My take on Mother’s Day this year

Duh, I’m a mom.

My son is dead, but I’m still a mom.

No one but my partner and hospital staff met Henry, but he’s real. He existed. Exists still. And me made me a mother. As did my step-son.

Hearing Happy Mother’s Day this year will be painful, but it will me more painful to not be included in the grand sisterhood of moms being celebrated this Sunday. I’m in your club, but a different chapter. Don’t skip over my pages, or the other thick chapters of moms missing their angels this year (and every day, frankly). Please include us in your wishes this mother’s day.

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The due date

It’s coming. In six days. When Henry was supposed to be born.

I’m observing myself.

How do I feel? Am I okay? How should I feel?

And there aren’t any roadmaps here. It’s desolate, and hard to see three feet in front of my face. I don’t know what’s there. I don’t know how to prepare myself.

There could be smooth road, or there could be a giant pothole, like a swimming pool, and if I’m not careful, I could drown in it, or at least wallow for a while.

My non-pregnant self is desperately scaling the walls. She wants to have a baby in her, this womb of mine. It was supposed to have a baby in it, but genetics had a say about that and took away motherhood after we thought we were in the clear.

And now the due date approaches. It’s going to come quickly. Fiercely. Ruthlessly. For this son of mine who was already born. A due date for a dead baby who already has a birthday.

There’s no logic for this. Babies aren’t supposed to be dead. They’re supposed to pass milestones and make friends and learn and grow and laugh and cry and change and be hugged and loved and taught. They’re not supposed to be dead. But mine is. The Grim Reaper was beside me the whole time. Waiting to collect what was his. And now he has Henry, and I’ll never get to hold him again. Aside from his ashes, worn around my neck, close to my heart.

Baby pictures

I don’t know why I do it – my friends on facebook who have babies – why do I always look at their pictures? I don’t have to. I don’t even want to. But there I go, flipping one after the other, actually seeking out pictures of their progeny. All alive and well, rosy cheeked, thriving, not dead like Henry. I’ve never been one to seek out things that hurt, so why now? I don’t expect that anything should make sense, though.

We have a picture in our room, framed, of our baby, already gone, wrapped in a blanket that only me and Tyler have seen. I was lying in bed last night looking at Henry wondering what he would have looked like if we waited a month before saying goodbye. We weren’t going to wait, just in case there was a possibility that he would have been in more pain down the road. We knew that would have been for our benefit – not his. But I’ll always wonder on every detail about my son.

Remembering Henry on October 15

Image courtesy of Small Bird Studios

From sharesv.org:In October 1988, President Ronald Reagan Proclaimed October as National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. “When a child loses his parent, they are called an orphan. When a spouse loses her or his partner, they are called a widow or widower. When parents lose their child, their isn’t a word to describe them. This month recognizes the loss so many parents experience across the United States and around the world. It is also meant to inform and provide resources for parents who have lost children due to miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, molar pregnancy, stillbirths, birth defects, SIDS, and other causes.”

October 15 is a special day in this month of awareness to break the silence that surrounds pregnancy & infant loss, and infertility.

I will never forget my son. From the moment I found out I was carrying him, to every moment until the day I also pass on. I remember his kicks. I remember seeing him wiggle away from the ultrasound wand the first time we got to see him, and how we fell hard and fast in love with him all over again. I remember his birth, and his bright red skin, and how absolutely beautiful he is. I remember that he has his dad’s ears and my mouth. I’m reminded that there isn’t only pain in this journey – Henry brought us a lot of happiness.

We miss you, every moment of every day.