There are so many anniversaries in this grieving game. The day I started bleeding, the day the scan showed our baby had died, the days I physically lost the babies, the dates I found out I was pregnant, the due dates of the babies.
Today was the one year anniversary of the due date of our first baby.
Last year it was awful. This year it was okay.
I kind of figured a week or so ago that it was going to be a lot better than last year. This is because I was feeling relatively calm about it, even though we’d just put Manaaki on a flight home the day I got my period. Even though we have no idea when we’ll get to try again, or even if it will be with Manaaki. Normally that kind of uncertainty about TTC stuff makes me really upset. Since the miscarriages I mean.
But this time I’ve just felt okay. Not great. Not 100% all better. Just feeling secure that I have my wife, our relationship is truly solid, and I believe that our baby will arrive some way, some how. Just not right now.
So last night I went to bed and I slept. I woke in the morning and thought that if we had a 1 year old child they would be standing up in their cot calling to us. Then I realized that no, since it was 7.30am they would be snuggled up between us. And you know what? I didn’t get sad, I just felt that it will come eventually.
We rushed around all morning preparing for the morning tea around 11am. My brother and sister in law and Miss Horopito (our niece) finally arrived at approximately 1pm and we devoured our delicious
morning tea lunch.
All was lovely and Horopito was adorable and the conversation was nice and all that. But no mention was made of why we were there, and I (usually Miss Speechmaker), just couldn’t get it out.
It was okay until we finally were ready for the cake. My brother had a friend arriving so they had to go, and they asked a couple times if we could have the cake. I’d saved it till last as I kept wanting to say something. To acknowledge us all being there to remember the baby, or marking the end of a tough year but I just couldn’t. Plus our family are all quite loud and conversations were going on across the room over the top of excited baby noises.
So I ended up just cutting the cake into pieces. Toku was holding Horopito in front of me and she was bouncing around and babbling away. Everyone else was discussing Horopito’s 1st birthday party next weekend (which has gone from what I thought was a small family gathering to one with nearly 50 people).
So I cut the cake and made a silent acknowledgement in my head, but then I just dissolved into tears. I had to race off to the bedroom for a while and Toku, of course, immediately noticed and came in and held me and mopped up my tears and asked what I needed her to do.
So I asked her to do it. She’s not the loudest person in the world, and certainly not in our family, but I knew she’d do it for me. Plus I knew that if we didn’t say anything, then no one else would and I’d feel even worse later. Toku announced we should all have cake but was obviously waiting for the right moment to speak. But no lull in the conversation came. So just as they readied to leave, Toku began to announce across the room that she ‘wanted to thank them for coming to….’ And my dad (who obviously hadn’t heard), started calling across the room to ask my brother about some beer brand he’d tried lately. So I, (who was doing the dishes as I knew I might cry when Toku spoke), ended up in tears of frustration this time. But then suddenly, for the first time in about a year, I was being hugged tight and consoled by my big brother and then by his wife as well.
So it all turned out okay in the end you know. Not perfect or quite how I might have hoped it would go, but okay.
And okay seems like a pretty nice place to be right now.
We remember you and all we’d hoped to be to you today toku pepi.
Oh and on the menu:
Caramelised pineapple upside down cake with fresh vanilla cream
Dingle Buns (old family recipe like a rock cake with nutmeg & raisins)
Egg & Rocket (arugula) sandwiches
Tuna, cream cheese, caper, pepper dew & cucumber sandwiches
Dads Apple & Lemon curd turnovers
Bengal Spice tea