Tuesday, April 6, 2010

It's been a while

Other than the quick photo I posted for Easter it has been FOREVER since I updated this blog. It seems as though I have no time anymore for anything. I know I've taken on a lot of 'projects' and stuff in the last few months, but honestly it's more that I am just getting run down.

First off, I am by NO means complaining about my life. Apart from the obvious, I love the way my life is turning out. I have a wonderful husband who loves and respects me (and vise versa). I have a fun loving almost-three-year-old who makes me smile numerous times a day. And now I have a sweet little bundle of goodness who is discovering more about the world everyday, and reminding me of how 'right' things can be.

BUT I would just like a little more sleep. When Benjamin was born I remember getting so angry at people who had newborns who would complain about their lack of sleep because the baby was up all night. I remember thinking I would give anything to have sleepless nights holding my nursing baby. I remember thinking that I would gladly be up in the wee hours of the morning trying to calm a screaming baby. And so I have a lot of guilt.

I feel guilty when Lexi is up numerous times a night and I am annoyed with her. I just want her to sleep! But then I think about all the other moms out there who wanted nothing more than to hold their living, breathing, screaming babies, myself included, and I feel a little pang of guilt and disgust with myself. I should be cherishing every moment with her; good and bad. She is all I hoped for in the months following Benjamin's birth. So shouldn't I just be happy?

It's hard to come to terms with everything. Some days it hits me that I don't think about Benjamin as much; don't ache for him like I used to. I know it's normal, I know it's the passage of time. But I feel like I am moving on. Away from him. I don't want him to be a distant memory. Something that happened a long time ago. Someone who was here and then he wasn't. I want him to still be a strong presence in my life. If not physically, then at least emotionally. In a way I miss those days that I would think about him and be reduced to a sobbing mess. At least then I knew how much I missed and loved him. Now when I think about him it barely affects me. It's like I have put him in this little compartment in my mind and my heart and he is safe there. Safe in the memory of what he was and what he should have been. Safe but never forgotten. But is that healthy? Has having Lexi done the unthinkable? Has she replaced him in my mind and my heart? Deep down I know that's not possible and not true. But some days I wonder if I did both of them an injustice by having her so close to him.

I have a friend who I've been hanging out with a lot lately. She has a son close to Jackson's age and they are best friends. She also has another son. A son who was born about 2 weeks before Benjamin was born. We didn't know each other back then so her son has never really reminded me of how old Benjamin should be. This weekend they came over to my house for an Easter party and I mentioned to Brian beforehand that her son is the same age as Benjamin would be. During the party I saw Brian really watching him and I asked him if he was thinking about Benjamin. He said he was and that it was hard for him. It only started affecting me the last few times we've been over to her house. Her son is getting more vocal now and being a typical 17 month old. Jackson is becoming more comfortable with him and starting to treat him more like a little brother. That is hard to see. It's hard to see this little bundle of energy and not think about who is missing in our life. How our life is different than it should be. What Jackson is missing out on. I find I can't get close to my friend's son. I want to because he really is a sweet little boy, but some times it's just hard. I've never talked to her about it, I'm not even sure she's put it together that Benjamin would be the same age. I don't want it to be awkward. I'll just continue trying to ignore that elephant in the room.

I was on another blog a few days ago and the author was talking about how they almost seek out opportunities to talk about their son who has died. I totally get that. In some ways it's like a wound that you just feel this urge to constantly pick at and in other ways it's more of a desire to scream to the world that babies do die and everyone needs to stop being so bloody blind to that fact. I find that I am constantly wanting to tell people about Benjamin. I know a big part of it is just that by talking about him I get to be his mom, I get to get his memory out there. But there are less and less opportunities to talk about him. Less times when it casually comes up. I don't want to be that crazy lady who talks about her dead son everytime someone says hello. If I could do that some days I would.

Two years ago I had just found out I was pregnant with Benjamin. Two years ago I was blissfully naive. It never occurred to me that in just 8 months my life would take such a turn. Two years ago his short life had just begun.

So I just hit 'publish post' and had gone on about my day, reading some other blogs. And then the tears started. Shit. I guess this is how it is. You think you are fine, you've put things in their neat compartments, you wonder if you aren't feeling enough. And then some random comment on another blog, by another person, sends you for a tailspin. It was this post (http://wednesdayswithmalou.wordpress.com/). Specifically the part about how she wishes that she had touched and kissed every single part of her daughter.

That is the one thing that haunts me. The one thing that I can't bear to think about without getting that lump in my throat and the burn in the eyes. When Benjamin was born they laid him down in front of me (to this day I have no idea where he was laid. Was it on my lap? Between my legs? On my belly? On the bed? On a table? I have no idea). We were able to see his entire body, naked. I was trying to see him through the freely flowing tears but all I could focus on was his beautiful face and curly dark hair. After a few minutes they took him to the side of the room to weigh, measure and clean him up a bit. Then they wrapped him up and brought him back to us. That was the only time I saw him naked. After that he was always wrapped in blankets. Except when Heather came to take photos and she unwrapped him. Then I got to see his perfect little feet. But I never got to see the rest of him. It breaks my heart that I don't know what his legs looked like, his belly, his baby butt, his bits. I don't know if he had any birthmarks. I don't know if he had long legs or knobby knees. I don't know what he looked like. A mother should know those things. All I remember of his body is that he was bruised and skin was peeling. I don't want that to be all I know of his body. A mother should not know that.

So I guess this is the moment I was just writing about. I guess I got what I wished for since now I am a sobbing mess thinking about him. And as horrible as it feels, it does also feel a little good. If you've been here, you understand.


  1. I remember... he had knobby knees that were a little chubby, with dimples on the top and the bottom. Very much like the knuckles on his hands.

    He had a frog belly, kind of flat but a little fat around the edges. I saw it through the gap in the dress when he had it put on.
    To me, his face looked so much like yours - but with his dads cheeks.

  2. My husband doesn't understand my need to read other Mamas stories of loss. He doesn't understand why I go to Virtual memorials and look through the infant loss pages and weep. BUt, like you, I still get to feeling I have let Susannah go too far and reading the others babies' stories is like a touch stone to bring her closer, if only for the hour I spend reading and crying. {{{{{Rae}}}}}