I remember this day two years ago as well as I remember yesterday.
It was a Saturday and I was thirty-seven weeks and six days pregnant. It was sort of a quick day. We were rushing around getting last-minute things ready for Jensen’s arrival. Somehow it felt like the next two weeks or so were going to go by really slow, so we left a few things last minute.
He was low at this point and there was all types of pressure happening. I was so swollen. My face was so puffy and my feet looked unnatural. I never said how miserable I was when I was pregnant with him and I have no idea why because I’ve complained a lot in the past few weeks with Mila. For some reason, every day with Jensen felt like a blessing. I was fearful about Down Syndrome and can remember when they told me he tested positive for it that there’s a chance he could die before birth, but it was low after so many weeks. I don’t know. When he was with me, I felt myself more calm.
Anyways, there was a bassinet at my grandpa’s house and we were looking for other things for my house. His basement was full of my grandmother’s things, which I asked to have and still have them up in my house today from that day. My grandma passed away when I was very young, so her things are one way I can touch what she touched or have that connection. One of the things from that day was an old, orange car that was a cologne bottle. It looks so cute in Jensen’s room. I picked up a lamb she hand-made, so he could have it too. That’s now in Mila’s room, with her odd collection of lambs that I’ve picked up over the months. There’s a couple other things that I brought home with me of theirs. I wanted to bring apart of my family’s history to him, so he knew he’d always have someone watching over him and that he was surrounded by love.
While we were rummaging through the basement, my mom called my one cousin over and we looked through old photo albums and my grandparent’s love letters. I can still hear my grandpa reading them out loud. We saw their wedding photos, which I had never seen before. I was sitting on the couch in front of the window and my cousins daughter was sitting right next to me. All of us there were just listening to my grandpa talk and all of a sudden the lamp to the left of me flickered and Jensen made a big movement. I asked my cousin’s daughter if she wanted to feel him and she could. Then we wrapped the night up after a half hour. When I went to bed, I read Jensen a book and fell right to sleep after the busy day.
I didn’t know then, but that was the last big, memorable movement I’d ever feel from him.
Some part of me thinks that was him letting me know he was in distress. I thought he was just moving and I wish (so damn much) that I would’ve thought that movement was a little rough for him. It really haunts me. I wonder if that was his last night alive, of course I can’t know for sure. Another part of me thinks that if it was him letting me know he was going, that it wouldn’t have been a bad night to go. That whole day was about him and how much love is in our family.
I’ve been over that last weekend with him so many times in my head. For some reason, this day has stuck out for me. Although I can’t speak for other moms, I know I have tried to see where I could’ve saved him, many times. It’s like I have to put the blame on me at some point. I can’t explain it, but I feel like I should’ve known.
Throughout today, I’ve been thinking about two years ago and how different I wish it could all be. Mila’s had great movement and was monitored earlier. I’ve been on edge all day, wondering if this would be the last day I feel her move too. Honestly, I feel so guilty for all my pent-up anxiety and treating these days like they were two years ago. I just never thought he would die. I never thought I would remember his last movements because we should’ve had a lifetime of them…
Tonight, I’ll be watching my belly roll as Mila gets ready for her arrival, thinking of Jensen’s friend Alonzo as his family celebrates his second birthday in heaven, and as always, missing and loving my boy who I am so thankful made me his mom.