Gift Horse

Thursday, August 30, 2012

When Maxie was born, we received so many beautiful gifts.  Lots of it was stuff for a much bigger baby.  Clothes and toys for babies up to two years old.  "You won't believe how quickly they grow up", everyone said.  Only Maxie didn't grow up.  He died at nine and half months.  My whole world came crashing in.  I was here, without him, in this house full of his stuff.  Some of it stuff he used daily and some of it stuff he never grew old enough to use.  We packed a lot of it away and eventually shut the door to his bedroom.  I couldn't see his stuff.  I spent many months thinking about following him to wherever he is.  It felt (often still feels) like life was over.  In a way, mine ended that day.  I will never be the same.  I am forever in pain, forever heartbroken.  Thank god I got pregnant with Mo.  Knowing he was coming saved my life.  And he has saved my life...but my head is spinning.

Ever since the news broke that I was pregnant again, we have been receiving gifts.  Amazing, generous gifts.  And, once again, I have been getting clothes and toys for a much bigger baby.  My heart drops every single time.  I just don't know what to do with all of this fear.  One of my best friends came over the other night to meet Mo (Marla was in England when he was born) and she brought over the cutest baby gap outfits for Mo.  She was so excited for me to open up the present.  She told me how fun it was shopping for a little boy (she has a little girl).  Inside the box I found three outfits - one for 3 months, one for 12 months and one for 19 months.  My heart dropped.  "I am so scared!", I blurted out.  "What if I lose Mo too?"  Sometimes it feels like a very real possibility.  I don't feel safe.  I don't feel like Mo is safe.  I can't lose him too!  And life with Mo is so much like life with Maxie.  I mean, I am not really doing anything that much different, so what is going to be the factor that changes Mo's fate?  A new pediatrician?  A new caretaker?  Having me home with him?  Taking the supplement?  Obviously, I am hoping that YES - one of these things or who knows what will ensure Mo the long and happy life that he deserves.  "I am scared I am going to end up with all of this stuff for a baby and no baby....again."  She offered to return the gift she was so excited about.  She looked pretty deflated.  I have a way of really ruining the mood.  But, of course, that won't take care of the root of the problem.  The root of the problem is that my brain is looping worst case scenarios and I am scared out of my mind.  How can I live one day at a time while planning outfits for next winter?  Usually I just look, say thank you and try shut down my brain immediately.  Poor Marla - she is one of the few people I feel safe with.  Of course I love her present.

I am out of my mind with gratitude at the generosity of the people who love us and our family.  Mo is a lucky boy.  He has wonderful clothes and toys for the new two years of life.  I worry about saying anything at all because I can't be anything but grateful...but I can't help it....I am SO SO SO scared.  So, I am not returning the stuff that is for the much bigger baby but I am packing it away full of hope in my heart in boxes that I can't wait to open.  I am doing my best not to gasp or burst into tears when I see clothes for a 9 month or a 12 month baby.  I am praying that Mo makes it to 9 mos and then 12 months (and then 24) and then to an age where I don't count his months at all anymore but just his years and half years and then to an even better place where I see him graduate from schools and go out with friends and fall in love and maybe even have children of his own.  I am living one day at a time and trying not to think too much about any of the "stuff"...it's just stuff afterall.

2 comments:

Jared Brumbaugh said...

Its all completely normal. When you get this title of berevead mum is all so questionable. But I'm sure that we all continue to pray so that you can open those boxes in the future. We all are happy of the joy. That baby "MO" brings. And I know for the rest of my life I will remember Maxie beautiful smile.

Adina said...

I can completely relate to this--every time I purchase anything for Sam that's intended "for the future," my mind immediately asks itself "but will he even get to use it?" I recently bought a case of diapers in the next size up, and I have all of this anxiety that he'll never grow to wear them, and just keep praying that it will not be that way, and try (and try, and try) to shut off my brain. (This post also made me think of ayin hara, and how with Talya I was not concerned at all with such "old-fashioned superstition", but before Sam's birth I was gripped with fear, and kept the house free of all belongings for the coming baby. In any case, I think it's completely normal to be afraid, given the circumstances, and I think that in light of everything that you've been through and continue to go through with the loss of Maxie you are doing beautifully.

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