Its been 8 years since I had to say “See you later”.
How has so much time passed? How can it have been 8 years, when I can still remember every single vivid detail from the day we found out we had lost you? It doesn’t seem fair that time plays tricks like that- making some good memories feel like its been decades (like feeling you kick), while I can still remember how I lost my breath when I KNEW we had lost you, and I wanted to shout for your brothers not to look at the ultrasound screen, but I couldn’t find my voice.
Sometimes I get jealous of the moms that can easily name off how many kids they have. For me, I have the option of either going into detail (which can be akin to picking at a scab until it bleeds) or naming off all but the ones I lost, carrying with that choice the mom guilt of not acknowledging the life- however brief- of one of my kids.
Moms of miscarriages and stillbirths, though- its a completely different club; not better, not worse, just… different. We ONLY had a “fetus”or a “clump of cells” or whatever society wants to claim. Since we never had to stay up late with those babies, kiss their boo boos, worry about fevers, laugh at their silly antics, etc, our babies don’t seem to usually “count” as much as those who’ve lost a child. Sure, people will say they’re sorry for our loss initially, but after a while, its felt as though we should just “get over it”. They’ll tell us to “look at the bright side”, or (if we had kids after our loss) they remind us that “if we’d had the one we lost, we might not have the ones we have now.” Don’t they know that’s ALWAYS on our mind when we start to miss our babies we’ve lost and then hear the ones in our arms call us “Mommy”? We aren’t wishing we could have one instead of the other; we’re just wishing that there was some way we could have had them all.
And yes, I know what you’re thinking, Christopher- if I’d had your brothers AND you, there’s a chance I’d be more crazy than I already am, and we’d be WAY worse off financially; but to hear you laugh along with your brothers right now- I’d happily live in a cardboard box and eat Ramen noodles until you all graduated.
I know that “everything happens for a reason”- it was my mantra for getting me through those difficult, heartbreaking weeks and months after you were delivered; but despite staring into the eyes of each of your brothers, I still try desperately to understand the reason behind my losses. I told myself-as I’m sure any mom who’s had a “Rainbow Baby” has- that maybe our new baby might have the cure to cancer or bring about world peace, but then I have to wonder what the world lost out on when we lost you.
See, each pregnancy starts off the same way: you see the “+” sign, and you realize you’re actually carrying another life inside you. If its happy news. you start imagining what he (or she!) will look like, who they’ll be, what kind of addition they’ll make to your family, how your life will change…
And that’s the only part where I think this club I’m a part of has it a little worse. Our babies we lost never even had a chance. I never got to experience your personality, Chris. You never had a nitch in our family tree, and since you passed at 15 weeks along, we never even got to examine your features to see who you looked like, because -as your dad has said, all babies look like aliens the earlier they’re born.
The only question I most definitely had answered was how you changed my life- and an overabundance of “what ifs”.
I think its time that the world should recognize any loss of life as significant and not something that they should be told to “move on” from. It shouldn’t be marked as “less than” simply because the world never met our babies. The fact of the matter is, WE did. We had hopes for them, visions of their futures; we changed physically and emotionally with the anticipation of meeting them; we saw them squirm on the ultrasound and joked about paying them back for the heartburn and nausea; we felt them kick and just KNEW they’d have a career in soccer.
Shouldn’t that count for something?
Shouldn’t it be normal to acknowledge their due date or the date we had to say goodbye?
Shouldn’t we be able to count and celebrate their Heavenly birthdays without being told to move on?
I AM moving on. I know time hasn’t stood still, as much as I wanted it to. I take care of the kids, the house, the pets; I live my life; I keep moving forward; just, sometimes, I want a day to remember a life that was so extraordinarily important that he left a mark on my life without ever living IN it; who’s tiny footprint never touched the ground, but touched my heart; who’s sole purpose, as far as I can see, was to come into my life to teach me that sometimes love means letting go and trusting that God not only knows what He’s doing, but that He’ll fill the hole that was left behind.
Shouldn’t a life that important be counted?
I miss you, Christopher Scott. Now, forever, and always.