Sometimes I obsess with needing people to know the details -- especially now that we have moved to a new city. No one wants to ask questions, but everyone is curious. So this is the deal. There's no filter on it that will make it better or make me seem like I endured any of it with grace. It's ugly and nightmarish. But it's my story, and maybe it's time for me to tell it. Here is part 1.
Darcy wasn't a miscarriage. She wasn't a sick baby that I carried, knowing her slim chances of survival. She wasn't a premie who didn't make it. It wasn't premature labor gone wrong. Darcy was the victim of an undetectable and fatal knot in her cord.We were blindsided.
That summer I was HUGE. So big that I didn't want to be in photos. (I regret that now. I have very few photos of me "with" her.) People asked if I was expecting twins. My girls were not in many camps and I paraded our entourage everywhere, getting questions like, "you KNOW how this happens, right?" And they chuckled.
But it was the pregnancy that I loved. I enjoyed being huge and gushing with responses like, "yes, it's another girl and we are all thrilled. I love my girls." I secretly adored how crazy people thought we were. Jay was openly excited about another girl. He just loved being a dad. And he loved his girls with all his being.
It was one of the hottest summers on record in Kansas City, and that is saying something. I wore maxi dresses, which meant my profile was 3 feet wide, all the way to the floor. Everything hurt, and I was hot. But I knew this was my last. I was 39 and truly glowing with this pregnancy. I had really good hair.
On August 1, 2011, we were shopping for back to school shoes. Stride-Rite. It was a tiny store and it was so crowded and my girls were restless. We had to wait for what seemed like forever for help and I was just hot. Exhausted. Not thrilled with being out in the heat or spending all that money on shoes. However, I was entertained by their enthusiasm. I exchanged looks of sympathy with other moms there, some with strollers, others with unhinged toddlers. I had all three girls with me (2, 5, 15) before Courtney had walked off to another store that she liked. I'm sure she had only joined us because I had promised to eat out. Eventually we found what we needed, I suppose. I don't remember that part now.
When we got home later, we decided it was too hot to cook in the house. We had some restaurant gift cards and decided to go out again & meet Jay for dinner. We went to Applebee's and had a filthy table and plates, food took forever and was wrong, our service was awful -- it was a Tuesday and, clearly, the C team was staffing.
We left, moved down the street to Outback Steakhouse and waited another 40 minutes for food. At this point, I had dragged my hot and tired kids around all day and it was 8pm. Bedtime. Frustrating. We were tired of talking to equally frustrated restaurant managers. I'm not sure we paid for any food that night.
So, yes. It was a busy day and I had been distracted with parenting. And the evening wasn't much better.
I wish I'd had paid attention, though, because it was the last day she was alive.
I went to bed around 11pm, like normal. (As easily as it is for an 8mo pregnant woman to go to bed, anyway.) Slowly turned over, feeling baby readjust as I did.
I woke at 2 am with a start.
I knew something was wrong.
That is when the nightmare began.