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9 weeks.

Ever since we met I have been counting my life in weeks. I heard your heart beat for the first time at 6.5 weeks. The doctors said they wouldn't see me until I was 8 weeks so I had to fib a little to get in. I wouldn't say I was impatient, I was just excited to see you. I could feel you in my heart, I knew you were here, I just wanted to see you.

I felt you move for the first time at 16 weeks. I was driving and I had pulled over to make sure I was right. I felt you flutter again and I cried. It was the first miracle I had ever experienced.

At 21 weeks I felt your first kick. I jumped out of my seat and laughed so hard I cried.

At 33 weeks you started having really intense hiccups, three times a day. I would rub your back and sing or hum to you. Hoping it would soothe you.

At 37 weeks your hiccups calmed down and your feet in my ribs intensified. I thought you were pushing against my rib cage to come out. I was on your side. I was ready for you then.

At 38 weeks I started to worry about you. I wanted you in my arms and I was scared something was wrong but you checked out strong and healthy every time. You were perfect in every way.

At 39 weeks and 5 days, that was the last time I heard your heart beat. We listened for a while. You vacillated between 130 and 145 beats per minute. Strong. Vital.

That was 9 weeks and 4 days ago. Yes I'm counting. May 30th you had a heartbeat and kicked me in the ribs and then May 31st there was nothing. How? Why? Can I go back to the 30th? That day I I felt you move and roll and kick. The day I rubbed your little butt and told you I would see you soon. The day the midwife asked me if I would like her to speed things along and I said, "No. The baby will come when the baby is ready."

Why did I say that? What an arrogant fool?! We were both healthy. We were both strong. How could I have waived that off? I thought I was protecting you. I thought I was being patient for you. I thought I was giving you space to be you and not making you live up to my timelines. I thought, "I'll take care of my body, make sure I open up and you come when you are ready. I'm ready for you."

Sitting here now my mind wants to say that was my failure as a mother. I failed you. I failed our family. Ugh! What is that, survivor's guilt? As if I could have seen this coming. How could I have seen this coming? Thank God for your Dad. He won't let me get away with stuff like that.

I can't rewrite history. I can't go back in time. And maybe I don't want to. Who knows what would have happened if I pushed you. If I rushed us. What if you came out and your soul left your body in my arms right after the delivery?! No. It had to be this way. All the people that have come into our life because of you. All the life your life has brought us. I can't tell you how grateful I am.

Besides, the woman I was 9 weeks and 4 days ago was tense, she was scared and righteous. She was stubborn and closed off in ways I didn't realize. Her heart was hardened. You tenderized it, broke it wide open. I no longer recognize the woman I am but I like me. Something in me died 39 weeks and 3 days ago and I don't miss it. I miss you terribly but I feel you everywhere. The woman I was 39 weeks and 4 days ago wouldn't be open to that. She would have dismissed the signs, neglected the feelings, trusted her intellect over her heart. Now I can sit back and listen to both my head and my heart. The way I dreamed about parenting you I am parenting me. UcenterDress cowgirl wedding items for a country wedding

You did that for me, my sweet baby. You made me a mom. You made me soft and open. You have shown me and continue to show me that there is nowhere I can go that you won't be.

So I think I can stop counting now. I will stop thinking of the last time I heard your heart beat and the last time I kissed your cheeks. I'll stop going back to when I last felt you move. They are lovely memories and I will cherish them always but that's not where you are anymore. And if I keep looking back I won't see where you are because in this moment, right here, right now, you are here with me. In all ways. Always.