EDD Vacation

I have suffered from a terrible case of the "shoulds" since Desmond died. I should be this many weeks right now... I should be getting up to pee every hour instead of waking up feeling dread and sadness all night... We should be setting up the crib and washing the onesies... We should be about to have a baby now.

My estimated due date (EDD) was November 30, today. However, due to being advanced maternal age (ugh) and previous history of gestational diabetes and a few other issues, I would have been induced by 39 weeks if I hadn't gone into labor, so in my mind, November 23 was my due date because he definitely would have been here by Thanksgiving.

We realized some time ago that it would be a hard time - how could it not? - not that every day isn't hard in its own way, but a particularly hard time as it would mark the end of when I should have been pregnant and the beginning of when we should have had our son. We didn't want to be here, in Indiana, where it is cold and gray almost every Thanksgiving, going through the rote motions we had planned to go through with our new child - dinner at my mom's, setting up Christmas tree the next day, all that jazz. We needed to make new memories.

In 2013, we took a trip to Orange Beach, Alabama (we'd been to Destin in 2003, Seaside in 2009, and Clearwater last year) and we liked it. In one day's drive we can be there, and even though it's a lot of ugly high-rises, it's also affordable and the beach is white sand and very clean. We found a good deal on a three bedroom condo and decided to go down there. I felt sad to leave my mom here, but I needed to be 'selfish' a little bit too and try to heal.

We left early on Tuesday morning. This was at a rest area in Tennessee, complete with full size cardboard Dolly Partons (yes, multiple) and rocking chairs by the fire.

We arrived after sunset on Tuesday, about 6pm, but this is what I woke up to on November 23, Desmond's due date. David got a better picture of this, where you can see the moon above the sunrise. 

Jacinda's first visit to the beach. She didn't care much about the ocean, but loved the sand.

I love him so much. I didn't think there was a deeper love or connection we could have, but these last several months have shown both of us that we are both weaker and stronger than we ever thought. He is always there when I need someone to just hug me, or listen to me complain about the inordinate amount of pregnant women in any given place. I can tell him the dark, overwhelming thoughts that I can't tell anyone else, and he doesn't judge or criticize me. He is the living definition of long-suffering and patience.

We had to do some souvenir shopping, of course.

Beauty on the beach. :)

Out to lunch at Shrimp Basket

Our foster son was given this bear when he came into DCS custody. His name is Kevin (the bear, not the foster son). Jacinda loved Kevin from the first time she saw him, and when our son left us on November 19, he gave Kevin to Jacinda. So of course, Kevin had to tag along to the beach.

The condo building had a little playground area. We had fun trying to figure out what combination of Harpers would make a good match on the see-saw. We failed.

These two mostly enjoyed digging, digging, digging. As deep as they could. We met some other kids on the beach who had the cutest Alabama accents. They called Jacinda "Ja-Sandra," but it was so cute, none of us corrected them.

It was the right choice to get out of town for awhile. It didn't erase our pain, but the enormity of the ocean, the breath-like sound of its waves, and being free from the many painful visual reminders of who's missing here in our home was much needed. 


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