September 21st. The day that my due date was calculated when I was pregnant with Darcy. We know she probably wouldn't have been born on that date - given my history of early deliveries and scheduling a C-Section. But still, it's all we have to go on. So, September 21st is the day we celebrate the age she would have been. And today... she would have been three.
We named her early, as we do all our babies. And as soon as we found out she was a girl we announced it to the world. I wanted to wait to put it in my CaringBridge journal until St. Patrick's Day. Ed and I met on St. Patrick's Day in 2002! We let the boys make the big announcement in this little video:
Then, on a May afternoon, I found out that Darcy was gone. A freak cord accident that couldn't have been prevented. I was admitted to the hospital and labor was induced... but my body wouldn't dilate. Not on the first day... or the second... or even the third. On the fifth day, with Ed sitting bedside the entire time, I finally dilated. And hours before Mother's day, I delivered and we held our sweet daughter.
I'm not sure which was more true - I didn't want to let her go or she didn't feel ready to leave. What I do know for sure is that it was one of the absolute hardest days of my life.
I have lost a lot of pregnancies. And I mourn each and every child that we never met. But when you are far along enough to have a nursery prepared... clothes in the closet... dreams and plans... it makes it all that more painful. Celebrating Darcy on what might have been her birthday... and on May 10th, the day we met her... is also our way of celebrating all of our children. We love each and every soul that we've been blessed to carry... or raise... fiercely.
Today we had plans to do some fun things to celebrate, but Brian woke up sick and telling us his ear hurt. Our wonderful pediatrician, Dr. Kienzle, met us at his office to take a look. I was sure he had an ear infection - but I was wrong. Just a cold. We stopped on the way home and bought a little cake - vanilla with vanilla icing at Brian's request - and balloons - and spent the rest of the day at home.
Brian sang Happy Birthday to his sister and blew out the candle...
And we talked about what she might be doing with Gavin on this special day in Heaven.
I will always include Darcy in our family story. I often wonder what she would have been like. Would she be as mild mannered and sweet as her brothers? Or would she have a completely different personality. And now I wonder if Hope will be gifted with part of Darcy's spirit somehow. Perhaps in getting to know Hope, I will unknowingly see glimpses of her sister. I catch myself calling Hope "Darcy" at least once a day... and it makes me smile. She is, and always will be, ingrained in my heart. And, lucky for Hope, I saved a few things that were meant for her sister - like this doll.
It is sitting in Hope's nursery just waiting for her.
I love you, sweet Darcy Claire. Happy third birthday.