two years gone

Soon will be the second anniversary of the day our son was due to be born. Our baby boy was due the week of June 9-16, 2006. I was likely to deliver early by c-section due to the high risk of uterine rupture from full term labor. Instead, I lost him at 21 weeks on February 3, 2006, after suffering P-PROM.  

Still, two years later, it’s hard not to think about what should/could/would have been. I think of what our lives would have been like these past two years, had he lived. I think of the child we were supposed to have, the little boy we dreamed of, to whom we read, wrote and sang. I think of the little one who would be toddling about now, bringing boundless joy into our home and hearts. I think of the birthday party I would be planning now, if he were here.

No one else will think twice. No one will remember when our son was supposed to be born, that we expected to bring him home one day in June two years ago. With few exceptions, no one will think of all the hope and dreams and love we had for our sweet little boy, long before we never met him. Our first child. 

It was not just his life that was taken from us, but the one we were supposed to have together. We lost a lifetime together. Stolen. 

These past two years have been like a vacuum, consumed by loss and infertility. Nothing was ever the same, of course. There are still tears to release the pain that lingers. Sure, there have been moments of joy and laughter since then. I have felt deep gratitude for the love and support I do have. But with the passage of time, I reflect back and realize that my life has been subsumed by not only losing our son, but also by my inability to conceive again. 

These are two very distinct things. I grieve them separately, but also together. Each has its own process and is valid in its own right. Yet each certainly affects the other. Convergence is a word I’ve heard used — a process by which separate things join together, resulting in a whole that is different than the sum of its parts.

For me the emotions are inextricably linked, intertwined. I often try to be aware of what I’m feeling and why. Sometimes, in the moment just before the tears come, I actually ask myself whether I am missing my son and the life we never had, or is it that I am unlikely to ever have another child? Sometimes it depends on the trigger. Other times, it all comes out at once in a big messy puddle. 

Our child died because my body was unable to sustain him. Since then, I have been unable to sustain life in any form, despite multiple surgeries and treatments, eastern and western medicine, the best science money can buy, positive visualization, all of it. My body failed my son, and now it has failed me. 

I grieve for our baby boy. He was real — he existed, his absence is palpable. I also grieve for the children we will never have — the dream of them, but also the reality of our life without them. I grieve my fertility and the chance to build our family the way we envisioned.

Having another child would in no way replace my son. That’s not the point and has never been my intention. My baby boy will always hold a special place in my heart that nothing could ever fill. But early on, the only thing that got me through was the hope that we would, some day soon, try again.

Having already experienced infertility, I knew nothing was certain. Yet while there was reason to doubt, I tried to have faith that I could conceive again. We would overcome our obstacles. I would face the fear and anxiety that inevitably accompanies pregnancy after a lostbaby. The hope of becoming pregnant again — of having another chance — this hope guided me out of the darkness and helped me find my way through. It kept me going, when nothing else could. 

It may not surprise some when I say that this hope was also my curse. I had faith because I had finally gotten pregnant, so I believed it could happen again, even if we needed help. Had I not conceived our baby boy, we would have likely moved on to adoption long ago. Instead, I had every reason to believe corrective surgery and treatment would work, despite the odds stacked against us. Our son gave me hope that it was possible. All I wanted was a chance. Because of him, I believed. 

While I never believed that having another child would fill the hole in my heart from my son’s death, there is no question that having a living child would begin to heal my heart of the pain of infertility, which is magnified by his absence. I thought I would have another chance, a different chance. For the past two years I’ve been chasing this ever-elusive chance, all while grieving the child I lost.

I’m still searching for the chance to open my heart again to the pure beauty and joy I felt for my son. The part of my heart that opened just for him, I know would open again for another child. That is not the same as trying to fill the hole in my heart. It’s a willingness to open myself to the vulnerability that inevitably comes with sharing your love with any other living being. I still believe that’s what makes life worth living. 

~ by luna on June 5, 2008.

28 Responses to “two years gone”

  1. Oh luna, I am so sorry. Infertility is so shitty all on its own. Adding the loss of a child on top of it makes it seem so heavy, so repressing. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

  2. Dear Luna, this is such a powerful and moving post, thank you for sharing. Your pain is palpable, understandable, and justifiable. I hope you find that path to healing and loving– not forgetting, but healing and loving– very soon. Hugs, Dot

  3. Luna,
    What you grieve is unimaginable to me. I am so very sorry. Holding you and your son very close to my heart.

  4. Maybe we should call this a Sad-oversary,

    It’s so tough when your head knows what it needs to do to heal, but your heart lags in finding the way.

    Peace to you in the coming days.

  5. The twisting braid of infertility and loss is just so hard. Each magnifies the other, taints the other, and gets us stuck in the other unable to move forward on either front. Quicksand.

    And the part about the hope just breaks my heart. Maybe I’m lucky it happened to me in this order, because my hope is nonexistent.

