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I have spent a good deal of the last several hours thinking about Jamie-Noel, who would be three today if she had lived longer than the 10 weeks she did in my womb. I miss her… I wish she were here to enjoy life in our family, to experience the sunshine and rain right along with us.

And today as I traveled the highway to yet another follow-up ultrasound for this wretched endo (yes, I still have cysts or a “mass”, now we wait again to see what will happen next), I couldn’t help but recall when I traveled that same road in December 2001, hoping against hope that we would get good news…we didn’t. It took me back and tears fell. I don’t want to be melodramatic about this, but really, I remember the moments surrounding her birth to heaven as if they were yesterday…

I remember thinking as I laid in the hospital bed, willing the bleeding to stop, or to wake up from the nightmare.. I remember thinking, ‘it really shouldn’t be this way. Is this how our miracle ends???’ I mean, my doctor wasn’t even there. He was 1000s of miles away in South Africa with his family on Christmas holidays. I got “her”, the one so very deficient in bedside manners. She walked into my hospital room, saw my swollen eyes and promptly scolded me. “Miscarriage happens alot. You’ll be fine. You’ll get pregnant again.” Little did she know…

They wheeled me into the operating room, Hubby holding my hand until we got to the door. I remembered the day we found out we were pregnant, just 6 weeks before. We had spent the long weekend with nieces and nephews. I was tired but content. I knew something was going on. I knew. I was just praying that the last year of surgery and treatments and drugs had done their thing… November 13, 2001… a positive test… blood tests confirmed the results and we were blissfully pregnant, although cautious to tell anyone. We told my parents and sisters, that was about it. But I was so very thankful that finally, after 2 1/2 years of trying, we finally had our miracle.

As I crawled up onto the table and they strapped my arms down, (… is that ever an exposed feeling?) I remember sobbing and not having my hands to cover my face… just a few days before I was confident enough to go and look for maternity clothes at the Salvation Army, to buy “What to Expect When You’re Expecting”. Our busy time was over for awhile and I finally had time to enjoy and think about being pregnant. I got home from shopping and started to make tacos, went to the bathroom and the horror started.

I remember as I lay there, the anesthetist who was also a friend, leaned down and whispered in my ear, comforting me. I didn’t have my glasses. I couldn’t see what was going on. I felt exposed, raw…I was sobbing. He was my anchor and I thank God for him. He prayed a blessed prayer of comfort into my ear before he asked me to count backwards. All I could think of was this is the last moment I will be pregnant.

And I woke up sad and empty. Three days later I sat in the front row at church. After all, it was Christmas Sunday. If Hubby had to be there to preach so did I. There was lots of love, of support. But I still felt empty. We went to the farm for Christmas…looking back, I should have stayed home, curled up by the fireplace, quiet and grieving. But I didn’t want to disappoint. After all, it was Christmas, a time for family, for celebrating… even if your heart is broken.

Really, the full reality of our loss didn’t hit us until July, when we should have been holding our precious Jamie in our arms. We still weren’t pregnant again as we hoped…in fact we were hopeless and spent and just plain over trying…done…

Even as vivid as these memories are today, I have to say, I am blessed. I sometimes long for this lost child, an outpouring of our love for each other. I often miss the “dream” of her… a mixture of us. But I also live a blessed life, holding a precious girl who came to us from another way. She does take away some of the ache, but will never replace the memory of my first child.

We remember you today, Jamie-Noel, our Christmas Love… Mommy and Daddy love you and miss you…

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