Wednesday, June 9, 2010

19 months

Benjamin should be 19 months in two days. He would now be older than Jackson was when Benjamin was born. I remember how old Jackson seemed to me at that time. Barely a toddler anymore, more a boy. An older brother. How can it be that my sweet baby Benjamin should not be a baby anymore? He should be able to talk, run, jump, throw temper tantrums. He should be able to chase Jackson around and have matches to see who can yell the loudest. He should be here to help Jackson look after their baby sister. He should be Lexi's other proud older brother who is so excited for her to be able to play with him. The three of them should be our terrible trio; the three wonders who make us so happy to be parents and naively believe that parents do not outlive their children.

I love all my children. Some days I honestly believe that Lexi has, in a way, replaced Benjamin. Whenever I think that it makes me sad. I don't post on here very often because it makes me wonder if I am a decent mom to Benjamin. Do I mourn him to the extent that I should? Have I now had my 'rainbow baby' and thus pushed him to the back of my mind? Was he just a brief period in my life? One that is now overshadowed by the yummy baby in my arms?

I talked to a friend yesterday who has a friend that lost a baby at 3 days old. His birth and anniversary of his death are next week. Every year this friend sends a card to the family, to let them know that she still thinks about their son every year. While I talked with her I surprised myself because I found myself thinking that this woman who has lost her 3 day old baby has more of a rite to mourn her son than I do. He was born alive and then died. Why am I always stuck on this? Why do I think that just because Benjamin was not born alive then I don't have the rite to mourn him? I know that his death was the saddest day of my life. I know that I have a rite to mourn. I do, I know all of this. But I suppose since I never saw him alive then I have, in some way, convinced myself that he was never mine to start with. Does that make sense? Not really. I 'knew' him while he was safely tucked away inside me. I knew him as only a mother can. And yet, I don't feel I am 'allowed' to mourn him as I would a baby who was born alive. In the back of my mind I question whether I really feel that I lost a baby, and not 'just' lost a pregnancy. And trust me when I say that that belief pisses me off when other people have it! I know he was a baby, he was a big baby, he was perfect in every way (other than that pesky living part, yes I use dark humour to cope). I think a lot of it is societal. People don't talk about stillbirths. No one wants to acknowledge the horror that they are. And so we parents are left to wonder where our grief falls. Is it a 'true' loss, or is it mostly just the loss of what should have been?

I don't know.

But I do know that I am truely missing what should have been; my second born son who DID exist and should look similar to this right now...

(Jackson at 19 months)

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