I have had a post in my mind mind for almost a week now but avoided writing. I have found every excuse in the book to avoid it, this early morning however, the inspiration seems to have returned so here goes:
Over the xmas holidays I lived with a certain amount of resentment. Resentment for the reality of living with one living child, instead of two, people's fervour to focus on our 3rd child without any reference to James, news that a relative was expecting another boy. Whenever I find resentment in my heart, especially when it's directed at someone else, I feel tremendous guilt. After giving into the feeling & allowing it to rattle around in my mind, I reached an epiphany. This resentment isn't entirely what it appears to be - sure I'm ticked off that life has handed me this reality and wish others would celebrate & remember with us at the same time, but resentment at the news that another family member is having a boy - no - I realize now that what I felt was guilt. I have watched my living child play alone, try and join other sibling sets play, gravitate toward other babies, demonstrate a gentle kindness with younger children and hated myself for not being able to have given him a brother to play with. Hearing the news that his cousin, born only 2 weeks before him, was going to have this miracle hit me where I didn't realize I hurt most, a feeling of failure & guilt for not being able to do the same.
It is the implicitly understood reality after losing a child, especially if already have living children, that you become fiercely guarded & reactive to your living child's well being, emotional, physical, developmental, psychological. There is nothing in the world that you wouldn't do to nurture them and keep them children for as long as you can. But, what if there was one thing you knew they needed, one thing you just couldn't deliver. That has been my torment, knowing a brother should have been here to challenge, nurture, play, fight even with him, helping him grow and him helping his brother.
We have been hoping and praying to make it to our anatomical scan, we have been hoping and praying to find out that our 3rd child is growing and healthy & with a little luck find out the gender. I have poured a fair amount of energy into trying to stay focused and calm - as much as possible. In the last week, with my epiphany, I realized that I have placed some pressure on myself to deliver what I failed to last year, a brother for my boys. The absolute impossibility of this pressure is responsible for my epiphany, In my mind I know I have no hope of controlling this & that it is a done deal - no matter what the outcome. This reality only makes me feel more guilty, less in control and more anxious. My only hope is that my boys will find a way to be forgiving if somehow I fail them again.
The day came, our anatomical scan took place and we got the news we'd be praying for, our 3rd child appears to be healthy & growing well. The opportunity to find out the gender was offered & we hopefully said yes, me with the above swirling in my head & Mike with his premonition that we were having a girl. The scan showed it was a boy & despite everything I wrote above I felt no excitement. I guess the pressure is really on now. Keep this baby safe, alive, healthy - deliver a healthy brother to grow & play with my earth angel & know about & remember his angel up above. In the mean time, all I can do to stay in control of the out of control is breathe.
Missing you angel & wishing I could write a different ending to our story. xoxoxox Mommy