remembering, again

It has been three years since my life was forever changed, three years since I learned the meaning of despair. The prognosis of doom. The impossible goodbye. 

It has been three years since I held a baby in my belly for the (first and) last time.  

Three years ago, my son, our only child, began to slip away. 

No, he wasn’t yet born. He was just over halfway there. But that didn’t stop me from loving and caring for him, from feeling his energy and life-force pulsing through my body. That didn’t stop me from dreaming about his tiny hands and feet, finally gazing into his eyes, seeing his smile, or hearing his laugh for the first time. Our baby boy. 

Three years later, there is no solace in writing these words. There is distance in time and space. There is perspective.

Yet the grief still wells up as I quietly remember him. It catches me off guard in moments when I least expect it. It seeps in when I allow the smallest opening. It still knocks me over when I feel its full force. Long ago, it permeated my heart and settled in for good. Get used to me, it still whispers, I’m not going anywhere. 

But it is not only those dark days before and after that I remember — the week of fear, a week of hell, and then inevitable despair. I think about the joyful moments too —  telling M that I was finally pregnant by showing him the ultrasound picture, our tears of joy, sharing the news with loved ones after waiting so long, eating for two, rubbing my belly as we rang in the new year with new hope…

I think of all the hopes and dreams we had for our child, for that child. I think how we discussed names we never shared with anyone. 

I think about the gaping hole his absence has left.

I reflect on how his death changed my life.  

I think of our long journey, and how my grief for our lost boy and my grief for every child that could have come since are inextricably intertwined.  

I think of how my body failed him. And me. And us. Then and now. 

Over the past three years (mostly the last year), I have had to accept  that he was it. Our baby boy was our only chance. There will be no other. My greatest fear at the time was that I would never recover from losing him AND that I would never conceive another child. Despite all efforts and intentions otherwise, those fears were realized in truth. That is not everyone’s truth, but it is mine. Not everyone wants to see that, to think that could be me. Yet here I am. 

I have worked to try to forgive my body for this betrayal, for its refusal to sustain and nurture life. 

I have come to accept the way things are. What else can I do? I have made peace with my heart.

This week I remember our baby boy and I think of what was, and what is. I dare not think think too hard about what could have been, the life we never had together.

I still miss him every day. 

