant with the girls, I was handed my medical file (yes, they still used paper back then) and asked to turn it in at the front desk on my way out. It had been a hectic day and the office was more crowded than usual. I was still waiting for a nurse or someone to come back and tell me that it was okay to leave so I did what most others would do in that situation. I flipped open the file. Unfortunately, it opened to Abbey's autopsy report. Not the glossed over summary, but the real deal. The words were in front of me and in my mind before I could think to stop reading. That is something that no mother should ever have to see.
I realize that I haven't been as open here as I once was or have been in the past. I've been holding back recently because half the time I feel like there's some sort of backlash when I share something personal. I'm probably just oversensitive. This process of grieving has been a strange, sometimes irrational one.