A year ago yesterday: Saturday, October 22nd, 2011
I was 27 weeks 6 days pregnant. I really don't remember what we did that morning. I'm sure I slept in after the late night at the fair. I think Mike had to work that day, 9 to 5 or something. I probably just sat around the house finishing our online registry and looking up baby stuff online. That evening we met up with some friends at a local pizza place. I met this friend while searching for midwives. We were planning a home birth and she is a retired midwife. She's the one who got me in contact with the midwife we had during Marcellus's pregnancy. It was good to get together and talk about the pregnancy, our birth plan, and our growing baby. The pizza was good too! I'm sure it gave me heartburn though. With Marcellus I could drink a sip of water and get heartburn.
After dinner Mike and I went home to just relax and hang out. At that time my belly was starting to get itchy and I was using a belly balm by Burt's Bees called Momma Bee. It uses all natural ingredients and Perk absolutely loved something that was in it. He would sniff at it and then start licking my belly! I wrote a little bit about this on my post for Capture Your Grief photo project (which I am incredibly behind on, of course). Here's what I wrote in that post about a photo from that night.
I went downstairs in a sports bra to show Mike and we decided to get out the camera. I didn't mind pictures of my bare belly, I loved that belly. Perk was licking away. Of course, we knew it was because of the body butter, but I like to think of it as his way of interacting with Marcellus. Those pictures are the only ones I have of them "together." I chose this specific picture because of the look on my face. I remember laughing hysterically over it. A laugh I haven't laughed since. The pure happiness on my face. The excitement I remember feeling at that time of my pregnancy. We were just starting to really prepare for our baby. We spent that weekend registering. I wish I could feel that way again. I wish I could feel that way about this pregnancy. The pure elation and on top of the world feeling.It really was hilarious. We have tons of pictures from that night. Here are a few of my favorites. And yes, I'm bare bellied in a sports bra. But that's my wonderful son in there, so I figure what the heck, I'll post them!
(left) Look at that belly! I love love love it. My Marcellus belly, I will never be ashamed of any photos where I have that belly. It's also a cuter belly than I have this time. I was pretty much all belly with Marcellus. Lots of people guessed boy based on the way I was carrying.
This one to the right is the one I wrote about on my Capture Your Grief post. We just laughed so hard at Perkie. It really was hilarious. Sometimes I'm afraid I'll never feel that way again. That unrestrained joy and excitement.
(left) Another licking shot. He seriously would have done that all night if I would have let him.
(below) Perk may have been mostly interested in giving Marcellus kisses, but he was still up for kissing his momma too!
We almost lost these pictures. We never transferred them over to the computer before Marcellus was born. Once Marcellus was born we were using the camera a lot in the NICU. In his haste to make sure we had enough room for Marcellus's pictures, Mike accidentally deleted these without having them backed up. We didn't realize it until after Marcellus died. We were in MN and had another major photo mishap (that one, my fault). Some good friends of ours took our card to a local photographer. Turns out he volunteers for Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep (an amazing photographer service that will do photos free of charge for families suffering the loss of a baby.) He was able to recovery our card and we did photos in the funeral home with Marcellus. I am so so so thankful that he was able to recover these photos for us. Of course I will always have the memories in my head, but having the visual makes them more vivid. I don't want anything to fade from our time with Marcellus here, even in utero.
Really as hard as it is to see the look on my face in those pictures and remember how purely happy we were, it does warm my heart. Because he was here. I did carry him. I had that awesome belly and it was all because of him. We were so excited and looking forward to being his parents. We were already his parents while I was pregnant with him. The intense love we felt for him already. We were his parents then and we are his parents now. We are forever a family.
Perk is included in this family and he is the furry big brother. I hate that he never got to meet Marcellus outside the womb. I know he understood that I was pregnant. That we were having a baby. And I know that he felt our immense sadness and heartache after coming home without Marcellus. He even appeared confused as if he were wondering where our baby was. But they had that night. They had some interactions even if there was a belly between them.
Marcellus, I love love love thinking of that night. Your furry big brother was so funny licking at my belly like that. What was it like for you? Did it make any noises inside? I know you could hear Mommy and Daddy laughing our butts off. I'm sorry you never got to cuddle with Perkie Pie. He absolutely would have adored you and protected you from anything bad. Too bad he couldn't have protected you from NEC. I want that feeling from the picture back baby boy. I want to feel that again, but I don't know if I ever will without you here. Without you here happiness has a hole to it. It's not the same. There is an emptiness in everything. I will not be complete until we are reunited again one day my sweet boy. Until then, I am missing you so very much! Lots of love, hugs and kisses from earth. xoxox.