Instead, Joe and I headed to the Florida Keys to celebrate Zoey’s birthday by the water. I needed to be by the ocean.
When we left for the airport on the one year anniversary of my induction, I slipped back to that day. To the nerves. And the excitement. Caught between two worlds. The one where I wanted to keep her safely inside me and the one where I couldn’t wait to see the little face she kept hidden from us during the ultrasounds. Knowing when we left that day that the world would be completely different on the other side.
We thought we’d have an April baby but she held out for May. When the doctor told us she wouldn’t make it through a natural delivery, we didn’t hesitate making the decision to have a c-section. We had not come that far to just let her go without a fighting chance. And Zoey had a flair for the dramatic even then. But when I finally looked into those stunning blue eyes for the first time, the world indeed changed. Life changed. Love changed. I changed.
I miss her with every breath. With every part of me. I have to focus on surviving one birthday at a time. Because if I think about a lifetime without her–year after year–it’s too much. On her 1st birthday I had to just focus on remembering those soft little bunny feet, bright blue eyes and the way she just fit against my chest. Joe & I sat by the water last night, talked about the day she was born and sent our wishes for her into the night sky.
Happy birthday Zoey. I hope you’re eating ice cream with your friends. I hope my dad made you giggle. I hope it’s beautiful where you are. We love you.