Eleven months

It has been eleven months since the last time I kissed his cheeks, smelled his baby sweetness, held his pudgy hand.  It has been eleven LONG months of pain and sorrow.  Not much has changed really, on the one hand...and so much has changed, on the other.  The pain is still excruciating but somewhat less shocking....or I should say "less shocking unless I give myself time to actually think about it.  If I think about it, it can feel more shocking.  I am getting used to the fact that my life is painful and that I needn't expect it to be any other way.  Happiness is reserved for "other people".

People ("other people") are still incredibly insensitive - it doesn't eat me alive anymore.  After the temporary hurt and anger wear off, I find myself accepting that people, in general, just aren't super kind.  Maybe I always knew that and didn't want to see it.  Still, when someone shows me just how insensitive they are, I have learned not to go back to the same person expecting anything more.  I just let them go.  I don't miss them anymore.  Some people have risen to the occasion like nothing I could have even imagined.  They have soothed our souls and made us feel human (as opposed to how the behavior of others is just downright dehumanizing).  Some people have gone out of their way to support and love us.  These are people that I feel lucky to know.  That I will be grateful to for the rest of my life.  I don't know how I will ever repay them.

Baby M is coming - his conception was something that I felt biologically compelled to pursue after losing Max.  My pregnancy with him has been hard and scary.  He is due in five weeks.  I don't even let myself see our future together.  I am just grateful each day that he is still there.  To lose him now would be heartbreaking but nothing is scarier than the thought of losing him after he gets here.  The battle to keep this thought out of my brain is waged every minute.  EVERY MINUTE.  But, I KNOW I will love him.  Already do.  He brings me moments of joy just by kicking out my insides.

We still get lists of body parts that are being held by the coroner in cold, unfeeling emails.  This is just SHOCKING and we both react with the same visceral gut wrenching sickness each time.  As insensitive as people are - doctors have figured out a way to take it to a whole new level.  At least with non-doctors, I can chalk it up to stupidity or lack of experience.  I know that doctors are neither stupid nor lacking in experience.  They are just uncaring (ironic - isn't it?  Considering their chosen profession).  I am making a sweeping generalization based on my experience by the way - my OB should be sainted.  Even he says stupid things from time to time but never ever from an uncaring place.

The strangest change of all to me is how Ted and I have gotten used to this new life - one where we don't really socialize, where I cry most nights and he falls asleep on the couch watching "The Highlight Express" on ESPN, where we watch too much crappy television, where our quest for happiness has been shelved for just basic existence and getting through each day, and mostly - where we are not parents anymore but more like a childless couple who have been married for 25 years (not just under 3).  Our home used to be filled with so much joy.  SO MUCH JOY.  When I remember it, it's like I am remembering a book I once read.  It is so far removed from our reality.  And yet, I have never loved my husband more than I do now.  And I have LOVED him.  He is perfect in every way.  He is the light in my tunnel.

This weekend we will be having Max's "unveiling" - a Jewish tradition where you gather around the newly laid down gravestone and memorialize the deceased, usually a month before the year anniversary of their passing.  My grief counselor says it is a nice tradition that Jews have that helps us to actualize our grief (she is not Jewish by the way).  It is a good segue into the "acceptance" phase.  I told her "I DO NOT ACCEPT ANY OF THIS".  She says acceptance is different than approval.  Acceptance means acknowledging that our loved one is really gone.  It isn't as if he was a grown child who I didn't necessarily see every day.  It isn't as if he is a parent.  It isn't as if he were my grandparent.  I am not belittling those losses but rather pointing out that my baby was still practically attached to my body when he died.  It is hard to miss that he is gone considering my entire life revolved around his every squeak.  At some level though, I guess I do keep expecting his to come back.  How shitty that I have to accept my baby's death.  How completely effing shitty.

Next month marks a whole year since my tiny pumpkin monkey love left my life.  Then a whole year of "firsts" will be over.  Is that when it gets easier or harder?  I've heard conflicting opinions.  Could it get harder than this?  I keep learning it can always get harder, despite cheerful platitudes flying at me constantly assuring that "Things can only get better!"  But, honestly....Baby M is coming!  Maybe things can only get better?  Am I allowed to still have moments of hopefulness or is part of my punishment a condemnation to a life filled with hopelessness?  All I know is I miss my baby.  My sweet, sweet boy - who was full of love, full of life, full of smiles and giggles.  I am still looking for you in my dreams every night baby.  Please come visit mommy soon.  I need you.


NikaM said...

I think whether it's easier or harder after the first year depends on the person. And no matter how much it easier (or harder) it gets, there will always be bad (or good) days.

I still can't get over how cute he is. I'm so sorry you have to go through this. Sending you lots of big hugs.

Jared Brumbaugh said...

Abby I'm sorry none of us should be going thru this. I feel like my pain has gotten worse and more sharp as time goes on. I guess because we want and need our babies so bad. I'm sorry I wish I could take some of the pain away but I know that as much as people have try, mine doesnt get better. Many hugss. Kira

jkbrumbaugh@gmail.com said...

I just wanted to clarify that I did not mean it will never get better. Many bereaved parents say it does. In my case maybe its too new and at almost 5 months it just seems it has gotten worse. I know you know what I mean. I dont want to be negative. Kira

Jenny Romanowski said...

I pray your next five weeks go by as quickly as possible. No mother should have to be boken with this kind of pain and worry. You deserve to take time for yourself if not for you but for baby M. Have you seen Master Chef. Gordon Ramsy always always has a great way of pointing out just how stupid people can be! Best wishes to you of calming and some sort of peace of mind! You, Ted and Max will be in my thoughts and prayers this weekend. I hope all goes well and people keep their feet on the ground and not in their mouths!! Remember there will always be that one!

Sarah P. said...

Look at that sweet, sweet face. He is such a love and I am so sorry that you are without him. Indeed, that the entire world is without. Thinking about your sweetest boy today.

Egreeno said...

Oh that smile is just so beautiful! No words are adequate to express how horrible it is that that smile and this beautiful boy is gone - I am so eternally sorry!