I’m still in mourning. I miss the boy I was supposed to bring home from the hospital in February 2012, alive and well. There is a sore spot forever marked on my heart now that he is gone. I assume I will always miss him. I will always ache for him. I will always need him in a way that I cannot explain to “the everyday” person who hasn’t lost a child.
There is additional mourning that feels suffocating these days. I’m hoping one day it will lessen in it’s intensity. It’s the mourning of my old life.
Everyday in which I muddle through my current hand, I get bothered. Irked. Bitter. Frustrated. Hurt. Sad. And I miss what life would have been like if that boy lived and made it home with us in February 2012.
Daniel's sister (the youngest of the 3 older he has) had a baby 2 weeks after Theodore was born. She was due in late June of 2013, but her daughter was born via emergency c-section on May 9th – 7 weeks+ early. Her baby lived, and spent a good few weeks in the NICU.. but she is home now and otherwise really healthy. She’s “behind” Theodore in certain developmental milestones, but after a year or so, her gestational age will pretty much not matter any longer and she’ll just be small in size for her age.
My sister had her daughter in September 2013. Her baby and Theodore are almost 5 months to the day apart in age. I don’t hear much from my sister these days. A lot has happened since the birth of these 2 (Theo and niece) babies in our family. During this past Christmas my sister told me (during an emotional conversation about my grief and Alexander’s involvement at Christmas) that she wanted to be the first to have children between the 2 of us. I told her it has saddened me that she hasn’t been more excited to know about Theodore and all the baby wonderfulness he possesses. However, the fact that I had Theo just 5 months before the birth of her daughter, she’s needed to distance herself from being involved in how Theo is growing as she doesn’t want to feel cheated in experiencing it first hand with her own daughter. She really wanted to have her children come first and for her to be a mom first. And the fact that I'm experiencing everything first is something she's unhappily dealing with - and in that, she's had to become less involved in being an aunt.
I said to her… “then I guess you got really lucky when Alexander died..”. I was angry, and she got angrier in the fact that I would say something so rotten. But that’s how I felt in knowing she wanted to be the first to have kids.
It would have been so very different had Alexander been my first baby to bring home and raise. My sister would have the role of being an Aunt for the first time, and figure out how she wanted to do that in her own way… while planning her wedding and then planning her life. But liked it or not, she would have been an aunt long before being a mom.
Every since Daniel’s sister had her second daughter, there has been a constant comparison to how she is doing compared to Theodore. It doesn't bother me too too much, but it's something that can get under my skin. This is the closest that 2 babies have ever been in Daniel's family. And every time Theo does something, his Nonna often or always says, "A does this too now.. but she does it like this... ". (yes, the new baby is an "A" baby). And I feel it diminishes a bit of Theo's individuality. Like, can I just have a baby and have him be the only baby we think about for a second!?
Alexander was going to be several months ahead of this baby, (who is also an "A" baby... sigh) and comparisons would be had in the sense that he’s older and in a completely different stage of infancy.
(And can I just take a minute to mention that yes, both babies had by 2 difference sisters after Alexander are "A" babies as well. Would have been the cutest thing in the entire world if Alexander, Adrian and Alessia were walking along, hand in hand... but now... well... we all know how the story goes...)
I mourn these should have been scenario’s in my life. I mourn the fact that I was to have the only child on my side of the family for my mother, brother and sister to experience. I mourn the placement of Alexander among the slew of grandchildren on Daniel’s side.
I think about how life would be between me and my family if I was the only member with a child. Selfish I know. But it was a nice place to be back in 2011 when I was pregnant and expecting. In all things that are unfolding in life, I get so bothered by where I am. It’s unhealthy. And I rarely – if ever – admit these feelings to anyone but Daniel. But I feel so suffocated by my current “timeline” and thoughts of family planning in the future.
I think I can safely say that Daniels 3 sisters are done with having kids. But my sister isn’t. She claims that she is done, and that she cannot imagine doing this again and she had no idea having a baby was going to feel so hard. But I know she’s not done. I'll be bold enough to mark my words that by the end of 2014, she's pregnant with her second. And once again, I feel anxious and frustrated that thoughts of my own future pregnancies and babies could fall so closely with hers. Or worse, she'll be popping out baby #2 and the life of 2 babies under 2 will be had by someone else in my family other than me. Had we had Theodore on the same timeline of having Alexander being born alive, life would be CRAZY. And to see that craziness had by her family = me feeling gutted. I’ve talked about the whole needing my space aspect around what my sister does. And in the baby having department (both while gestating and afterwards) I need that space from her more than ever.
And I mourn the normalcy of not having any of my children dead. I mourn the “go with the flow” feelings I had with family planning I had when I was pregnant with Alexander.
I mourn the emotional lightness there used to be in my family surrounding me and my life. I mourn the lack of stigma attached to me.
I mourn the me I was before baby loss. I mourn the wholeness I felt. I mourn the outlook I had towards other people’s lives. I miss the way I used to REALLY not care.
I wonder when I’ll breathe with the same lightness I used to have. And not a lightness that doesn’t involve sadness and missing. But a lightness in really feeling like my life is just as it’s supposed to be.I mourn the life I had where I wasn't burdened so much by figuring out something so fucking complicated.
Today is Alexander’s due date. I mourn the life where February 18th was a perfect and exciting day to welcome my first born son.