Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Day of Significance

I've been trying to write a post and it's just not happening.  I'm not sure why I want to write it, because I really already did, but I still feel like I need to write something.

I guess the difference is that was about what I think and right now I'm thinking more about everyone else.  Our friends and our family.  Our network who has been amazing throughout the last year.  I guess I just wish that there was a day that I knew that she would cross their minds.  A day of some significance.  But I don't expect there would.

The typical choice for a stillborn child is their birthday, the day that they gained a physical independent presence in the world.  But that is also the day that Chiron was born.  And it may not seem fair, but that day is more about him and the start of his journey.  And that's even to me who carried both of them.  I really can't expect anyone to think of her on their birthday.  And is it really even her birthday?  Technically, I don't think she was born.  We didn't get a birth certificate.  Medically, I think she was just removed.

And it's not just because it is also Chiron's birthday that this date doesn't make sense.  Perhaps even more important is the fact that she had been dead for almost six weeks.  We had all come to terms with a reality in which she was not living by then.  All that remained were our physical goodbyes.

I really think that November 11 is the day that will always be specially hers in my mind.  But as this is essentially a construct of my own mind, it will not have significance to others.  Why do I say it's a construct?  Because we know she was alive the afternoon of November 10 and we know she was dead by 8:00 am November 12.  The perinatologist made a guesstimate that it had probably been the night before and so I've run with November 11.  Since I've since read that fatalities due to cord compressions most likely occur during 2-5 am, it seems likely it was actually November 12.  But I'm sticking with November 11 in my mind regardless.

Facebook doesn't give you a slot to input "date I delusionally credit as the anniversary of the death of my stillborn daughter" though.

So, what is the purpose of this post?  I really don't know.  I guess it's mainly to sort out in my own mind that I haven't worked through everything yet.  I find myself thinking that I've really come to terms with everything, but this is not true.  And probably never will be.

And the real reason I'm writing this?  Probably that I need to send something out there to the universe every so often as a sanity check to make sure that she was not just a figment of my imagination.  That she existed.  That she was Heart.  That she abused her brother in every ultrasound we ever saw.  That her name was Aurelia.  That she had a middle name despite the fact that I was asked what it was for the first time within the last couple weeks.

All that long ramble aside, I have gotten amazing evidence of her significance in the last few weeks.  In addition to the Scrappy Doo Preemie super hero entry, which he came in first place and is going to judging on (!), we also created a fundraising team for Hand to Hold based on both Chiron and Aurelia, http://goo.gl/QUmZo.  We did share this with a few people and I stuck it on facebook twice, but we really didn't work to try to get people to support them.  We just made it available.  And as you can see if you clickthrough, people were amazing.  The number of separate family units that added their resources to ours has floored me. So, while there may not be a certain date that they all will think of her, I know there are dozens of people out there who have Aurelia cross their minds at times.  And that makes me smile (and perhaps cry).

Heart & Eggplant


  1. I think as time passes, the feeling that you're the one remembering her will grow more acute. Not that there's anyone to blame for that. It's just that personhood is in the eyes of the parent sometimes and to everyone else, that person was just a possibility. If that makes sense. I'm just kind of rambling at this point, but consider this my way of saying I understand how you feel.

  2. My baby Jeffery Matthew would be 38 years old. He always has a place in my heart. A special place that only he occupies. I do not know how many others even think of him any more. I know my children do at times, but he was their brother. For others, I know he does not even exist in their reality. Keep her, cherish her and know it is a Mother's love that keeps her eternally with you.

  3. I just want you to know that I think about Aurelia, and you, a lot. Everytime I look at my kids and how I can't imagine my life without them, your experience crosses my mind and I just don't know how you've gotten through it so well. When it happens to someone you know, you're not as removed from it as you were. But we're too scared to talk to you about it for fear of making you cry. And of course now some of us live 6 time zones away. You have a strength I will never be able to comprehend. I wish we'd all had a chance to know Aurelia, but please know that at I at least think of her often.

  4. I don't even know you and I think about your daughter a lot. I think that she would have been a beautiful, strong, independent, funny girl -- and she would have brought so much joy and frustration to your lives. :-)
    I always seem to imagine the picture in my head of her name in the sand, with the sun setting so beautifully around it, and it makes me sad -- but then -- happy, and peaceful in some way. I can't explain it. Anyway, I totally feel your desire to have her remembered. I totally agree. And Nov. 11 seems just as good as any day. So tomorrow, I will be thinking of you and your boys and your baby daughter, who WAS here, and made an impact on a strange woman all the way in Baltimore. :-)

  5. I can't thank all of you enough for these comments (and the couple of emails and texts as well).

    Still processing through my reaction to all this caring, but for now, thank you.