Yet I also look towards the future. A very different future. 

~~~~~

For anyone who has lost a baby to stillbirth or neonatal death and wants to share their experience in dealing with medical professionals, please read this post by K@lakly. I think there’s still time to complete the survey by two San Francisco researchers who hope to enlighten the medical community about the impact of the care they provide to grieving parents. Note: A month after my son died, I read an article written by the lead researcher on the stillbirth of her first son; another article a year later covered her anxiety during a successful subsequent pregnancy. 

And while I’m at it, just in case you missed this perfectly beautiful post by An Unwanted Path about the devastating impact of miscarriage, I think it should be required reading for the general public. 

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~ by luna on January 28, 2009.

37 Responses to “remembering, again”

  1. I’m so sorry Luna. Hugs to you and M at this sad time of remembering.

  2. So many of us remembering in the dark of winter. Luna, I’m so incredibly sorry. Thinking of you all today.

  3. “Over the past three years (mostly the last year), I have had to accept that he was it. Our baby boy was our only chance. There will be no other.”

    I can so relate to those words. I’m so sorry, Luna. I will hold you close in my thoughts over the next few days. xo

  4. Hugs.

  5. I’m so sorry Luna. I’m thinking about you both during this difficult time.

  6. Luna,
    I know the pain doesn’t go away. I know it can come up again out of nowhere and knock the wind out of you as if it just happened. I hold you and your baby boy in my thoughts today.

  7. You have me tearing up you bitch. Particularly this line, “That is not everyone’s truth, but it is mine. Not everyone wants to see that, to think that could be me. Yet here I am.”. Because while I haven’t lost a child, I’ve lost that dream of one. And the hard part is I feel like it is my truth and while sad, I can accept that. But the husband doesn’t yet. Which makes this all so much harder. Ugh, I’m right there with you, in a bit different way my friend.

  8. Thinking of you.

  9. Dear Luna, thinking of you and your son today.

  10. Thinking of you, Luna. Wishing you strength and peace as you remember and honor your son.

  11. Sending you hugs and lots of love today and everyday.

  12. Luna, I wish I could do something to relieve the pain. I see your story and honor it.

  13. I am thinking of you, DH, and your baby boy today. And I am thinking of your future, too.

    Thank you for the links to the articles. I don’t think I am quite up to reading them right now, but will try to do so in the coming days. As happy and fulfilled as I am with my Lil Pumpkin, becoming a parent does not erase the grief of the other babies lost along the way.

  14. thinking of you today (((hugs)))

  15. Luna,

    One year ago I read your post about the two-year anniversary of your loss. I think it was the first post on your blog I ever read, and I was struck then, as I am now, by the depth of your sorrow.

    But a year ago your grief wasn’t just about never having a bio-child, it was about never being a parent at all. Over and over again, you tried to force that concept into your life, to accept it as truth. And eventually you rejected it.

    Your baby boy will always be a part of you, but he won’t always be the only spark of life to live in your heart. Soon you will be a mom, with all the craziness and love and fear that motherhood brings with it. And there’s a part of me that believes that you, and me, and all of us who have gone through the years of struggle, will get more out of our eventual-parenthood than we would have otherwise. Small consolation, I know, but it’s all just a part of who you are now.

    (They say that misery loves company. Is that why I like your blog so much?)

  16. Remembering with you, and honouring you as a mother, dear Luna.

  17. thinking of you with love.

  18. Just sending a hug, sweetie.

  19. Luna, I am so so sorry for your loss. And I grieve with you that you haven’t (yet) had a happy ending. I don’t think it gets more difficult than this. My heart goes out to you.

    Mo

  20. I am so very, very sorry, dear Luna.

    Holding you and your baby boy close to my heart.

  21. Luna
    I am sorry that your heart is so heavy. I wish I could take some of the pain away. Much love.

  22. Sending you my deep condolences. I know that there’s little solace in words, but I hope in time the deep ache subsides and in its place you find peace and warmth. I admire your strength and grace.

  23. I’m taking a moment and remember with you. Big (*Hugs*) Luna.

  24. Thinking of you and your baby boy Luna! I wish I had better words to offer.

  25. Luna, I didn’t know this part of your story. I’m so glad a new chapter is beginning for you.

    I can completely relate. We adopted more than seven years ago, and while I’ve been able to carry on, I will always grieve our infertility and our failure to adopt again. The tears can still come on unexpectedly . . .

    Take care of yourself.
    Vintage Mommy

  26. Luna, my heart goes out to you on this very sad occasion. Your baby boy will always be loved and be a piece of your heart. It’s so hard to look back and feel like your worst fears have come true. It’s so incredibly unfair to go through this kind of loss. But you have survived and you are strong. Big hugs to you.

  27. Ah, Luna … I’m sorry I’m a little late here. Just wanted to let you know I was thinking of you and of your story. I am so glad that I’ve followed your story over the past couple years and are completely amazed on how far you’ve come along. And you’re right … not a moment will go by that you won’t think of your son, but the future you have right now … it’ll be different. But it will be exciting.

    Sending hugs your way,
    Em

  28. I am sorry you have such pain to remember.

  29. Walking with you, Luna, remembering with you.
    I recently told someone that I feel lucky that my nightmare days are compressed into the four from the day before through the day he died, the day he was born, and the day we went home from the hospital. And now that my days are here, they weigh heavy. It doesn’t feel like I could breathe through any more days than I have to. So I think of you (and of Tash and her upcoming week), and I wish you strength. And peace. And comfort, even in the tears that must fall.
    Thinking of you and your beautiful boy.

  30. Yes, every word, yes. Wishing you peace during this time, and hope and joy for the path that seems to lie in front of you. I’m thinking of you and M and your little boy.

  31. Hey Luna:

    I could only read and just understand so much of what you said. the death of your son, your dream, is almost like being haunted, isn’t it? It is what it is and it can never be undone, unremembered. As soon as I get home, I will chant for you and your son, to ease my heart and yours.

  32. I hate the idea of a lifetime of these days of marking how long it has been, it’s like ripping open a wound you know isn’t healed just to see if it still hurts as bad. It’s torture.
    Thinking of you and you rbeautiful boy.

  33. Wow. Luna

    You are an inspiration. To come to a place of acceptance, to have made peace inside you heart with what is a deeply sad sad story….. It makes me sit here in wonder and heartbreak, wishing things were different. Hoping the ending was not what it is.

    May there be a little one somehow in your life to receive all the beautiful love you have to give. I’m thinking of you in this next time of waiting.

    love B

  34. […] day fades away, I am still thinking of the little boy I never met. Though he began to slip away a week and three years ago, I remember the day he left us forever. Three years ago today, soon to be yesterday. Gone from this […]

  35. i just want to hug you, ok?
    and your sweet little boy is never far from my thoughts – and neither are you

  36. […] year as I remembered, I wrote about making peace with my heart, about forgiving my body for its failure to sustain him, […]

  37. […] the following winter, he’d been gone three years. I was finally looking toward a new horizon, facing the future. We had accepted that we would not […]

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