After my water broke, we thought the vacation would be canceled. I was more than okay with missing our vacation. Keeping the baby safely inside me until at least 24 weeks was my only concern.
After Caleb was born, we still weren't planning on going. I didn't think I'd be up to it and I wasn't sure if the doctor would clear the trip. While we were still in the hospital, my mom and our doctor conspired to convince us that it was exactly what we needed, and that it would be healing. I still wasn't sure about how it would go, but I figured that mourning and being sad on a beach beat being mourning and being sad at home, so I agreed.
In the end, I'm so glad we went. It did allow me to forget for the longest stretches of time yet. I was forced to interact with so many babies and pregnant women than it pushed me through to the next stage of grief, and I'm now just sad and wistful when I see them rather than angry and bitter like I had been. And when I remembered, it tended to be the more sweet moments, and Chris and I were able to talk about Caleb like he is...was...is a normal part of our family.
It did bring up questions, though. We're supposed to go back in January 2011. When we went last January, in 2009, our friends who went with us talked about buying a timeshare there, and earlier this year they did. (Do I need to say that I'm jealous??) Before, when we talked about returning in January next year with them, it was with the idea of bringing a five month old with us. Our friends have two kids themselves, so it'd be a great family vacation for all of us. However, now we won't have a baby (oh, god, here come the tears!). Now, we're just hoping to be pregnant again by that time. And knowing what happened last time, are we going to want to travel during our next pregnancy?? No. And yes. And definitely not. But yes. But mostly no. I don't know. We were unknowingly at risk for pPROM because of my bleeding (thanks, doctors, for not making me aware of that). So if the next pregnancy has no bleeding, maybe. But Chris and I have already said that if there's even a drop of blood next time, no matter the color, I'm immediately putting myself on bedrest and not moving. Hell, I'll even get a bedpan. Anything to help keep the next baby.
So this trip was bittersweet. It was wonderful, but also so sad to think that I should have been that darling pregnant lady rockin' the baby belly. And difficult to think that I might not be able to go next time (not that missing the trip is difficult - I'd miss a million trips to have a baby - but that we should have been going with a new baby and that if I do get pregnant again, it will be so fraught with worry that we won't be able to do anything like that).
One of the things I did do, though, that brought a lot of peace to me was writing Caleb's name in the sand. It's so gratifying to see something physical with his name on it. It reinforces the idea that he really WAS here, no matter how fleeting his time on earth was.