Sunday, January 25, 2009

Babies

It was the day of her funeral.
My dear sweet Auntie Irene had finally gone home. Her health had been failing her for years and while I wish she could have stayed longer, I knew that it was time. She was my Great-Aunt. Like a grandmother to me. And perhaps more importantly, a cherished friend. And now she was gone and I missed her.

I woke up that morning feeling a little sick- it was more than just a sadness in my stomach, it was something else and because I thought there was a slim possibility I took a test.

It was positive.

Days after losing Andrew I had a strong desire to be pregnant again. I wanted that feeling back. That was when I felt him, that was when he was alive, that was when I could sing to him and feel he and his brother kicking, growing, living inside of me. I wanted that feeling back. I wanted the old me back.

I wanted the world to see I had babies. My whole pregnancy I had been saying I was having babies and when people saw me with one baby- it bothered me. I wanted to use a plural. I wanted to have babies. And so here I was. It was what I wanted... wasn't it?

Suddenly I felt a pit in my stomach and thought somehow I was betraying my son. I hadn't grieved enough, I was moving on- flipping a page and that didn't seem right. I wanted my Andrew back. I'm not ready yet. It had only been seven months since I had become a mom. My heart wasn't healed. I couldn't do this again.

As my pregnancy progressed I tried to remove myself from the thought of being pregnant all together. I was afraid to love this baby growing inside of me. I was afraid that if I fell in love like I did that first time that I wouldn't recover. I couldn't live through another loss. Part of my heart was already gone. Could I live if someone took another piece? To be perfectly honest, I was scared. Terrified. And that is when I built my wall.

It was a late summer evening and I was sitting alone at the memory garden with my journal and pen. I sat next to the brick with my son's name on it and I wrote him as I often did. I wrote about my fears and my longing to have him back and not this new person growing inside of me. And as I wrote those words something changed inside of me.

In a moment I realized that I could not control my love for the child who was suddenly a reality to me. I thought I had built a wall around my heart and yet somehow this precious little one had found a way through. I looked at my swollen belly and whispered, "I'm sorry." I looked to the heavens, to the white fluffy clouds and said, "Thank you."

And that pregnancy was scary. Suddenly there was nothing I wanted more in life than this child. I would feel my baby move and wonder where the cord was, I would wonder what was happening and I felt so helpless. I knew that if I couldn't save one child, I certainly couldn't save another. In my first pregnancy I had prayed for God to let my children 'populate heaven' and in this pregnancy my prayer was, "Please Dear God, PLEASE let this baby stay."

As the days passed I couldn't wait to get the baby out of my body. I had seen preemies and thought, yes they are on a machine- but they'll come home- they'll live. I just wanted the baby out of my body. And at 37 weeks the babies lungs were developed and I found myself in that same room I was in, just 15 months earlier.

I remember commenting on how bright the room was-
The moment I spoke those words I realized that that night 15 months ago, it must have been bright, yet my eyes remembered it as being dim. This winter morning there was conversation and laughter- very unlike the silent filled room that cold September night. And there was a cry. That beautiful sound that I had been praying for. And there was no sadness except a secret wish that he could have been here to meet his sister instead of there.

People would now see I had babies.
They would see two-
I would see three-
and yet the word was the same.
Babies.

And back on that day when we said goodbye to a woman who had such a big place in my heart, I learned another amazing woman would be coming, and she did.

And as the announcements read that December,
Andrew smiled from heaven as we welcomed our daughter, Alicia Jane to our family.
And I most certainly think he was.
Smiling.

2 comments:

  1. Your blog is the best. Isn't it strange that a single moment in our lives changes EVERYTHING!! Wish we lived closer so we could do things with the HUGS group.
    -Kim

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  2. Having Ellie, born not quite a year after the loss of Olivia and birth of Josephine, was the best and worst thing that could have happened. I was terrifed during my entire pregnancy (thanks to the HUGS moms that were pregnant with me) and just couldn't get excited.

    Now it's so heartwarming to see and hear Jo and Ellie playing together, sharing a room, and even arguing. But at the same time, it's like it's happening with the wrong kid. It should be Olivia with Jo.

    Until Ellie was born I wished daily that things could be what they were supposed to bed: three girls, Annie, Olivia, and Jo. But now that would mean giving up Ellie. How could I now choose to give up Ellie? So I choose to accept my fate, my entrance into our "secret society." I don't have to like it, I accept it.

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