It gets tougher every day

The Sunday evening before Max stopped breathing, I had a meltdown of epic proportions.  I literally sat on the couch and cried to Ted, while he tried to console me and held me.  I could not stop crying.  It was something that hadn't happened in this way before that night.  Not that he hadn't had to console me while I cried.  It was just that this time I was more upset than I had been in a long time.  We had just finished a particularly lovely weekend with our baby and I so loved being with him all day long.  We went to a first birthday party for Ted's boss's son on Saturday which was really nice and got me thinking a lot about Max's upcoming first birthday and how we might celebrate it.  There was a little bubble machine at the party and we sat in the grass with Max and a couple of other children and played with it.  It was the first time Max had seen bubbles.  He didn't know what to make of them but he was smiling and watching them breeze around his little face.  He was on my lap most of the afternoon or in his daddy's arms.  On the way there, he napped in his car seat while Ted and I killed time driving through Hancock Park and day dreaming out the houses that we would someday live in.  We met some nice people at the party and talked about babies and baby stuff.  The next day, Bianca, her husband Ethan and their three children came over for brunch.  Charlotte, their oldest, politely sat on the couch and watched some children's programming.  Their twin boys eagerly played with all of Maxie's baby stuff.  We stood and sat around our kitchen bar area and laughed about parenthood and showed off our Max.  His best move was when he went from totally engaged and awake to napping in about 5 minutes flat.  My kid could keep a schedule like nobody's business.  With the weekend winding down and a whole week before I would get to be with Max again, I was feeling so sad.  Additionally, I would be leaving Ted and Max for a long weekend in 2 weeks to go to a staff conference while they attended Ted's family reunion in Zion, Utah.  I was looking forward to the conference, but totally anxious about 5 days away from my baby.  Plus, I wanted to be with them and all of the cousins in that beautiful place.  I cried my eyes out that night.  Balancing motherhood and a career was proving to be so challenging emotionally.  I hated missing my baby all day long.  It was zapping the life out of me.  I know this is what every working parent deals with but it was new to me, as parenting was still new to me, as Max was only nine and a half months old.  I have wondered since that time if this was the universe's way of telling me that I didn't count my blessings enough.  I DID!  I actually did know how good I had it.  I just wanted to be good at everything.  I wanted to continue to be successful at work but I felt like I could not get enough time with my baby.  Then people would invite me to things without Max on the weekends and it was just more time away from him.  And sometimes I would have to work on weekends or in the evenings...that is my job.  It isn't like I am or was complaining, I just missed Max.  I just missed him.  All day long.  I know that I am not important enough to have been the spiritual cause of this catastrophe.  There is no way that g-d was trying to teach me a lesson.  But, in retrospect, the timing is just unbelievable.  It's been 103 days without Max.  I cry like I did that night every single day now.  I wanted to be good at everything and now I am good at nothing, unless you count crying and sitting on the couch.  I missed my baby being away from him during the day, but at least I had him for a few hours every morning and night.  If you think that time is supposed to be healing this, you think wrong.  I miss him!  I miss my baby!  I miss my Max!  I am in agony and it is so unfair.  And, if you think this is something unique that I am feeling - ask my husband if it is getting better.  Ask my mother, my father, Max's cousin Mandy, Uncle Paul, Gigi, Auntie Beth.  Ask anyone who knew and loved Max.  It gets tougher every single day.  Every day is one more day without the love of our lives.  It gets tougher.


Jessica said...

Don't Tell Me
Please don't tell me you know how I feel,
Unless you have lost your child too,
Please don't tell me my broken heart will heal,
Because that is just not true,
Please don't tell me my son is in a better place,
Though it is true, I want him here with me,
Don't tell me someday I'll hear his voice, see his face,
Beyond today I cannot see,
Don't tell me it is time to move on,
Because I cannot,
Don't tell me to face the fact he is gone,
Because denial is something I can't stop,
Don't tell me to be thankful for the time I had,
Because I wanted more,
Don't tell me when I am my old self you will be glad,
I'll never be as I was before,
What you can tell me is you will be here for me,
That you will listen when I talk of my child,
You can share with me my precious memories,
You can even cry with me for a while,
And please don't hesitate to say his name,
Because it is something I long to hear everyday,
Friend please realize that I can never be the same,
But if you stand by me, you may like the new person I become someday.

Judi Walker
(In Memory of Shane)
Copyright 1998

Abs, I don't think that even time could possibly heal the heartbreak that you, Teddy and your families are feeling. Maybe one day, time will help to lessen the pain but, right now, 103 days after losing Maxie, I can imagine that it is only getting harder and harder. It is unspeakably unfair that you and Teddy are having to navigate these waters. It is devastating that Maxie is not here with you. As your friend and someone who loves you, Ted, Maxie and your families, I am so very sorry for your agonizing loss. I wish with all that I am that I could somehow ease your pain. And, please know, that you are good at many things, not the least of which is sharing your words and emotions with us, your readers, and creating a stunning tribute to your beautiful Maxie. A tribute that might one day serve to help someone else on their journey. That is not only a phenomenal job, but it is a testament to your strength and your love for Maxie.

Zoie Dubinsky said...


Oh my gosh! You love your baby. He was and is still the most important person in the world to you. It makes sense that you would not want to be away from him. ever. The beginnings of mothering are so raw and emotional. The fact that you felt that way makes it even more evident what a great mother you are. It is so sad that you had to feel torn and be without him in order to keep your job. Women should be supported in the first years of their children's lives. It is so sad. I feel for you all. XX

Sig said...

Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the morning or real early like right now and just start thinking about you. I usually pop right out of bed and run to the computer. There's not a day that goes by that I don't think about you, Ted, Max, how you were as a mother, how Ted was as a father, how you were as a family, and the unbearable space you're living in EACH second, minute, day and night. Like you said, I can't imagine time heals any of the heartbreak.
I love you all very much.

Bianca said...

I treasure every memory from that brunch because of how truly happy and carefree you and Teddy and Maxie were together. His smiles and giggles were incredible that day and the 5-minutes-to-nap trick WAS amazing. I felt so excited for all of the family adventures ahead. It is too cruel how quickly everything changed, and how you and Teddy and Maxie (and everyone who loves all of you) were robbed of that bright future. I can't believe it's true. I can't believe this happened to you and Ted and precious Maxie. I am so sad and so very sorry.

Leslie K. said...

"And now I am good at nothing..." Abby, to that I just have to say that the depth of your grief speaks to the fact that you were and are amazing at the most important thing in life, loving another human being completely. You clearly loved Maxie so utterly and overwhelmingly in his short little life, and the tears and pain and suffering and longing are a direct reflection of your deep capacity to love. Please never forget that!