Fall used to be my favorite time of year. I loved the leaves turning and the crispness of the air. It was the last few perfect days before the snow and cold came. I loved Halloween, pumpkins and candy corn (well I will always love candy corn!). However, now when I feel the first hints of fall in the air it takes me back to this time 2 years ago. I get flashbacks of what I was doing in those days leading up to Avery's birth and burial. Of going store to store with my mom trying to find the perfect burial dress for my sweet baby. Not having any idea that she would be arriving in a little over a week's time. Finding a dress that I loved but the smallest dress we could find was 0-3 month size and I knew even if she made it full term, it would drown her. I bought it anyway thinking that we could pin it if we needed to, to make it fit. I ended up taking that dress back when she came so early and was so tiny. The dress that her grandma and aunt made for her was so much better anyway. It was perfect.
Then, I start getting flashbacks of the day that she was born; visiting the pediatrician, packing my hospital bag - just in case, and heading to the hospital to find out if I was leaking amniotic fluid. Of course there is the day I left that hospital empty handed, it was a beautiful day and my heart was completely shattered. It comes back to me so clear, like it just happened last week. As it gets cooler I remember the day we buried Avery. Sitting there in front of a tiny little casket engraved with daisies, shaking violently because of either the 103 degree fever I was running or because I was crying harder than I ever had in my life. My body was so swollen that I couldn't find anything to wear to her burial service and that made me cry too. My feet couldn't fit into any of my shoes so I arrived in flip-flops and it was freezing outside.
Yep, fall has been ruined for me. I don't know if I will ever feel the way I used to about this time of year. Then again, most holidays will never be the same for me either. I will always be thinking about who is missing when we get together as a family. Or how big she would be and what her personality would be like. I wonder if she would have my dark hair or her daddy's red hair. I think about what we would have dressed her up as for Halloween and how we would have took her around to visit her grandparents and great-grandparents.
Last night at the support group I attend, I found out that I am not the only one that feels this way and that makes me feel better. I feel now, like this is a normal thing to go through when you have had a child die. I hope that someday we will have a child (or children) to dress-up, to take to family gatherings, to watch them play with their cousins, to experience all of the things that we are so painfully missing out on right now. As Avery's birthday approaches I can't help but be sad, and feel a little bit bad for myself, but I think that's okay.