9 months. That’s how long I had with my son. When I was fighting for Z’s, jamming my swollen, sausage feet into extra wide shoes, carefully following food instructions at every meal, and fidgeting with one-size-fits-all clothing, those 40 weeks felt like forever. I couldn’t wait for pregnancy to be over. Surely, to return to a state that more resembled “me.” But, mostly because I would meet my son face-to-face and become the mother I dreamt about being for him for so long. When I look back now, without him physically in my life today, those 9 months feel so short lived. So fast. If I knew then that the only time we’d be together would be with him in my belly, than I would go back today without question to relive that time, and make more of it. I took for granted our time together because I thought that we’d have a lifetime to get to know each other. To make memories. To be a family. I would have talked to him even more. I would’ve read him books every night. I would have had Chris sing him his songs more often. I would have taken a day off of work to focus on us, with no distractions. I would’ve named him sooner so that I could call his name out when I spoke to him. My perception of those 9 months changed so drastically when I found out that my son had died. Now they feel as brief as the blink of an eye.
9 months. That’s how long I’ve been without my son. The exact amount of time that we had him in our life, he has now been gone. What a crazy feeling. Some days it feels like years have passed, although the sad feeling inside often feels as fresh as the day we said goodbye.
So, where am I today? I miss Rylan and the chance I had to be his mom. I still want it back and want to refuse the hand we’ve been dealt. Reality is a dish I just want to send back. And, if I have to accept it than I want something in return—as selfish and ridiculous as it sounds, I want some compensation for our heartache and daily suffering. I want to open my front door one day to the prize patrol on my doorstep with balloons and a fat, oversized check. I want to stumble on the winning power ball ticket in a parking lot. I don’t expect such monetary things to replace the devastation I feel over the loss of my son—I just wish I had the means to pay off all of my bills so I could take the proper time away from work and the world to make grieving for my son the priority it needs to be.
I still have trouble out in the world being with, around, or near families, parents, and children. I’m terrified of babies, especially holding a baby that is not Rylan. I don’t think I have the strength to do it without a box of tissues. And I’m afraid that the despair it could awaken could last for days, maybe even weeks. The last baby I held was my friend’s daughter, and at the time Rylan was warm in my belly and a week from delivery. He even kicked her a little and I joked about him being jealous or trying to get the attention of his future playmate. I remember thinking at that moment how good it felt and how I longed to hold my own baby in the months to come. I was excited. Holding a baby now will be so much different. I imagine I will feel nothing but heartache over what I can’t have with my own son. Just the thought of it brings tears to my eyes. I wonder if the only way to overcome that hurdle will be the day that I’m able to have another child with Chris, if we are so lucky. If we get to hold our own son or daughter in the future. That time feels like such a long way off from now and I’m not sure how to cope until then. I just hope it happens someday.
When I’m not at work, I try to think about where I want our life to go—what we can do to make the best of our now and enrich our future. As individuals. As a couple. And, for the family that we hope to grow in the future. It’s a positive place to focus my energy.
I’ve also felt less than in shape since the delivery. I’m still not able to get a leg into my favorite pair of jeans and fret over wearing a bathing suit in June. Bummer, right?! Because my schedule doesn’t allow for much free time to hit a gym we decided to invest in a piece of exercise equipment that can provide a great workout in a very, very short time. And, wow, did I feel out of shape hopping up on that thing for the first time. But, I do feel good doing something for my health. We’re also trying to eat a little better. It is good for me physically and mentally—and will be very good if I’m ever blessed with a baby again. I feel like every positive step is good for us—we try to set small, achievable goals knowing that they add up in the end.
I’ve recently been feeling less satisfied with counseling. Don’t get me wrong, our counselor is amazing, and I’d recommend her and their group to anyone experiencing grief over the loss of a loved one. Lately, I just feel like there isn’t much to say. I repeat myself a lot and I feel like nobody can really give me what I need or want, which is Rylan back here with us. Sometimes it’s good to have an outside perspective and to be able to tell someone how we feel without judgement—even if it is repetitive. I use to walk out of her office feeling like something new was brought to light or that a small weight was lifted, even if just temporarily. And I know not every session will be groundbreaking. But lately I feel like I’ve left just as I came. Chris and I have talked and have made no decisions yet about whether to stop going…but it is on my mind. I’ll keep you posted on where we end up. I guess I feel like if we stop going and begin to have issues we can always go back, right?
Well, I have to run. Thank you, as always, for stopping in on my blog. I hope that you and your family are finding ways to move forward and support each other during such a difficult time. Remember, even small steps can make a difference and add something positive to your lives. It may not remove the heartache, but it will help you survive. Hugs to everyone.