Yesterday I went to the cottage with your Grandma, Auntie Laurie and cousin Ben. Your Dad couldn't come because he hurt his back. I felt bad leaving him, but he knew that he wouldn't be able to do anything other than lie on the living room floor or the bed all day. These days I have alot of trouble when I don't have something specific to do. Normally I would just knit, read a book or watch a movie, but I still have trouble focusing on things like that. When we first lost you, I could sit at home all day - I didn't want to go out at all and I spent the days crying, on the computer on the babycenter support boards, reading the blogs of other Mom's who lost their babies, looking at your pictures and sometimes talking to people on the phone. The first outing I did all by myself was to drive to the hospital where you were born to get a copy of all of your ultrasound pictures and to visit one of the nurses who was really nice to me. It was such a big accomplishment. Heck, making dinner was a big accomplishment at that time, even though it was only Kraft Dinner.
Anyway, I'm getting off topic. I couldn't really stand the thought of sitting around the condo all day, I knew I would drive myself nuts and start going over everything that happened again and again, look at your pictures and generally make myself more depressed than I already am.
On the drive up, I was sitting in the passenger seat and Ben was sitting in the middle of the back in his car seat. I would reach back and grab his hand or foot or something and he thought it was a really fun game and kept asking for more. Once I grabbed his hand and he held onto mine and I started crying because I will never feel you wrap your hand around my fingers and hold on tight and it just seems so unfair. He was laughing so hard while we were playing this game. That also made my cry because I will never hear you laugh. Of course, I already knew all this, but having another baby (ok, he isn't really a baby anymore since he just turned 2) do it makes it easier to see exactly what we are missing because you died, all of the little day to day things. Usually Ben is a huge comfort to me, but this time, in that moment, it was just painful.
Then Ben was getting sleepy but couldn't get to sleep so they put on a CD of baby lullabies. I knew that was going to be trouble, but I didn't say anything. The world can't revolve around my losing you and my grief. The first time I do these things without you is always the hardest, so I told myself to just be strong and to get through hearing them. Well of course I cried and cried listening to all of the songs that I can never sing to you, all of the times that I will miss out on rocking you to sleep and singing you lullabies, all of the songs that I loved as a kid that I will never get the chance to teach you. I turned my face away from my Mom, put on my sunglasses and cried as quietly as I could. She asked me once why I had my hand on my face (to hide the crying) but I just said I was resting my head. I don't know if she knew or not.
When I found out I was pregnant, I started imagining going to the cottage this summer with my big belly. One of our neighbours has 5 kids and she is younger than me. I couldn't wait to finally show her that I was going to be a Mom too (when we got there, it turned out that they sold their cottage over the winter anyway so we have new neighbours). Our other friends up there have 2 kids and I was also looking forward to telling them. I was at the water with Ben and they came by in their boat and we talked. I really wanted to tell them that I had been pregnant, but that you died. I didn't though. They had a bunch of kids with them and I didn't feel it was appropriate to tell them my baby died in front of all the kids.
You lose so much when you lose a baby. I think alot of people just assume that because you died before you were born, that sure we lost a baby, but we didn't really know your personality or anything. What they don't understand is that we have lost our future as a family with you. That this isn't just going to hurt for a few months until I 'get over it' or come to terms with it, but it is going to hurt forever because we will never ever have you. So many people have told me that we can try again, that the next baby will be okay. I really hope that is true, but how on earth do they know? I have now experienced tragedy firsthand and I have read about so many other people experiencing the same, or even worse tragedy. Other people reassuring me that we can have another baby and that that baby will be ok (how do they know?) isn't reassuring at all. What I do like to hear is that they are really sorry for our loss (and it is even better if they say your name), that they are thinking of us, that they know that our whole future has changed, and that they know someone who lost a baby at the same time we lost you, or even later, and that that person went on to have 2-3 healthy children. I love hearing about success stories after a still birth. That actually does bring me some hope.
One thing I have come to realize is that I have a heightened sense of suffering from losing you. I was always aware of suffering, always tried to help people, always gave money when some big catastrophe happened - but now I am more aware of the little things. Like the bird who was trying to protect her 4 eggs on Canada Day when people kept walking by. My heart was aching for that poor bird. I thought she was going to have a heart attack. I could feel her desperation. Before losing you, I would have noticed what was going on, I would have felt bad for the bird and I would have stopped anyone who was about to step on the eggs, but I don't think my heart would have been aching quite so much for her.
The phantom kicks I have been feeling since I gave birth to you are starting to slow down. In one way, I'm glad they are because they are another painful reminder. On the other hand, I don't want them to go away because that is yet another little piece of you that I am losing.
When I got home last night, your Dad told me that he read this blog, from the post about the sign you sent us on the 1 month anniversary of your birth to when we were in New York and he said how much losing you hurts. He hoped it was OK that he read this and it is, I'm surprised he didn't do it sooner. After he told me that though, he didn't want to talk about it anymore.
He is so sad sweetie. So am I.