Dear Bump,

I know it's been awhile, and for that I'm sorry. Things have been busy around here and we're trying to get prepared to bring your little sister into this world with us. It's a little frightening, if I'm honest. So many things are different that shouldn't be. For instance, we shouldn't be having this one-sided conversation like this. You should be beside me or in your crib, I should just be getting you settled into a solid sleeping pattern. You should be a little over six months old. But you're not. You never got the chance and for that I'll never stop being angry. But most of all, I'm sorry. I'm so sorry that I wasn't able to keep you safe. That was my one job a year ago, and it was something the three of us weren't prepared for. I'm still not prepared for it.

I hope you don't think I've forgotten about you. Not a day goes by that you don't cross my mind. It's in the quietest moments that you do, always when I'm not expecting it and there you are to flood my thoughts and make my heart clench. I think of how we should be laying in bed together, you between us, watching as you kick your little legs and fill the empty spaces of the room with tiny giggles. I should be covered in water from giving you a bath because you've discovered splashing with your feet. You should be falling asleep on your dad's chest and making me want to scream with how sweet it is, and making me fall in love with our little family more than I already am. You should be here, screaming your head off because your first teeth are starting to cut through those sensitive gums of yours and I should be frantically trying to soothe the ache.

Your birthday should have been around October 11th 2014. That was the day you were due to come and change our world as we knew it then. My stomach wasn't inflated, and you were brought much sooner, and torn just as quickly. You still changed everything for us, though, so don't think you didn't make a difference. You made the biggest one. You helped us to not take anything for granted, to appreciate what we did and do have. You've already made me into a better mother all because you simply existed. I've not regretted a single moment this time around, I didn't even hate being sick. I kept my promise to you, Bump. But then if I didn't keep it to you, what value would my word hold anymore?

I still don't know if you would have been a boy or a girl. I always picture a girl when I think of you, so maybe you were, or maybe you were still deciding. I'll still never know what color hair you'll have or the shade of your eyes, if you'll have my laugh or his, or if you'll be tall like your dad or short like me. I wonder if you would have been athletic and into sports, or if you would have loved the arts and music. Would you like eating carrots? Or would you like pudding better? Do you like chocolate? What face would you make the first time you taste a strawberry? I hate that neither one of us will get to find out anytime soon, but maybe one day you'll be able to tell me. I hope so. I don't know if I believe in a heaven or a god, but I have to believe there's something else and that you're there, waiting for your family to come to you this time. I'm sorry that we're going to keep you waiting for so long. I hope you have his smile.

You have a younger sister. She'll be here in a month and I already love her. I've loved every second of having her here because this time I knew what the other side to that was. I couldn't bring myself to hate something that's going to give me the most incredible life that I could conjure up. Every wave of nausea, every kick, every food aversion and craving and back pain has brought us one step closer. I know you'll be there when the time comes, and I hope a part of you comes with her. Thank you for convincing her to stay. I may not know what I'm doing, but I'm going to take the best care of her that I can. I held my breath at each appointment, dreading what they would tell me and praying that the words wouldn't come this time. They never did. She's strong and for that I'm grateful. I'm sorry that I'll get to have her fingers wrapped around my thumb instead of yours, but I know you wouldn't have it any other way. And I know that you don't blame me. I'm still struggling with not blaming myself too, but I've accepted something that's completely unacceptable and that's a start. I can be a slow learner sometimes.

I'll never know the reasons why you had to leave so soon, but I have to believe it's because you had a bigger purpose to fulfill somewhere else. I'll always be thankful for even the brief time you chose us to be yours.

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