It's two week later. Two weeks and I didn't write a post for my baby boy. If it were any of my girls I would've made sure to sit down and write. If not the day of, at least within the next several days. If it had been for any of the girls it would've been a birthday post.
But I didn't. I haven't.
And now here it is, almost two weeks after the anniversary of saying hello and goodbye. Except we never got to say hello.
I don't like calling it his birthday. I can't explain it any better than to say it doesn't feel like it was his birthday, even though I suppose I technically birthed him that day.
That is the day they gave me drugs to induce pain. Drugs to help my body recognize that the baby inside me was no longer alive. Drugs to help get him out of my womb and into a tomb.
(Too cold? Too vivid?)
I don't like to call it his birthday because I know that if things had been different, if life had been different, if he had been different, it wouldn't have been his birthday. You might tell me You never know but I do. I know. His body came into our world two and half months early.
He wouldn't have been two and half months early. He would've come at the expected time. The end of October or beginning of November. I know you'll tell me I can't know, but I know. I just do.
August 17th would not have been his birthday.
If things were different.
But they weren't. He was never meant to make it nine months. He was never meant to say hello. He was never meant to live.
He came into our world already gone. And that is they day we remember.
I won't call it his birthday.
(Except to my girls, because for right now that's the easiest. But even when they say, "It's Baby Calvin's Birthday!" or "Baby Calvin's two!" it makes me flinch. Because it doesn't feel right. Not to me.)
The day came and went and we recognized it in the way we did last year, with flowers, a bridge, and quiet words. With love sent out into the universe.
He didn't get a birthday post this year. But of course, he never gets a birthday post. Still, there is guilt. There is always guilt.
I did not miss it because I was too busy. It was not because I couldn't find the time to write. It was not because the day passed unnoticed. It was not because Calvin, my son, is not important.
I did not write a post, I have not written in so long, because I don't want to feel my feelings. I don't want to think about or process or spend any time exploring the lurchy gurchy whatever-they-are feelings regarding the loss of my son.
Lately, when something starts to sneak into the corners of my mind I pinch it with my fingernails and throw it into a box as quickly as I can, eager to avoid any of the feeling. I hide that box in the back of the back of the back of the backest closet of my mind.
Basically, I do the extremely healthy thing of avoiding it at all costs. (I do actually realize this is not the healthy thing.)
It's not because I don't love him. It's not because I don't think he's important. It's just because, right now, I can't. Or I don't want to. Or I can't and don't want to. I don't know. Maybe it's all the same.
Either way, it doesn't change reality. He is still not here. And right now that's pretty much all I can say.
I would do it all again a million times over, even knowing that I would never get to hear him cry, look deep into his eyes, kiss his nose, and tell him I love you.
But I do. Oh I do.
Aug 14, 2015
It is late. Later than usual.
I push open the door and a triangle of light falls across her body. She is in her usual sleeping position, belly down, feet tucked under, butt up in the air.
As I tiptoe toward her she stirs, and I pause hoping not to disrupt her. She has not been sleeping through the night lately.
Her eyelids flutter and she pushes onto all fours. There is no sound, no cry, not even a little peep. Just the rustling of her body movement into standing position. She is still mostly asleep yet vertical in front of me.
I know all of the reasons I shouldn't, all the reasons I will probably regret doing it, but I pick her up anyway.
One leg tucked on either side of me, her head falls to my shoulder and I am acutely aware of how unbaby-like this position is. She is more of a toddler with each passing day.
Her body pressed against me, our breathing finds a rhythm, the rise and fall of each breath in perfect synchronization. And I am so glad I picked her up. No matter what difficulties it might lead to later.
We sway together for a few more minutes before I gently lay her back down. I expect that it will not be this easy, that there will be crying, back rubbing, maybe even nursing. I expect that it will be many minutes until I get to my own bed.
But when I lay her down she rolls onto her belly, clutching her pink bunny. Her eyes are still closed, her breathing is heavy. I touch her matted hair and kiss her head.
I close the door with my baby sleeping soundly on the other side.
Our quiet moment. The perfect ending to the day. The comfort of those few minutes with my baby tucks me into bed, promising sweet dreams for both of us.