I grew up as Jessica Dragon. It is such a cool name, but it didn't come without the occasional joke. I remember when I was in elementary school. A boy a year older than me was picking on my brother because he had a speech impediment that he grew out of by the way. I got very defensive and went and lit into this older boy. Well, after that, he called me fire-breathing dragon. That was a name I held dearly. I mean who would mess with someone named that. HA!
Later in high school, it seemed every teacher would come to my name on roll call and stutter. "Jessica Dr...Dr...How do you say that name?" Hello! Earth to McFly. Can you read? I would answer, "Dragon. You know like Puff the Magic Dragon." It's impossible to have a name like this and not think about dragons. So, yes, when I sat down to write my novel, it was an easy topic. But it wasn't the reason I sat down and wrote it.
The reason came in October of 2008. That was when my husband and I found out we were going to have a baby. At first, I won't lie. I was terrified. Not that I didn't want a baby, I did, but I started wondering if I was ready because I didn't want to screw up. I remember the day I found out. I took the pregnancy test and called my hubby and told him, "Hey. I took a pregnancy test and the not on the not pregnant sign wasn't there." It confused him because it wasn't until later he called back and said, "Are you telling me you're pregnant?" It was probably the worst way to tell someone. hehe
Not long after that, I started writing this book. It wasn't the first story I've written, but it was for a special reason. I love to read stories, and I love even more to read stories to other people and share their reactions. I remember telling bedtime stories to my stuffed animals and to my little brother. I wanted a story that I could share with my child one day. So I started writing.
The first three months of my pregnancy were pretty great. I was tired all the time, but I never had morning sickness or anything.
Then it was like a mountain came tumbling down. First at my 4 month appointment, I'm told I needed to see a specialist because some bloodwork came back funny. I couldn't get that appointment for a month later. The next week I found out my father had throat cancer. Just when I was starting to accept what I cannot change. Two weeks later, right before my birthday, my grandfather passed away. It was sudden. No one knew he was sick except for him. My uncle found him next to his tractor as though he was about to cut the grass. I had become numb to the outside world.
Later in the month of February, my dad's surgery was successful, and he was cancer free. YAY! So, for my 5 month doctor appointment, I brought my hubby, my mom, my mother-in-law, my grandparents, my hubby's grandmother, and we would all find out the sex of the baby together. It was exciting. I remember my hands being so cold as we waited. When it was my turn, I laid down, and the technician rubbed that goo over my belly and started the ultrasound. Everyone was excited, you could feel it in the air. I remember looking at the monitor and seeing the baby's legs, mentioning how long they looked.
Then the technician said that she was having a little trouble finding the baby's heartbeat. No worries, she was going to try something else. But everything she tried did not get a heartbeat. She got the doctor. I lost the baby. I was planning a baby shower and picking out baby furniture. That stuff happens in the first trimester. I was out of that. It wasn't happening. My baby was okay. I knew it. My dreams were shattered, my baby was taken from me. I would never get to know my baby.
On March 5, 2009, I delivered my baby in the hospital. Of course, her birthday is also her official date of death like Shakespeare. The doctor was unable to determine the gender, so since there were no man parts, we decided she was a little girl. We named her Angel Hope Cheramie. Angel because she is our angel. My then 10-year-old brother-in-law named her Hope for a brighter future.
Needless to say, I never looked at the book again until a year ago. I picked it up in the binder where it was all hand written. I started typing it on the computer, and I realized I had an entire story. I polished it and published it for others to read. So other children could enjoy it. Now when I write it, I write it for my baby. To give her a life to live, this way I get to know her. I gave her a fantasy life.
Since this happened to me, I have heard stories from many women close to me and ones that aren't and they have had stories similar to mine. To all those women, I understand your pain, your longing, your hopes, and I wish you all the love in the world. You deserve it.
Lots of <3,