Three years ago today, I gave birth to my first child, a beautiful baby boy. We spent several weeks in the hospital trying to delay his birth. I got to know him well as he grew inside of me. He was a busy little person. He loved to kick and swim and jump inside of the womb. He was very much alive. My hopes for him turned on the calendar pages as I tried to make the pregnancy last until at least 32 weeks. We inched by and as the days turned into weeks the tiny flicker of hope inside of my heart grew larger.
Our efforts to stave off his birth, however, were futile. He was born at just 27 weeks. My tiny boy went to the NICU. The staff there were wonderful. I never questioned that he had the best care available. But it wasn't enough. He lived just a few short days.
Today he would be three years old. I watch my daughter, two, and I am so grateful for her good health. I imagine who he might have been at the different ages that she reaches. They were very different kids. She is nothing if not laid back and able to go with the flow (as she was in utero). I had the sense that he would be a busy little daredevil, the one exploring and carving new paths (as he was in utero).
I miss him still. Every single day, I miss him. I know that I always will. The Mister always will. We will teach The Nugget who he was, how important he was to us, just as she is. She will know that she has a brother who, even though she never met him, was and is a part of our family.
Tonight we will honor his birthday. My would-be three year old. We will spend time together, cook dinner, plant a bush. We will be much as we would be if he were here. Hopefully, good parents. Hopefully, good members of planet Earth. Hopefully, building a legacy through support of March of Dimes in his honor so that other babies and their parents will be more fortunate than us. We will hug each other a bit more today. We will shed tears for our lovely little boy. We will rock The Nugget extra long before bed. And we will continue to love and miss our Peanut.