Though it seems to be the rarest of the known chromosomal defects that frequently cause early miscarriage, the pathology results that I received today have revealed that it's what precipitated mine:
92 chromosomes, XXXX. Tetraploidy.
A girl then, I suppose, though with so many chromosomes, she never could have approached becoming one.
I wish I could say that the knowledge brought me some sort of comfort and closure. I won't say it hasn't, but trying to process all of the new information has definitely reopened some wounds that I thought were starting to close. It's also left me with more questions. What might have caused things to go so terribly wrong? Could it have had anything to do with that second yolk sac, a possible indicator of some early vanishing twin? Did a blastocyst-turned-embryo that should have become two babies instead stall out in some complicated cell division attempt gone wrong?
I'll never know.
I can at least put my mind at ease that there was anything I could possibly have done to effect such a terrible outcome- there clearly wasn't- though there's a small part of me that's still desperately trying to blame myself anyway.
And now I know. The baby-that-might-have-been was daughter-that-might-have-been. Sister-that-should-have-been.
I feel a strong desire to give her a name (that I will likely keep mostly to myself) but, having chosen it, it's been hard to implement. For all of her short life we knew her by her in-utero nickname, Chickpea. I imagine that's the first name that will always come to my head whenever I think of her, the one I reach for when I choose to include her in our prayers.
Whatever your name, Little One, I dearly wish I'd met you.
Maybe someday, I shall.