July used to be my favorite month. Stuck right in the middle of summer and full of sunblock, lightning bugs, and corn on the cob, it was perfection.
I remember the 4th, sitting at a picnic, surrounded my friends who were touching my belly and hoping to feel the baby move. That's my last real happy memory of being the old me. So now fireworks and red, white, and blue themed foods are like a painful reminder of being so happy and hopeful.
July 8th, 20 week ultrasound when all we thought we would learn was the gender of the baby. A girl, another GIRL! I will never forget my husband's shocked and happy face reflecting mine. We thought for sure she was a boy! Then the incredibly long time they took measuring her heart and her brain. I still didn't realize anything was wrong in between the ultrasound and the appointment with the midwife, where we sat in the waiting room and I imagined digging out all E's adorable clothes, imagined my girls in each others' weddings, imagined them sharing a room, secrets, and crushes.
At the appointment, they mentioned there were several ultrasound findings they were concerned about so we should see Maternal Fetal Medicine, just to check, everything could be fine, don't worry. We picked E up and told her she was going to have a sister! On the drive home and then googling the markers afterward we started putting together the pieces. What was Trisomy 13? What was Trisomy 18? Where were the stories of the babies who had the same things as our baby but ended up just fine? Where did the air in the room go?
Over the weekend, we named her. Violet.
July 12, the Maternal Fetal Medicine ultrasound that confirmed the findings of the week before and found additional problems in our perfect little baby. An amnio was done that day. The doctor told me I would find the strength.
July 15, the phone call. My husband worked from home that day and ran up the stairs when he heard the phone ring. I remember where I was standing. I remember holding up my fingers to signal to him...1...3. Trisomy 13. Our baby girl.
A year later and so much has happened. So much has come to pass and changed. I found the strength and lost it, a never ending cycle. I have so much to be thankful for: my husband, E, meeting V, getting 2 days with her when we planned for minutes, hours at the most, and now our rainbow. Our family and friends and all they did to surround and comfort us this past year. The new friends I've met because of Violet.
A year later and I am different now. I really don't like July anymore.
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