Sad

Last night I was halfway asleep, feeling the little guy kicking away inside enjoying his own dance party. I almost always sleep with my hand on my belly because it’s so comforting to me to feel him.

I started to cry. All of a sudden I was really sad. All of this looking forward was a great distraction, but it doesn’t change anything, Benny is still gone. I cried to Parker that Benny was dead and there wasn’t a damn thing that we could do about it.

He’ll never get to be a big brother, this baby will not know his smile or his laugh. He will have missed out on his big brother. It’s really sad. He’s going to be a part of a grieving family, but not part of the grieving himself.

I often worry about the ‘before’ and ‘after’ situation that we will have. Darcy was so lucky to have Benny in her life. She had a companion at a young age, a little person to boss around. She also knows loss like no little child should. She has witnessed our grief and how it has changed us as parents and partners. This will be hers to carry forever. She knows how fragile life is and that tomorrow isn’t guaranteed.

This baby is a blank slate. He knows nothing of our grief and what he’s missed out on. He didn’t have to go through losing Benny. He will never know Benny. He will never know any of us without our grief that we carry with us. He will only know the new version of our family.

We’ll always be divided by this. I’ll forever feel like my children will be getting different versions of me. I wish there was a guidebook on how to parent after loss. How can I not look at these two children so differently?

Replacement

Someone close to us actually tried to explain away my miscarriage in the Fall.  I got the whole, ‘oh it happened for a reason, and if it didn’t, you wouldn’t have this baby,’blah blah blah.  I probably could have been a little more rational if this happened before Benny, but I honestly wanted to cause this person bodily harm when they said what they said.  I ‘uh huh’-ed them and moved on.

This really bothers me, because a baby is a baby and hope is hope.  If anyone ever says this about Benny, that we wouldn’t have this new baby if it weren’t for his death, they probably will be hurt.  One life cannot replace another.  We didn’t ever consider having another child to try to ‘make up’ for Benny’s loss.  If anything, his loss makes this whole thing that much harder.

Parker and I talk constantly about the what if’s.  What if he looks like Benny?  What if he acts like Benny?  Will he be as smart as Benny?  What will our relationship be with him?  Will we put him in Benny’s clothes (probably not), so what will we do with those clothes now?  Do we try to put the baby in his old room?  Does Darcy really understand any of this?  Do we want her to?  What stuff is off limits here?

There are no right answers.  I’m constantly burdened by what is the right thing to do for our family.  I’m sure that there will be plenty of judgment (there has been already).  As excited as I am, I’m scared of all of it.  I don’t know what the right choices are.

More Hope – Last October

So Tuesday was bad. I got my numbers back and they were low for HCG. I panicked. They asked me what number pregnancy, when I said 4 I wanted to cry. 4 pregnancies and only 1 child living.

I called again this morning and my numbers more than doubled. I’ve been having some pretty strong symptoms too, so I’m hopeful. I’ll go weekly until they can do a dating ultrasound. I’m praying this works. Things look good, so I’m staying positive.

Can’t Sleep

Darcy got the dreaded stomach bug last night. We were up until 3 am on the couch, that girl is a trooper. No whining, no complaining, just happy to hang out in the middle of the night.

I cannot sleep tonight because she is in her room and I am in mine. She hasn’t been sick in almost 24 hours and there was no fever, I just cannot sleep. I know she’s fine, but I have to keep checking to make sure she’s breathing. Maybe she needs bunk beds for when mommy’s feeling insecure.

Hopeful – Last October

Parker and I always knew that we wanted more babies after Benny passed.  Darcy wasn’t meant to be an only child.  I had always wanted three, but when we had a very spirited second child, I had begun to rethink that plan.

So over the summer we tried again.  We figured it would take a while, seeing as how it took four months for us to conceive the first two.  Imagine my surprise when we fell pregnant rather quickly.  We found out on September 1st, our 8 year anniversary (there’s that number again).  Based on everything, we were due on May 8th…the 6 month mark of the accident, the day that we buried Benny a year ago.  I wasn’t sure how I felt about it, but I was excited, I had hope again.

On September 8th, I started spotting.  I had gone in for bloodwork earlier that day and when I called the next morning, my numbers were low, super low.  I knew that I was miscarrying, but I was so angry at the injustice of it all!  Hadn’t we suffered enough??  And of all days, for this to happen on the 10 month anniversary of Benny’s death?!  I was not in a good place for awhile.  I felt like I was falling backwards again.  I only had hope for 8 days, but it was a lot to lose so quickly.  I just kept thinking that I had been pregnant three times and I only had one living child.  I was beside myself.

We went to see the midwife.  She had seen me when I was pregnant with Benny, but since moved to a practice here in Worcester.  We went in and she asked if we could wait before trying again.  I started crying and told her no, that we had already lost too much.  I told her about Benny and how we felt we had lost so much time already.  I was going to be 35, and that meant now I fell into the ‘older mom’ category, that scared the shit out of me!

Fast Forward to October 15th.  I was having a hard time that night.  I had already taken a hundred pregnancy tests (or so it seemed) and nothing.  I was sad, I was desperate.  November 8th was hanging over my head and for the first time, I realized how close it really was.  How it really had been a year since my world imploded.

I lie in bed next to Parker snoring and I begged Benny to pull a miracle.  I needed that hope again, I wanted to feel life growing inside of me.  I cried and I begged Benny and my mom to pull some strings.  I wanted to fill my empty arms.

I had two dreams that night, one filled with positive pregnancy tests (which I had last time too).  In another dream, there were two little boys.  One was definitely Benny and a part of me knew that he was ‘on loan,’ he wasn’t mine to keep.  The other looked similar, but was much calmer.  I think we were at the beach, because both boys were eating rocks and sand and I had to keep pulling them out of their little chubby hands.  I woke up nervous and excited.

After I put Darcy on the bus, I tested and got a faint line.  This made me nervous, because we got faint lines last time too.  I tried really hard to breathe and stay cautiously optimistic.  I called Parker and said, ‘so I had a dream last night.’  He said, ‘yeah me too.  I dreamt that we had a little boy that looked like Benny, but he was different, and I knew it wasn’t Benny.’  I started to cry.  How is it possible that we both had little boy dreams on the same night??

I’m attempting to stay cautiously optimistic.  I understand too well that there are still a million things that could go wrong.  But I have a Benny on my side.  He’s already pulled some incredible stunts, so I’m hopeful that this is one of them.  The bottom line is that I’m hopeful again, which is an amazing feeling.