Microblog Mondays: The isle of conclusions

A mom I see at my son’s dance class had a baby 2 weeks ago. Despite the fact that I had confirmed with the grandma the week before that everything went fine, when she showed up to dance on Thursday without the baby, my heart dropped. 

 Rather than wondering where the baby was, my first thought was that it died. Baby is fine, and was home with dad rather than being exposed to a dance studio worth of germs.  

I felt utterly crazy after. What sort of weirdo jumps right to the conclusion of death?  Who would think that?  But in my world, babies die.  Far too often.  Just another way I’m different from mom’s who haven’t experienced loss.  

This post is a part of Microblog Mondays

It should be my little boy

I don’t do well with kids that are the age Noah should be.  I feel like people think I should be over that by now.  I’m not.  Hearing a kid is two and a half is like a knife in the heart.  And the kids I know we’re born/due the same week or month Noah was due?  It guts me.  

But I mostly do ok.  I see them, I vaguely interact with them, and I don’t run away sobbing.  Usually.  But today… Today crossed a line.  

There is a mom in my town who was due three days after me.  Three days.  We aren’t friends, but it’s a small town.  I know her, she knows me.  And we see each other.  

It started like any regular day.  I was at the farmers market and playground with Sam.  She was there with J.  Her little boy the same age that Noah should be.  

And then I look over – he is in my stroller.  

My stroller.  That Owen used.  That Sam uses.  That Noah never got to use.  In my fucking stroller.  

I waited for her to get him out.  She just stood there while he sat and ate his snack.  For several minutes, he sat in my stroller and she watched.  And I watched.  

Then I couldn’t take it.  We didn’t really have to leave for another 10 minutes, but I couldn’t take it.  I picked up Sam, walked over and said “we need to go.”  

She got him out, I put Sam in, and we walked away,  by the time I got to the car I was sobbing.  I sobbed all the way home.  

My friends mostly don’t seem to get it. They are fixated on the fact that you don’t let your kid sit in someone else’s stroller without asking.  Which sure.  It’s rude, and weird, and WTF?  

But it was a little boy Noah’s age.  It felt like rubbing in my face everything I’ve lost.  Everything I should have.  I try not to say why me?  You don’t want it to be your kid that dies, but you don’t want it to be theirs either.  But Fuck.  It was too much.  I know other kids his age exist.  I try to be nice.  I try not to begrudge the fact that their son is alive and mine isn’t. But fuck. 

Missing firsts

The first day of school in our town was last week.  Owen started his last year of preschool.  

If Noah had lived, he would be the same age that Owen was when he started preschool.  

Owen’s school is incredibly full.  There are wait lists for every class but one.  The one that Noah would have been in.  His spot is there.  But he isn’t. 💔
This post is part of Microblog Mondays

Micro blog Monday: Not what you’d expect 

I read the comments section. I know, I know. It was a pro-choice video. And so of course, the comments were about what you’d expect.  
One caught my eye. It said it would love to see a conversation between an OB at a birthing center, and a late term abortion provider at a clinic. I’m sure they had images of the OB railing at the “killer.”  
My image of how that conversation would go is a little different. Here’s what I imagine the OB would say:
“Thank you for helping my patient. I had to deliver the devastating news that the baby they love, the baby that they have planned and dreamed for will not survive. I wish I could be the one there with them as they try to peacefully let their baby go. But due to my hospital/their insurance/state law I’m not allowed to. Take care of them for me.”

Two and a half years

Yesterday Owen told Sam that he was “the best brother ever!” It was wonderful, and sweet, and heartbreaking. He never got the chance to play with and snuggle his first brother.  
I have a million pictures of Owen and Sam. Owen loves getting their picture taken together. This is the only picture we have of Owen and Noah. Taken two and a half years ago today. 💗 

 

Capture Your Grief Day 20: Forgiveness + Humanity

I just found this in my drafts from October.  I think was waiting for an image to go with it and lost track.  And it was rambling.  And not entirely on topic.  But very much how I was feeling on the day after his 2nd birthday.  
Forgiveness.  Whew.  What do I want to forgive?

I think I still have a lot of anger that this happened.  That I was so sick.  That he was so sick.  It’s just …  I haven’t done a whole lot of “why me?”  At least not out loud.  Logically I know that things happen.  That no one has any control.  That pregnancy and birth is a messy process, and that frankly, it’s amazing that it goes right as much as it does.  It doesn’t make me not angry that this happened.  To us.  To anyone.

