Tomorrow my daughter will be 12 years old.
Tomorrow is a day of joy and celebration. There will be presents and cake, fun and laughter, hugs and kissed.
Today is about remembrance. Today is about reflection, wishes, hidden tears and sadness.
Because today, like most days I remember there should be two.
My daughter was a happy surprise. My son was only 4 months old when I became pregnant again. According to the midwife it shouldn't have been possible, all the odds were stacked against it but it happened and I couldn't find it in my heart to be sorry.
I didn't know I was carrying twins, I didn't even know I was pregnant but when I woke up in the middle of the night bleeding heavily I knew immediately what was happening.
When I was sent for a scan the following day it was really to check that my health wasn't at risk so when the sonographer turned to me with a smile and told me she could see a baby I was confused. I thought she had made a mistake. Without going into too much detail, I had SEEN my baby so how could it be possible?
It wasn't until she turned the screen and showed me my perfectly formed 13 week old baby that I began to believe it could be true.
I went home in a daze, I was a real mixture of overwhelming sadness and and joy, I didn't know what to think or how to feel. I sat holding my son, breathing in the baby scent of him alternating between tears and wonder that there really was new life inside me.
It was a difficult pregnancy. I suffered kidney infection after kidney infection and struggled with looking after my son and the sleepless nights, feeling so ill most of the time. To make matters worse I developed Symphysis pubic dysfunction, or SPD, this is a condition where the ligaments that normally keep your pelvic bone aligned during pregnancy become too relaxed and stretchy. It's incredibly painful, almost as though your legs are going to fall off. At times walking was impossible.
I think my lowest point in that pregnancy was when I was sent to the hospital to see the consultant as the midwife was concerned about my baby's growth. I wasn't too concerned, Id had the same thing in both my previous pregnancies and there hadn't been a problem.
Before even talking to me the consultant started reading aloud from my notes. When he got to the part about the miscarriage, he said (and I remember his words so well), 'twins, lost one, oh well, doesn't matter'. I felt like Id been punched! I couldn't speak. Id seen my baby, Id taken my baby to the hospital with me at my doctors suggestion. Id sat in the churchyard on my way to the hospital saying goodbye to my baby. Id handed my baby over to Histology who promptly 'lost it'! My doctor spent weeks trying to find out what had happened to my baby but no one could tell him, I had to accept that I would never know.
When my daughter was born, an easy birth after the difficult pregnancy and born right on time, on her due date she seemed to me to have an aura of glitter. The air around her shimmered and sparkled. If Id had any drugs during the birth that might have explained it but I hadn't so I cant.
I don't think about the baby I lost every day any more but she (I don't know if it was a boy or a girl but I always imagine it was a girl) is always there in the back of my mind and in April when she should have been born and October when she died I still feel that loss and emptiness,I still cry for the baby she should have been, the little girl with the sparkle that her sister still has.