Saying it anyway

I have been debating about writing this all morning...because it isn't what you want to hear.  But, I decided when I started this blog that I would always be honest, because I would have wanted to have found more honestly online when I was looking around for other people who have had the experience of losing a child.  So, here is the truth - I am "still" heartbroken - always will be.  I am so so so sad that there are times throughout each day where I can hardly breathe.  Max was the center of my universe.  I love him unconditionally and I felt newly alive when he came into my world.  I loved getting to know him, loving him more every day, knowing he was mine.  My lips were permanently attached to his face.  I loved him so much that thinking about it breaks my spirit entirely.  And, he is "still" dead.  It makes me nauseous.  And, as suspected, the little things I do with Mo, not only remind me of doing those same things with Max BUT the reason I know how to breastfeed, avoid the belly chord when changing his diaper, heat the cold bottle in a warm bowl of water, use a noise maker to help baby because of my experience with Max.  He is in every move I make.  Every caretaking move is a reminder.  All day, every day we say, "Oh, ya, Max used to do that." or "That never happened with Max".  And, to top it off - they look alike.  I LOVE that they look alike...but let's face it - Mo's arrival did not make the memory of Max go away....not that I ever would have wanted it to...but somehow it seems like everyone else assumed that that is what would happen.

And can I tell you HOW many people I have heard from this week who haven't contacted more than once (mostly not at all) this whole year?  I mean, intellectually I knew it would happen..because that is how people are...but - oh my god!  It really happened!  And the messages from these people (and even the ones who I have been in touch with all year long) are like this: "You must be SO overjoyed!"...which I am....on the one hand...but the joy I feel for Mo does not at lessen the sorrow I feel at having lost Max.  I mean, are you CRAZY?  My baby died!  He died!  I will never see him again.  And, I stare into the beautiful eyes of Mo and I cannot imagine anything more horrible than losing him.  Let me ask you something - when you look at your baby....your child...can you imagine ANYTHING more horrible than having them die in your arms?  No!  So, how can you think that it would be any different for me?  It boggles my brain.

Don't worry there will be plenty of updates about my sweet baby Morris.  He is SO cute and funny. He is ALWAYS hungry, he is sleeping like a champ, he knows the sound of my voice and the smell of my skin and I could kiss his cheeks all day long and never come close to getting enough of him.  But, I felt that way about Max.  I will always feel that way about Max.  They are my greatest loves...the very essence of who I am.  One boy does not cancel out the other boy.  They enhance each other somehow.  And though I finally remember what joy feels like - the hole in my heart keeps growing as I am further and further away from the last time I kiss my firstborn.

My sweet Max - Wherever you go, my love will find you.


Bianca said...

Ab, I can only imagine that falling completely in love, while having a broken heart that can never heal, is the most complicated experience ever. It is so beyond unfair that you don't have both of your sons! It's wretched! Of course you are grieving and scared, while also feeling joy. These feelings all make complete sense, but that doesn't make them less challenging or full of sorrow. Thinking of you and Ted and your boys and always sending love.

Tanya said...

Very well said, Abby....Your voice is loud and clear - and you speak not only for yourself but for many others who grieve quietly and alone. Thank you.

Fiona said...

Abby, it's a huge fear of mine that people think this new baby can "fix" me. I completely understand how you feel. My love for Isla and her need for me have kept me going through these dark days but they haven't taken the edge of my grief.
The two are separate, as are your devestation over losing Max and the joy of having Mo.
Love to you,

greg said...

I think it's hard for people to understand that joy and agony can happen at the same much easier to focus on the positive, assume it's a "replacement." I can only imagine the pain of losing precious Maxie and know that pain will never ever leave the mother who loved him more than anything. I am beyond excited about Mo, cannot wait to meet him, but one does not replace the other. Max should still be here. It not fair. Love to you & Ted, Baby Mo & Maxie.

Susan Ireland said...

One of my friends said (about her small baby born days before her daughter's death) that her baby fills her with joy whilst reminding her of everything she has lost. I think that probably sums it up.

One of the difficult things for me, as Miss M was my second child - was discovering how different she was to Catherine. I think before you have two, you can't imagine how much of a baby's behaviour/character is just what all babies do, and how much is about their individual character. Seeing Miss M grow up to be different - even though I feel I parent similarly - well, It just underlines how very unique Catherine was. Her loss seems almost more devastating. Having another baby is not having another Catherine or another Maxie.

But Abby - please give yourself a break. I know people expect you to over-joyed, but what do they know? In the last year(ish) your son has died, you've buried your child, experienced ttc, an horendously stressful pregnancy... you've gone from being a busy working mum to a childless parent to a mother of a living child again. This is really difficult stuff. Most people can't imagine the huge emotional trauma around all these events.

My experience was that things got easier after Madeleine was born. The second year of grieving was gentler. It took time, but I gradually began to believe that Miss M was around to stay. It is all really difficult stuff - just don't beat yourself up about it, ok? Xx

Anonymous said...

Tears. Each person born is a unique miracle.

Heather said...

Moments of great joy are the moments we most want to share with the people we love the very most. I cannot imagine how heartbreaking it must be to not be able to share beautiful Mo's birth with his big brother. Sending much love to you all.