The common loss phrase “too beautiful for earth” frequently makes me irrationally angry.  I know that some people find comfort in the idea that their baby was special.  That there was a plan, a reason.  But there is no reason.  Owen has been asking why a lot recently.  About everything but also why Noah died.  We try to explain the medical side of it.  But the truth is, it’s not a question I can answer.  We are human, and our bodies don’t always work right.  The pieces don’t quite fit the way they should.

Forgiveness.  Who am I angry at?  Biology?  I don’t know.  Maybe some day I won’t be angry.  That day isn’t today.

Due dates

Today isn’t a birthday. Or a death day. It’s a “what might have been.” I know that even if he had been healthy, Noah would almost certainly not have been born on this date. But it is the day of promise. From the moment of two pink lines, this is the day we looked towards.    
I think for most people, a due date isn’t something you remember in years to come. But when things go wrong, you think of all the hopes you had.   

Sam’s due date doesn’t hit me.  But as a preemie Owen’s (11/11/11) does.  And of course Noah’s (3/11/14) does.  

I like the connections.  Owen and Noah’s due dates were both the 11th. Owen was born at 10:33, Noah at 10:19.  I went into labor with both Sam and Noah on a Thursday, and they were each born on a Saturday.  Noah at 10:19, Sam at 9:19.  

What might have been.  My expected pregnancy with Noah and my pregnancy with Sam don’t overlap.  They could both exist.  Not likely, since I would have had to ovulate waaaaaaaaay before I’ve ever gotten a PP period.  But possible.  Enough for me to look around the room at bedtime and imagine a two year old there with my four and one year olds.  

Due dates are a day of promise.  So today, will always be your day Noah.  💗 We miss you.  We love you.  Always.  

Paranoia: please don’t die tonight

There are nights when I look at my sleeping kids, and all I can think, over and over again, is “please don’t die.”  
I had a dream last night that my oldest had died.  He was back as a ghost.  We played, but he couldn’t talk.  And I knew at somepoint he would leave.  

A child his in our state was murdered in an act of road rage this week.  I try to avoid such news but it has been everywhere.  The low level panic from reading about that is wearing me thin.  I can’t help but see my child in these stories.  I know it is someone’s little girl.  And there is nothing that makes me different from them other Han time and place.  I know how easy it is for life to change in an instant.  

So to my kids, tonight, please don’t die.  

Capture Your Grief Day 18: Seasons and Symbols

  I never understood the trend in the loss community to equate our children with butterflies. But this summer, during an exceptionally hard week, a yellow butterfly came to visit our back yard every day. I had rarely seen a butterfly. I now see them all the time. As the seasons change and it gets cold, I will miss seeing them everywhere.  

Yesterday at the Walk of Remembrance they did a butterfly release. Owen really wanted to hold a butterfly.  He kept not having any luck, but then Dan pointed out one that had landed on me.  Owen managed to hold it, and when it flew away, it came back to me.  It flew away and then landed back in me three times.  It was probably on me for five minutes.  I can’t explain it, but I was very emotional when it finally flew away.  

Tomorrow is Noah’s birthday.  I love and miss you sweet boy.  💙💙💙

Captureyourgrief Day 17: Secondary Losses

  It is often said that you didn’t just lose a baby, you lost the toddler, child, teen and adult they would have been.  Their first steps, first word, first day of school.  Graduation, wedding, children they might have had.  And I will think of all of those things when we get to each “he would have…” Kids the age Noah would have been I have already watched have their first words, first steps.  

But we also lost the lives we would have had.  I can not imagine a single aspect of our lives that wouldn’t have been different had he lived.  

Owen plays every week at the park with a little boy just 2.5 months younger than Noah would have been if he had been healthy and made it to term. I get this glimpse of the big brother he could have been to Noah.  

Most kids don’t know or think much about death.  But we talk about death a lot.  He heard me say “oh no” the other day.  Nothing catastrophic had happened.  But his first response? “Who died?”  

I don’t want to go into all the people I might be closer to if Noah hadn’t died.  Whether due to something they said, did, or didn’t, or just because of different beliefs, or circumstances of dates.  I have just as many if not more people that I wouldn’t be as close to without our losses.  Whether we met through loss, or just became closer through the common bond.  

Our whole lives are different.  I can’t even tell you all the ways.  I can’t see all the “what might have been.” But we see glimpses sometimes.