A year ago today I went into labour. After my second application of prostaglandin gel on the morning of March 8, 2005, I started having regular, mild contractions around one in the afternoon. I lay on the couch as we excitedly timed each one. They fell into a mostly regular rhythm, coming every four minutes or so.
My Mother in law was frantic. "Why aren't you at the hospital?" she nervously asked My Beloved when he called her with an update.
But we weren't worried. I don't know why.
I napped for a few precious minutes and then lay on the couch watching The Barefoot Contessa (and hours of other things I can't remember) until, as instructed, we called the hospital when the contractions had been regular for as long as the doctor said they should be. They told us to come in at around 7:30pm.
We did. It was 7:30pm on Thomas' last full day alive when, nervous and by now pretty scared, we walked into the hospital. He would be born the next day at 5:29pm with no vital signs. He would die 20 hours later.
Five days after that we would walk back out of the hospital without him - numb, exhausted and desolate.
In so many ways it feels like it was yesterday. And yet, it also feels like a lifetime ago.
The last day.