It’s Casey’s Angelversary

Thirteen years and it could be yesterday. The giddiness we felt going to the doctor’s office to find out the gender of the baby. My students, back at school, placing bets on boy or girl. My coworkers, knowing I would finish the school year and not come back, and so they were planning an early baby shower, waiting to hear if the gifts next week should be pink or blue.

Both our parents, anxiously awaiting the phone call. First grandbaby on both sides. I don’t think anyone could have been happier driving up to a building, parking, and laughing as we walked in.

The bluebonnets had been covering the hills and I, jealous of all the moms taking pictures of their babies in the blooms, had taped a sonogram image to a flower and taken a picture. I was clutching the print to give to my doctor.

The nurse took me into a room and tried to find the baby’s heartbeat with the Doppler. And failed.

We smiled about it, not quite reaching a laugh. She hadn’t been able to find it at the last two visits either, and both times sonograms confirmed the baby was fine, growing right on schedule.

But when the doctor came in only seconds later, skipping the half-hour wait we were used to, I knew. He rolled up the machine and searched, measured, frowned. My baby, at 20 weeks gestation, had died.

I’m remembering now how quickly I was expected to get over the loss. To try again and forget. I didn’t get the comfort of saying his name aloud. I was pushy, insistent on bringing him up, but he wasn’t real to anyone else. And a few weeks later, my job ended, leaving me without anyone who even knew the history.

So today, on Facebook, I’ve started a new page just for our babies. For our sonograms, our pictures. Even if all you have is a pregnancy test. Or a teddy bear you bought. Or a tree you planted. I want to see it. Other moms will want to see it. We care. We want to know.

So GO! Upload those images. Make videos. Write text. And while you’re there, comment on a few other angel babies, coo and admire the things put up there. Know that for a moment someone else is thinking of your baby.

And to keep Casey company, I’ve asked my book designer (yes, my novel is coming out in October!) if we could fit the names and dates of some of the angels I will get to know in the next few days and weeks into my book. I wanted to list them, make their names permanent somewhere. She tells me she can fit about 500 names and dates into the closing pages. So GO! Add your baby’s name to the roster. They’ll be there together–yours and mine. Not forgotten at all. But celebrated. Known. Permanent. We’re thrilled to hear their names. I’m thrilled to know their names.

What, you’re still here? Click to go to the new page!

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