Every day at naptime and on the occasions I do bedtime with Elliott, I play a songlist for him. It has relaxing music, some of his favorites and some of mine. Many of the songs are ones I played for Emma. As I play them for Elliott, I feel him start to relax and the baby in my womb start to dance.
It makes me miss her so much. To hear the songs I used to play to calm her down, the ones I made words up to, the ones we listened to together – it makes the hole in my heart more pronounced. But it also makes me feel so much closer to her, so I continue to do it.
Sometimes I still close my eyes and imagine I am back in my apartment in Kansas. That she is asleep next to me and my life is as it was. I allow myself to pretend that she never left and that she is still by my side. I imagine I am 10 years younger and Jeremy and I are just starting out our lives together. None of the pain or heartache has happened and we are good, whole, complete.
Other times I will pretend she is still here, just at a friend’s house. I imagine what it would look like to have me leave the school with 5 children, very pregnant with the 6th. What would that be like? What would it be like to have a 10 1/2 year old to spend time with, get to know and have around the house? Today when a stranger asked how old all of my children were I told her 10 1/2, 8, 6, 4 and 2. I liked living that dream for a minute. I liked having someone think that was my reality. I liked not having their pity for a moment.
I have noticed this every pregnancy…as my birthing time draws nearer, I miss my oldest so much more. During my pregnancies I often look back to my previous pregnancies. I remember what it was like to carry each of my children in my womb. What it felt like, how active they were, how tired I was, what it was like. I reflect on each of them and my love for my children grows. As I remember Emma’s, I remember all the firsts – first pregnancy test, first movements, first time my water broke, first birth, first everything. And I miss her.
Today I miss her. Tomorrow I will miss her, just as I did yesterday and everyday before that. Grief is never ending. While it is not always in the forefront of my mind, there are days, moments and stretches of time when it is particularly difficult. The last few days have been like that. I just miss my girl.