I remember Christmas 2013. I remember dragging my tired, pregnant body up and down the stairs on Christmas Eve, placing gifts from Santa under the tree for C.T. I remember allowing myself to dream, with B, that maybe just maybe, we would be able to delight another son with gifts from Santa in 2014 and beyond. We were so ready and so in love with our unborn baby boy.
I remember being cautious about Zachary, about assuming he would actually come to be part of, and stay part of, our lives. I remember tempering every casual conversation about him with "if he survives" and "yes, we're excited but terrified", and feeling uncomfortable as people talked about our future with our unborn son as if it was all a certainty. I sensed they were perplexed and disappointed in my inability to be fully optimistic - which made me wonder if they really knew us and what we'd already been through (with B.W.) at all. I was injecting myself with blood thinners, right? I was being seen by a high-risk specialist, right? Those rudimentary questions were answered in the affirmative and with the wave of their hand, people thoughtlessly assured me Zachary was going to be fine. I desperately hoped they were right.
It is Christmas Eve and I feel so utterly broken. It feels so wrong to have added a third stocking to the mantle, but for another dead son. A son who was in my arms, had cleared so many hurdles, only to be killed by layers of carelessness. We began living life with Zachary, and still, somehow, he is dead. I miss him terribly.