  6. Nodding my head all through your post. These “anniversaries” (what an inappropriate word, seems like it should be something happy we’re marking) will always be engraved on our hearts, I think.

  7. I think of you always, Luna. You and your sweet son, as well as your husband will especially be in my heart through these coming days.

  8. Thinking of you – and remembering with you. I’m sorry. Wishing you sunshine on your face and comfort.

  9. Thinking of you, Luna. I’ve written and deleted so many things and they all just feel empty. But it’s all about emptiness, isn’t it? I hope we can fill up our emptiness somehow, though I understand what you mean when you say it won’t ever be completely gone.

  10. I’m so very sorry luna. Thinking of you and wishing you serenity in the coming days.

  11. All of this is just so unbelievably awful and sucky. And the pain of the babies who didn’t make it never goes away, as you cruelly know.

    Will be thinking of you next week. You may feel as if nobody remembers other than you and your husband . . . but there are many of us out here in the blogosphere who do and will.

  12. I can’t say anything that’ll be appropriate, cuz you’ve just been through so much and I can’t even imagine. But I’m here and thinking of you, and appreciating your comments back to me when you’ve got so much on your own plate.

  13. Luna luna luna….. what a post.
    I say SNAP. And too true.

    I feel so deeply for you and with you. Convergence. Yes. You cannot untangle the grief of the past and the grief for the future. It is one big ball of fishing line, a bucket of hooks, pull on one string, one hook, and the whole mass gets tugged along with it.

    I too long for the healing that comes with another child. I have seen it in others. I wonder why? why not you?

    There are no answers to this, and sure as hell it’s almost impossible to go on and on and on with these questions rearing their ugly heads.

    I am hoping that in time there will be some peace for you. Whatever happens. Till then I am holding you in my thoughts and heart.

  14. These are not pleasant milestones. The grieving can take years, yet seem just like the loss happened yesterday. The only way is through it. Hugs to you!

  15. Luna, thank you for the thoughtful comments on my blog. I am so very sorry for your pain. It is this invisibility of sorts, the whole “world going on” when your world stopped and has yet to be back on the track you so desire that is so tragic and unfair. Please know I KNOW, I acknowledge your loss, your son, your motherhood.

  16. Because I understand, and I hope it makes sense…I remember with you. That’s all we can hope for, isn’t it? That someone will remember them? I can hold the memory of this date with you.

  17. “It was not just his life that was taken from us, but the one we were supposed to have together.”

    That’s isn’t it. I’m so sorry, Luna.

  18. This is the curse of infertility, the continuing grief of what should have beens,what could have beens. From the babies who never made it to breathe air in this life to the babies that never were. All we’re left is what could have beens. I suppose it’s easier when you have nothing to memorialize. Your little boy will always be remembered and loved.

  19. My heart is with you, Luna, and I wish more than anything that you find a way to live that openness and joy. There is nothing worse than losing a future. Even if it’s one of many possible futures, it was so precious to you.

  20. I’m so sorry Luna. I wish I could say something to make you feel better. So, I’m gonna give you a warm hug and to tell you that I loved this post.


  21. My dear Luna. I am so very sorry for all that you have lost. Please know that I am holding both you and your son in my thoughts.

  22. I’m a little slow in catching up with blogs but I’m sorry for all you have endured and for the loss of your son. I know that feeling where hope is a curse. For me, it was because I was still young and there was nothing wrong. The Dr’s even gave me so much hope so it kept pushig me forward to go through four IVFs (with more FET’s) and have them all fail destroyed me. I kept going because I believed it would work eventually and so when it didn’t, it left me destroyed. But sometimes I think hope is all we have and its what gets me through as well. I pray for peace and happiness and healing for you & M. Thinking of you.

  23. I’m sorry for all that you’ve been through. I wish things were easier.

  24. I’ve been thinking of you this week.

  25. I wish I had read this at a more timely moment. I have lived through such similar moments. It was 3.5 years between losing our son and conceiving this DE baby. And it isn’t the same, especially since it is with donor gametes, but I still think it helps.

    I was also probably too hopeful . . .we conceived once, we can do it again . . . and so “wasted” another years on alternative medicine and IUI. I will always wonder if things would have been different if we moved to IVF sooner.

    And it is hard to separate grief for the death of a child and the grief of not having another one. After all, if the first child had lived, we wouldn’t have grieved for the chance to parent a child.

    I’m sorry for the difficult week and the losses. I hope you find a happy ending.

  26. […] think about the gaping hole his absence has […]

  27. […] remember him when he was due to be born, though no one else does. I think about the poem I shared to honor him on the anniversary of his […]

  28. […] say. That spring I painfully remembered his due date while grieving my inability to conceive again after two years. There was still darkness, each bleeding triggering the loss of my baby boy, further shedding the […]

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