Warm congratulations flowed in of the coming hours and days, and I relished in them. I remember feeling such a sense of excitement that my news was finally universal. I had waited until after Jack was"viable" before spilling the beans, because how awful is it to have to "undo" all of that. HA <- That is the universe laughing at my misfortune.
Sometimes I think of where I was this very moment in time a year ago. I had ordered our stroller because it was on sale and I was soo excited. I had begun to register for thoroughly reviewed baby items. I had watched all of National Geographic's In the Womb videos to see how development had been progressing. I was looking forward to another few months of work, then being home with my baby for a year. It was to be the year of Jack- of baby massage, stroller days, and showing him off to friends and family. We would nurse, we would play, we would be raising a strong, independent little guy. I would make organic baby food, change his biodegradable diapers, and wear him in my Moby. I would enjoy the shit out of him.
Instead, in the months which followed Jack, I have mourned him. I have mourned the very existence he should have had. The one we all should have had, as a family. I've thought about the differences between a year ago, and now and they are astonishing. I'm angrier. I'm (more) emotional. I have more empathy, but less sympathy. I don't pity anyone. I have little time for grown men who are angry with the cards they've been dealt, when the cards- they really ain't that bad- not from where I'm standing.
I've watched my husband long for the son he had and then didn't. Of repeatedly telling me he wishes Jack was here. That he misses him. Of telling me he wants a baby right now.
2011 has been the year of Jack. Of birthing him. Of loving him. Of having to say goodbye. Of missing him. Of grieving him. Of grieving motherhood and fatherhood. It's been a year of learning who I truly want to be, and what I have to do to get what I want. I am resilient- I wish I never had to know this about myself, but it's true. I am an eternal optimist, to the point where I annoy the shit out of even myself. The world is not all good, and there are a ton of bad people inhabiting it- all of whom seemingly get to keep their babies. But life? It has to get better. It just has to.
What should have been the greatest year of my life has been challenging. It's been a lesson in loving and letting go. Of letting go of my son for the last time, of letting go of the "plan", or letting go of how I thought all of this would go.
It's a struggle every single day. The guy in the desk next to mine has two older sons from his first marriage and 2 little girls (22 months and maybe 6 months?). I hear him on the phone at least once a day telling the older of the two how much "daddy loves you. Daddy misses you". Every time he says this, my heart hurts. I wish I could just could just call up Jack and whisper these things to him...
I really wish.