Today is your half-birthday. I struggle with what that means when you are not here. Is it an anniversary? A "still half-birthday?"
It's a milestone, whatever it is.
Somehow, half a year has passed since the one precious day we got with you, where your dad and I held you and kissed you and read to you and told you, again and again, how much we love you. Half a year has passed since I had to hand you to a nurse, kiss you one last time, climb into a wheelchair, and get wheeled out of the hospital without you in my arms.
This morning, I took your brother to his two-year doctor's
appointment. In hindsight, it wasn't great timing. It was just another
reminder of all the things we are missing with you. That I'll never get to hold you tight on my lap and grimace when you let out a cry because the shot hurts. I never get to cover you with kisses and tell you how proud I am of you when it's all over.
There's so much that we never get to do.
I can't stop looking at the date, at the clock, rewinding my mind to our lives six months ago. Monday marked six months since our last truly normal, happy day. Our last day of innocence, of believing that the world made sense. Tuesday marked six months since the worst day of our lives. At 9 am, my life had not yet been decimated. By 9:35, it was. So much can change in one instant.
And today, today, somehow six months have passed since I labored with you and pushed you out into this world. At 12:14 pm, you were born. You were silent, but I was screaming.
Add in Mother's Day at the end of the week... it's one hell of a week.
It baffles me that somehow we've survived six months without you.
In the early days, I didn't think I'd survive six hours.
The concept that "time heals all wounds" is wrong. We won't ever be healed. We know that. We are learning to accept it. Other loss parents have explained that time doesn't heal your grief, but it allows you to learn how to carry it. Somehow, I have carried this grief for half a year now.
When I think back to the early days, I shutter. When I hear from other loss moms in the early days, I shutter. The rawness of the pain is unbelievable. Yet, somehow, the world keeps turning. The clock keeps ticking. Everything about that seems wrong. The world should have stopped turning when your heart stopped beating.
At the very least, my heart should have stopped beating too.
But it didn't.
I'm still here. Here without you.
You are still my first thought every morning. Sometimes I give your blanket, which I have been sleeping with since the day you died, an extra hug, but it doesn't hurt as badly to climb out of bed and face the day. I can eat again. I can sometimes even laugh again. I think I'm learning how to carry the grief, and to carry you. I miss you every second of every day. I've become very accustomed to missing you. And I wish things were different every second of every day. I've become very accustomed to wishing too.
I've told you how we say good night to you. Ben peers out the window and looks up at the sky. And we tell you good night and that we love you. The other night, Ben added in, "I see you, Lydie!" I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. Often, I want to do both.
I see other women with their babies, and I don't understand why they are here, and you are not. And I realize I'll never understand. I know what happened to your umbilical cord. I know why they are called cord "accidents." But I'll never understand why it had to be you, it had to be us.
I never thought I'd fill the role of the "bereaved mother." I never imagined my life looking like this.
I never thought I'd become one of those statistics, that are actually supposed to make expecting moms feel safer. The thing is, someone has to be the .5%.
I am learning that I don't have a choice. That's the hand I've been played. I didn't choose it; I would never choose it. But like anything else, I can choose how I respond. I may have some amount of control about what happens next.
And I want to try to live my life in honor of you. I want you to be proud of your mama.
Happy half-birthday, my daughter. I hope wherever you are, it's beautiful. I hope wherever you are, I can join you one day.
I love you. I love you very, very much.