In 2001, I was in college in Kentucky. I had told no one, but I was pregnant. And at 19 weeks, two days before Valentine's Day, in a campus clinic, I gave birth to a little girl that nobody could save. I named her Miranda, and Valentine's Day changed forever.
I never found out what caused Miranda's death. But every year I would spend the days leading up to 'the day of love' curled up on my bed, remembering the horrific experience of giving birth to a child who was too small to live, alone in a facility that was in no way equipped to handle what was happening to me. Coupled with failed relationships and men who took advantage of my feelings for them, and I grew to hate Valentine's Day more and more every year.
A year ago, I was in a very different place. Faced with the torment of making a decision about the life of another little baby, my experience with Miranda played a profound part in my life. The timing of the events could not have been a coincidence. Right around the time when I normally would have curled up in a ball and spent days grieving over the baby that I was never able to have, I was presented with the opportunity to save another little baby from a similar, and yet so very different, fate. In the turmoil, I actually failed to realize the date of her death. A couple days later, I was consumed with the need to save the baby that lived inside my womb, for the sake of her sister-in-pregnancy. I could not bear to think that I would voluntarily repeat my experience with Miranda. The thought of having two children to mourn in February; well to be honest I was pretty sure it would kill me. I like to think that Miranda was watching over Baby S for those days.
And here we are a year later. Baby S is a lively, thriving little girl. She is so much more than anybody expected her to be. When I look into her pretty blue(ish) eyes, I can see that sparkle that makes me know that I did the right thing by standing up for her. She'll probably never know what I did for her; who knows what her mental capacity will be, but I have faith that a little bit of that baby that I never got to watch grow up, the child I wished for so much who wasn't meant to be here with me now, is living on in that sweet baby that I saved from the same fate.
I love you Baby S... and I love you Miranda
But I still hate Valentine's Day..