Our second child is due February 14th, 2010.

Many, many people have asked for her due date, but we have hesitated to answer. There are several reasons for this.

The first is that, while she is due on February 14th, she will absolutely not be born that day. Because of the medications I’m on and the fact that a c-section is necessary it’s really important I don’t go into labor. So, the doctors will determine when she will be born, but it will be several days, if not weeks, before the 14th.

The second reason is that I am, for lack of a better word, superstitious. The time line on this pregnancy is almost exactly like the time line for Madeline’s. Her due date was January 28th. There are so many things that are similar that it’s very hard to divorce my second pregnancy from my first one. Until I pass 28 weeks and 6 days, I will constantly worry that something will happen. Not that the worrying will stop after that, but it will be different.

The third reason is the biggest. When I announced that Mike and I were expecting again, it was terrifying. When you share on the internet, people sometimes feel like they have free reign to not only judge, but to write mean, horrible things. And honestly, when we decided to share that we were expecting, we wanted to focus more on the fact that we were having a much wanted child, and not on when she may have been conceived. So we were deliberately vague, and then when we still got some awful comments and hate mail, we made a decision to continue being vague.

We realize now that not sharing because of a few depraved people isn’t being fair to the vast majority of people who have only been amazingly supportive and kind.

After Maddie passed away, Mike and I made the decision that we were going to continue with our plan to expand our family. It wasn’t an easy one. We were very worried that people would think we were trying to replace Madeline. And while we were fine with people thinking whatever they wanted about the two of us, we could not stomach the idea that ANYONE would think Maddie was replaceable. Nor could we stand someone thinking our second child wasn’t extremely wanted or loved.

In the first few weeks after Maddie died, I didn’t know how I could ever live. I died on April 7th, but on June 3rd, the day I discovered I was pregnant, I knew I had to live again. She gave me something to live for. This baby, my daughter, has saved my life.

So yes, our second child was conceived not long after our entire life was taken from us. And some people may judge us for this. But until anyone has to say goodbye to the little girl they fought so hard for, they can’t know how it feels. Until they have to replay her dying in front of them every time they close their eyes, they can’t know how it feels. Until they have to talk to an urn that holds their daughter’s remains instead of a living, breathing child, they can’t know how it feels.

I am twenty weeks and five days pregnant. Our second daughter is due on Valentine’s Day.