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samedi 11 juin 2011

Right where I am: 3,986 days

I'm writing this post as part of the "Right where I am" project, in the hope that someone, somewhere might take comfort from it.

My elder daughter, my first child, my first miracle, conceived totally naturally after more than two years of trying and tests and procedures was stillborn on 13 July 2000. Yes, that's coming up to 11 years ago, something I find it hard to get my head around myself.

I'm not going to go into the horrors of what happened that night/day - it still remains unspeakably painful and there are so many regrets. So much I didn't know, that I didn't do.

But that's the past.

Since that terrible, bleak time, I have had two more little girls - one born in December 2001 after an extremely tense and difficult pregnancy, and one born in April 2004, after a still tense and difficult but less so pregnancy.

Apart from one of my best friends (who has had her own fair share of trauma and heartbreak), who lives in a different coutry to me and whom I see at most for a couple of days a year, I don't think there is anyone on earth who even remembers my first daughter, much less her birthday.

Even her father, the father of all my girls but now my ex (and I'm not going to go back over THAT trainwreck tonight, either) doesn't say anything on her birthday. I suspect he does still remember her, but hey, he's a guy, he's not going to talk about it.

Every year, on 13 July, I buy something containing or scented with lavendar. It's one of my favourite flowers and there are bushes of it outside the hospital where my baby died and was born. I remember smelling it that same afternoon, picking a stem off a bush and crushing it in my hands. It's the one single scent that will always remind me of my daughter.

My other girls know nothing - yet - of their big sister. One day, when I feel able to talk about her without breaking down in tears, I will tell them. I think they need to know how very much they were wanted, how very hard it was for their father and I to have children, how they are and will always be our world.

I don't cry for my dead daughter any more (OK, sometimes, but really, not so much), and the pain has eased a lot. Really. I still hate the question "How many children do you have?" and I'll always feel guilty when I say "2", but I no longer feel the need to explain my first child. I live my life every day, rarely even thinking about her. Her sisters are my world, my concern, my life now, and they take up all my time. And that's as it should be.

But.

That little girl - who was never even given a name officially, though she has always been Eva in my mind as it was one of the names we'd started to think about - is deep in my heart, in a very special place. She was my first born, my true miracle. I let her down, in so many ways, even after she died. I didn't defend her rights, I let bad things happen to her and I will never forgive myself for my ignorance, my self-pity, my cowardice. But I hope, as I strive continually to do my very best for her little sisters, that she knows, wherever she is, that I love her with all my heart.

And I will always, always remember her birthday.

7 commentaires:

Hope's Mama a dit…

I'm so sorry about your beautiful Eva. It has been so helpful for me to read the stories of those much further up to road to know on some level, what I can expect in the years to come. I'm that "someone, somewhere" who has taken comfort in your words.
I'm also sorry for all you have endured with your relationship breaking down since your daughter died and that very few remember her these days. That breaks my heart.
Glad to have found you through Angie's project. I will be thinking of you when July 13 rolls around. I'll remember your little girl.
xo

Magic27 a dit…

Thank you! I'm glad to have found you, too. I wish you the best with your new baby, and hope the road gets easier for you.
Best wishes!

still life angie a dit…

Eva is such a beautiful name. And thank you for sharing right where you are. Eleven years. Wow. I can see how I can blink and be eleven years from my daughter's death. I will be remembering Eva with you on July 13th--maybe a sprig of my own lavender plant and a candle. Just so you know that you aren't remembering alone. xo

Magic27 a dit…

Thank you! I'm amazingly touched... Thank you for this project - sometimes it feels good to bring back all that pain and sorrow, sometimes it just has to be.
I wish you the best on your journey!

Fireflyforever a dit…

I am sorry that Eva is not growing up alongside her two sisters.

As Sally said, I have found a lot of help and insight reading through the posts of people further along the path than me, so thnak you for participating.

I, too, will remember Eva on 13th July. Australia, America and England - her name will be spoken around the world this year.

Josh a dit…

Thanks for sharing where you are after so many years. What you wrote about Eva was beautiful and touching. I am still going through all of the still life project blogs, and I'm glad I stumbled on yours the day before Eva's birthday.

Happy birthday sweet Eva.

erica a dit…

Thank you for sharing where you are and some of Eva's story here. I'm so sorry for her loss, and so moved by what you write about remembering her.

Sending love.