Monday, May 31, 2010

the "w." not the "s."

tomorrow my second child Would be born.

oddly, i am able to write that without flinching; perhaps because it's a truth i've lived with for the past months, all those months i would have been growing him -- or was it her? i'll never know; it was only a flutter of intuition that i say "him." i never really knew him like i think i knew Isabela; the only thing i was sure of was that this baby was quiet. too quiet. and i found out why all too soon.
i also say "Would," not "Should." that "W" makes a big difference; who am i to say what Should and Should Not be? i decided a long time ago that when it comes to things in my life i cannot control -- which is to say most things -- that i would rather trust the Author of my life who knows all the pages and twists of my story, than try to do the Choose Your Own Adventure thing. (i mean, usually with those you end up being thrown in a hole or killed by pirates or eaten by sharks or worst, stuck in an endless loop. you know this is true.) can i honestly shake my fist at the heavens and demand that i Should be a mother of two? that i Should know why this is happening? or that i Should not have to bear this grief? or that my beloved husband Should be a father?
ah, this is what makes me come undone these days; the fear that he'll never hold his own child, never see his own eyes looking back at him, that he won't ever hear a little voice call him Daddy. currently we're in Germany; this weekend was the baptism of our nephew, who also happens to be our godson, and it was indeed a joyful occasion. i was quite fine the whole time; somehow "my nephew" has become a completely separate concept from "my nephew who doesn't have a cousin his age." i've never felt it was somehow unfair or upsetting that Thomas' brother has a child and we don't; as i've written here before, we always wanted them to be first with the family thing. but yesterday, before we said goodbye, Thomas scooped his little nephew into his arms to bundle him into the car. the small one gurgled and laughed and patted Thomas' face and was such the picture of pure joy & love that i thought i might never breathe again. it's no surprise to me that kids like my husband; this was one of the many charming and wonderful traits i observed in him long before we were ever married. but somehow seeing him with his own blood family, with a child in his arms that has the same big blue eyes and ready smile, cut far too close to the bone. Thomas says the most painful thing about losing our babies isn't so much missing them, it's watching me bear the grief of it. although sometimes i wonder how true that is; however, i would no sooner question the shape of his scars than i would want him to challenge mine. meanwhile, we can only hold onto each other while we grow in our trust and love, like green ivy and an old brick wall; soon it is indistinguishable what is holding the other up, where one begins and the other ends.
some days are better than others; i've found bigger windows and more fresh air lately, i'd like to think. i have plenty of time where i feel content in my already-rich life and can live with the reality of what has happened. or not happened. i feel the deep-down peace that comes from being able to live with the Future Unknown and i can accept that life occurs in very short increments, and that Today Is Good.
and then some days the fear is too much and it overwhelms with its icy grasp; like my fears about my husband not being a father or when i feel like i'm seriously running out of time when i see my birthday quickly approaching. or when i realise that i may actually not really believe that i will ever get pregnant again, let alone have a successful pregnancy, let alone have a healthy child. these days it seems to me that normal baby-havings is something that happens to Other People; i recently went to a baby shower where i was "incognito" (no one knew I'd had pregnancy losses), and i was slightly astonished to find that i had the same feeling i experience on the first day of exploring a new country i'm visiting: being the fascinated foreigner in an exotic land.

i have no idea what we're going to do tomorrow to recognise the child we Would have had. not Should have had. i can only believe that if we Should have had either or both of them, right now she'd be crying for a diaper change or he would be kicking his way into exit position. but that is not to be. so it is and always will be the "W," not the "S."
i have no idea if there is anything we can do to confirm personhood upon someone that i will never be able to have memories of. this time i have had no names come to me, no real grasp of who Tummymuffin II was, or Would have been. it's so different from last time, but still the crushing sadness is the same. how is it that my hopes and dreams were just as unformed and nascent as he was, and yet now that they are gone along with him, the void they leave is so enormous and defined?
how is it that you can miss so desperately someone you never knew?