My baby died two months ago tonight.
I still can’t believe that. I am still waiting to wake up. I still get involved with something, forget for awhile and then crash back into the truth of that. I still awake and savor the few moments before I remember.
Today, I saw the name “Lyle” and thought, “Hey! We haven’t thought of naming the baby Lyle. I should tell Danny. . .”
Today, the pedicurist said “Are you pregnant?” and I said “No.” And she said, “Oh, the way you were touching your belly. . .” and trailed off.
Today, I got an iced coffee and rested it on my belly as I drove like I did with a baby in there. I noticed and I just left it there.
Today, I thought “It will be so uncomfortable to nurse this summer in this heat.”
Without having my baby to hold and nurse and care for, I sometimes forget that he came out. I am sometimes still waiting for him to arrive. I sometimes have the bliss of forgetting and have a moment of planning or considering names again or wondering what it will be like to have two children to take care of at once.
At times, his absence is surreal.
At times, his absence is all too real.
And I protest. I seemingly cannot stop protesting that this is happening. I cannot stop knowing that he was born already and that he is now dead. I rail against it in my mind almost constantly. I drive with an empty seat. I sleep next to an empty space where the co-sleeper would be. I dress my daughter from a closet with an empty shelf where diapers and baby supplies were. There is an empty drawer in my dresser as I’d made room for him and can’t remember what filled it before that. I am constantly aware of his absence. He would always be with me these days and he still is, except in the form of emptiness, of space, of absence. Except in the worst possible form. And there is a part of my mind that refuses to accept this. That is still holding out hope.
I have spent a lot of time learning to accept “what is”, making a practice of not fighting what is happening, and this has made my life easier, more enjoyable, even happy. This I will not accept. I seemingly cannot accept it. I will continue to protest, like a child, despite having no possibility of a do-over, a second chance. I know why people believe in parallel universes because, sometimes, I can literally feel us there, in some other awareness, all together, loving our new baby, struggling with the new challenges, time stopping in those moments of pure joy only a newborn human can bring. Sometimes, I can close my eyes and almost feel him in my arms. Sometimes, I hear the beginning of a crow call or a cat’s emphatic meow and just for a moment, I hear my baby crying for me. Just for a moment, he is there. And then, he is gone again.