I know I am grieving but I wonder if I am grieving the "right things". I mean, am I grieving Caleb dying or am I grieving not getting my baby? Sometimes I think if Caleb had been my first born, I would have felt his loss more and that I would grieve his death in an entirely different way. How lousy is that??? I know they(I know...who the eff are they anyway) always say by the time you have your third or fourth you don't have the time or energy to worry about the same things you did with your first, you don't have the luxery of time to fret over the little things, to micro manage every detail in their lives. But I never would have imagined that the same thing might apply to your third one dying. You would think that by virtue of the fact that he is my only child to die (knocking every piece of wood I can right now), I would have plenty of grief just for him. But it doesn't feel like that at all.
The grief feels all mixed up in trying to save myself, save my kids, save our family from this horror. The grief comes in making everything feel 'normal'. It comes in the forced smile when I tell the kids about their friends mom whose baby was just born, safely, and I see in thier eyes, I hear in their heads, "Why wasn't ours born safely?" and I try to pretend for them, that my happiness for our friend isn't covered in, well, grief. It comes when I notice my dughter has slowly started taking back the books that she "donated" to the new baby. When we were getting ready to change out her furniture, the nursery furniture, for her Big Girl furniture to make the room for the baby, she went through all of her books and chose ones that would go to the nursery. They had been sitting in bins in the hall and recently the books have found their way back to her room. If Caleb had been our first, the books would still be sitting unused, waiting for a child to explore them and I can imagine myself reaading them alone and throwing myself a huge pity party. But not here. Here they just migrated back to where they had once belonged. Slowly being reabsorbed into our world. As though Caleb never exisited, which for them, I suppose is true.
Even our feeble attempts at making another baby, feel deceptive. I wonder is it another baby I want? Is it Caleb I want? Is what I really want something that will make the loss feel even more distant, even less real? Am I trying to erase him? I guess that's it. I feel like I am trying to erase him. I know I can't. I know I will carry the sadness in me forever. Everyday I look at my dead baby jewelry before I put it on and I think, I don't want to wear this today. Today I just want to be the old me. And everyday I put it on anyway because I know the old me is gone and even if I don't wear it, I will still feel it's weight, around my neck and in my heart.
A while back one of you wrote, after going to your support group that your discussion leader had asked everyone to respond to the question, "If you could do this all over again knowing the result would be the same, would you?" Everyone who commented on that post said, Yes, that they would take those months again and again if it meant they would have more time with their baby. I said No. I would never sign up for it again. I was the only one, at least for as long as I checked back to the post, I was the only one who said I would not go back and do it again. What does that say about me? Does that mean I wish my baby had never been 'born' at all? Because, really, given the choice, I do sometimes wish I had never been pregnant at all. But I don't have the choice do I? After all, if life were a hypothetical, I would choose for my baby to be here, alive, healthy and screaming at me in the middle of the night, that's my choice. And I have to say, given the same hypothetical choice if something had happened to one of my other children, I would choose differently. Does that mean I love them more? Does it mean I love him less? No. I know I don't love him less. I just so wish that this had never happened.
Everyday I go through the motions, trying to make our lives as normal as possible. Most days, I think we do a pretty good job of it. But everday, when the kids are asleep, all of the lights are off , and the house is quiet I lay my head on the pillow and I wonder, "Where's my grief?" .