Not replaceable

When I was pregnant with Mo, I worried about how being a mother again would affect my grief process.  I knew I would be doing things I did so lovingly with Maxie and I worried that it would be too much for me to handle emotionally.  It is true that most everything we do reminds us of Maxie.  We think about Max all of the time anyway, but the small details of caring for Mo really bring back our experiences.  It can be very brings the loss up to the surface all of the time..though it is never really too far beneath as it is.  There are certain memories I have with Max that I had actually "forgotten" (maybe forgotten isn't the right word but, hadn't thought about it in a long time.)

Giving Mo his supplement reminds me so much of giving Maxie his acid reflux medicine, both liquids given the same way with a plastic syringe.  Mo makes a funny face because he isn't used to the taste - it is grape flavored.  Maxie made the same face, until he got used to the grape flavor, and then he actually took it pretty easy - smacking his little lips together.  Mo has just started doing the same thing.  Oh my god - I miss my Maxie.

Maxie loved his swing.  Whenever he was BEYOND fussy, I would put him in the swing and he immediately calmed down.  Mo is the same way.  In fact, as I am writing this, he is napping in the same swing.  Lord - I miss Maxie.

I stopped swaddling Maxie pretty early on.  He didn't like it and regardless, he always Houdini-ed his way out of it unless I made it CRAZY tight.  He liked to be hands free.  So does Mo.  I rarely swaddle him now because it often defeats the purpose of calming him.  He expends so much energy trying to get out of it - grunting and squirming.  Both boys are wrapped from their armpits down most of the time.  Holy Moses - I miss my baby Max.

Breastfeeding was something that I was really worried about.  It is such an intimate experience that I shared with Max - a time when we were most close - cuddling, often sleepy and warm in bed.  Breastfeeding Mo has reminded me of little details I haven't thought about in so long.  Maxie, like Mo, used to rest one hand on my chest or try to grab onto me.  Maxie also played with my necklace while nursing, turning the infinity charm I wore round and round in his little fist.  Maxie, like Mo, would sometimes fall asleep while nursing.  When he was really tired, he would fall asleep before the nursing ever began, then cry when I pulled him away, then sleep again when I brought him close.  When Maxie got older, he was easily distracted.  Sometimes I would play with him while nursing.  I would take his hand off of my chest and put it in my mouth, pretending to eat it up.  This made him giggle.  I loved making Maxie giggle.  I know I'll be doing the same thing with Mo.  I know he will play with my Maxie necklaces.  Bittersweet.  I miss him...oh god!  I miss him

I am dying for one more day with my beautiful boy.  My heart hurts so much.  It never subsides.  Taking care of Mo is so lovely.  He smells so good - so much like my Maxie.  He is so sweet - so much like my Maxie.  He is such a good baby - just like Maxie.  But, Mo is Mo and I am glad he is his own person.  I love him wildly.  They are the same in so many ways - in ways that I sometimes feel for a split second like nothing happened- like I am still just taking care of the same boy - like he has come back to me.  But that feeling only lasts for a split second - as I realize that my Max will never ever be replaced.  He is irreplaceable.  He was perfect and sweet and my soulmate.  I waited my whole life for him.  Same as Mo....and yet, totally different.  He holds his own special place in my heart forever and the hurt never goes away.  One baby doesn't take the place of another - and no baby ever should.

1 comment

Taryn said...

Abby, what a gorgeous post. It brought me to tears. I think it is so touching that one of the gifts Mo has to offer is a renewal of some of the minute memories of Maxie's life. That is a priceless offering for such a tiny boy. Yes, Mo is his own special and unique person, but he is still a link in your family chain...a link that is connected eternally to his big brother Maxie as well. What a beautiful tribute to both of your amazing baby boys!