Happy Father's Day.
A day I was expecting to shower Imom with love and gifts and sweet little moments with our daughter since the day we found out we were expecting in August of 2018. I had already started planning a day of adventure and new beginnings with our little one in tow.
Imom as a father is such an exhilarating thought. He exudes patience and kindness and hope, all while instilling the importance of critical thinking, the truth behind history, and the value of knowing yourself.
Our daughter had it made in the daddy department.
I envisioned lengthy walks in the forest hand in hand; imom pointing out all the variety of trees and foliage; moments by the river watching the geese and mergansers hunt and play; times mozying about the cabin teaching her to build a fire, how to properly prepare breakfast, how to survive with what you have. She would have been the leader of her Troop!
But, how do you celebrate Father's day without a child there to call you Father?
Our daughter never made it to see either of us, but we carried her, we loved her, we envisioned our life with her in it. Although she isn't here for us to hold and snuggle, we still feel like parents or almost parents. Parents who lost a baby. Parents who don't get breakfast in bed, or scribbled notes of love and adoration. We are stuck in limbo between the imagined life with our Rosie and our reality without her. The truth is we miss her, and those ideas and hopes and dreams; all the treasures that were stolen from us.
I know we are not alone. So many other couples have endured the pain and emptiness of losing a baby. In fact, one in every 160 American pregnancies end in stillbirth. A number still so very large, yet one you don't hear enough about in this new age of online sharing. Almost 50 percent of stillbirths occur at or near full term and often seem to be otherwise healthy babies. That was the most heartbreaking part of it all for Imom and me. Rosie was growing perfectly; she was on schedule, kicking, wiggling, heart beating. The hard part is trying to forgive myself for my body failing us and our hopes and dreams. And her life. It's a struggle I imagine will last a lifetime.
But, for now, it's Father's Day, and although, we don't have a little one to gush over and kiss on, we have each other. And we have hope. I plan on showering him with just as much love and joy and Daddy goodies as if Rosie were here to do it with me.