You were someone I always thought I’d get to meet. I had dreams of you running around in my parents’ backyard as I once did as a little girl. You would have had the same long, light-brown hair that I had as a child, blowing in the wind as you chased one of the many pets around. You would have liked being outside of course, just like your daddy and me. I suppose you would have been more on the tomboy side, rather than the girly. But, then again, you may have been into makeup or dolls too. I had envisioned myself pushing a shopping cart down the “pink” aisle at the local Walmart and fawning over all of the new toys that were being offered to girls your age. Somewhat jealous that they didn’t have some of those toys when I was a kid.
Then, when you got older I knew we’d probably fight sometimes, as most girls do with their mothers when they turn into teenagers. Though, you secretly would have needed me for those tough times, like when a boy broke your heart or you started your first period. And I, of course, would have relished in being there for you anytime you needed me because you would have been my baby girl.
By the time you were grown we would have finally become friends. Like I did with my own mother, there would have come a time when you started to see me as a human being and not just as your mom. You would have realized that I wasn’t perfect or some sort of superhero, but a woman with real problems and just struggling to get by. We would have shared good times together. Such as shopping for your prom dress, girl road trips, days at the spa, getting our nails done, and of course, eventually we’d prepare for your wedding together. I would have loved that, every single part of it.
There would have been other milestones along the way that I would have loved to experience with you. I saved you so many things from my own childhood that I thought you would have liked: the jewelry box my grandpa made for me out of popsicle sticks, all of my Barbie dolls, all of my photo albums, my expensive jewelry, and my own wedding dress that was sent away to be preserved in a special box for the possibility of my own daughter perhaps wearing it someday if she so chose.
The idea of you was always in my mind. When I got pregnant for the first time, I knew my husband wanted a boy, so I was happy when we had a boy first. Then, when we got pregnant again two years later, I was sure you’d be arriving soon. However, that baby wasn’t to be. At ten weeks along, he or she decided to go to heaven. Later, that same year, another sibling joined the second when they too passed at five weeks utero. Then finally, three years after my firstborn’s birth, I got pregnant one last time. I held my breath as the weeks passed by and amazingly the pregnancy continued to progress normally. I prayed for a healthy baby, but secretly in my mind I also prayed that it would be a girl. At around twelve weeks, I got the phone call from my doctor telling me the results of the genetic testing we had done at ten weeks, and was told that the gender was also available if I wanted to know. I wanted to know! When the doctor told me it was a boy I nearly dropped the phone. I was shocked. Everything had pointed to a girl. And again, I always thought that you would happen.
I cried that night and several afterwards. The “experts” call it “gender disappointment.” It is a real thing. Of course, I felt awful for feeling that way. However, I was mourning the daughter I would never have. I had to let go of all of the things I always thought I’d be able to do with my fictional daughter. I just knew that I couldn’t have any more biological babies because of all of the heartache of loss and my age rapidly creeping up on me. My body couldn’t take another pregnancy. So, the grief process went on and I got more comfortable with the idea of having another boy. I felt him kick, we gave him a name, and I fell in love with the idea of being a mom to two boys. By the time he was born, I had made as much peace with the idea of never having a daughter of my own as I think I ever will find.
I just want you to know that the idea of you will always be within me. I will always wonder what you would have looked like, what your name would have been, and who you would have become. I will also always wonder if one of my angel babies was you. If so, I hope that we get to meet someday after all. And yet, perhaps fate is waiting to have one of my beloved boys make me a grandma to a granddaughter someday.
We shall see.