If I Could Turn Back Time…

It’s probably been over a year since I last cried hard for Dax. It happened all the time while I was pregnant with Sebastian. Obviously – I was already pregnant when Dax died. But it became much less after Sebastian was born. That’s what I named my rainbow baby, by the way. It’s one of the few names we could agree on. I thought there was something wrong with me, not crying over my dead son anymore – at least not sober. I guess I did last Halloween. But I did tonight and I don’t even know why. I was trying to fall asleep and he came into my mind. He’s on my mind a lot, of course, but tonight, I don’t know. I guess I was just really feeling the guilt.

I started playing a new video game today. Life is Strange. The main character is a girl who’s a photographer in college and discovers that she can rewind time. I started thinking about where I’d rewind to. My abortion? To Daxon’s last night? Probably the second, just because I know I likely wouldn’t have my two sons otherwise. I need them because I know them with my whole heart. I would go back and listen to my gut and roll him onto his back and stay with him all fucking night. I’d find an Owlet monitor the very next day and take him to the doctor to be thoroughly checked out. I would hug and kiss him for hours and tell him I love him 42 billion times a day.

Most importantly, I would save him.

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Let Me Keep This One

The love I feel for Sebastian is so intense. I had (have) that crazy strong love for Dax, but when he was alive, I didn’t really understand it. It was a whole new kind of love to me and the times I really understood it was in those quiet moments when I’d look at him and my whole self was flooded with so much love, I felt like I couldn’t possibly contain it. It felt like my heart would physically explode. But a lot of the time, I almost felt like I was just watching Dax for someone else. Like I was babysitting a baby cousin or something. There’s no way he could possibly be mine….forever? Maybe that was some spiritual foreshadowing. It was so hard for me to see him growing up.

Now, I understand this love better. Not perfectly, but it’s so perfect that I don’t think I need to understand it. It’s different, but it’s still the same love. I don’t love either of my sons more, but I love them so intensely in such different ways.

I just wish I could see them grow together.

The moments I think about this are surprisingly sporadic. I think my mind has some automatic coping mechanisms in place from my childhood. The “push it to the back” kind of coping mechanisms. It’s really frustrating for me because I feel like my memories and my love for my first son gets “pushed to the back” so often since Sebs has arrived. I am so incredibly glad he’s here, don’t get me wrong. He’s saved me. Quite likely my life, most definitely my relationship. If it weren’t for him, I would probably have gotten hooked drugs and drinking, partying, I would have cheated on Dan in some chemical haze and lost him, then been homeless and hopeless. Who knows how dark things could have gotten…they were pretty dark before Dax was born and I didn’t even know true loss at that point. I didn’t know what love was.

I feel like I can see a future with Sebastian, although I’m very hesitant to focus on that. I’m so afraid of losing him, too. I don’t think I could survive that. I wouldn’t commit suicide out of fear of not being with my babies when I die. That’s the one thing that kept me from doing it after I lost my Daxon. I don’t know why, but it hurts more when I use his full name. It’s like a lunch in the stomach. My relationship with Dan is so much stronger now that I hope I would turn to him instead of drugs and alcohol, but I cannot guarantee that would happen. Part of me misses me old party life as it is. Back when my biggest stress was making rent and paying my bills. Back when friends were everywhere, even if I couldn’t remember their names, when we always had something in common, something to do together. When us “boring people” wouldn’t have to have awkward conversations over coffee about how her husband doesn’t pick up his socks and my baby will probably be walking before his first birthday. Back when we could have a couple lines or a couple pills and talk about our deepest, darkest secrets, about aliens, about our hopes and dreams, about the stuff that tugged at our souls. I miss those talks the most. I wasn’t good at partying. I can’t dance, I can’t flirt, I can’t giggle and make out with strangers all night. But I love those drunken/high talks that go on for hours. That get so deep, you feel a total connection to someone you just met. I remember one of those nights when this girl and I talked about Zeitgeist and fathers and God. I think we only had a brief discussion once after that, when she told me she slept with my ex and I was like, that’s cool, was it any good? But I still felt some love for her, in some strange way. Our souls had connected. Dan won’t do drugs with me ever and that makes me sad. So that’s why I think that if Sebastian dies too, I will be gone. Gone to the world.

My children have become my new identity. I’m not the party girl anymore. I’m Daxon and Sebastian’s mom. Just looking at that sentence makes me smile. When Dax was gone, I lost my identity. Was I still a mommy? I didn’t feel like one. Everything I did throughout my day was gone. All I did all day and night was car for my baby boy. And suddenly, he was gone. If I had to go through that again… I really don’t think I could find my way out. I hope that Dan could, just for his daughter, even if he lost me, too.

I know I shouldn’t be planning for this or thinking about it, but the closer Sebastian gets to the age at which Daxon passed away just puts me more on edge. Between 2-4 months was hard, knowing that that is the age at which SIDS usually occurs. 90% of the time, in fact. But my little boy was in the other 10%. I know that it can happen and I’m terrified.

But for now, I’ll keep his Owlet on, keep loving him every single day, and keep praying to God to please, let me keep this one. Please, don’t take him away.

A Building Condemned 

My life has become a void. An endless succession of hollow days, going through the motions, accomplishing nothing for months on end. I stare at an rectangular electronic device from the moment I wake to the moment I close my eyes, lulling my mind into a stupor to mask the emptiness and pain. Hours, days, months…it’s all the same. I think the seasons have changed. I feel like a building that’s been condemned, dark, empty of life, pathetic. The only true proof I have of the passing of time is my ever-growing belly. Pregnancy is supposed to be a time of happiness and excitement, two people feeling the movements of their unseen child, discussing who he might become with eyes full of joy. Sometimes I’m successful at being excited and happy, but he seems disinterested. I long to hold my child in my arms again more than anything in the world, even though this child will never replace the one I’ve lost. I’m trying my best to prepare for his arrival, in both the traditional way and mentally. Will I love him like I did Daxon? Will he share my eyes, or will they be blue like Dax’s, or maybe both blue and green like his father’s? Will he sometimes make the same expressions as Dax, sending a thousand needles through my heart? Will he live? This…this is what plagues my mind. I am where babies go to die, it seems. I want him so badly. I need him to survive. But I feel like a deep, dark part of me knows that he won’t, and then I won’t either. I can’t have three babies in Heaven before me. I can’t. When will this day ever end?

Identity Death

Grief has so many unexpected turns, so many unwelcome surprises that seem to grow right out of the aching hole in your chest. One of the worst ones I’ve found since losing my son was the loss of my identity. I didn’t even realize that that was what had happened until another mother mentioned it in a group session. When I became a mother, my old life became a dark, dirty memory and the whole world opened up to me. I experienced a love I had no idea was even possible. Sometimes, I felt so much love for that tiny little person, I felt nearly frantic not knowing how to handle it all. It overwhelmed me in the best possible ways. Everything about the way I lived my life changed and I became Daxon’s Mom. If pre-mom me was reading this right now, she would probably be rolling her eyes, but I understand it now. I understand how having a baby doesn’t just mean “having a baby”. I understand that it means becoming someone entirely new and better and feeling truly unconditional love like no other. 

I have been feeling lost ever since he left. At first, I had no idea what to do with my days. Even still, I look at the bare living room floor, wishing to God that it were covered in toys again with a curious little boy banging them around, coming to me for snacks and snuggles. I have been filling my days with sleeping in, watching crappy tv, and mindlessly playing with my iPad. I do almost nothing productive. I have a few projects on the go, but I can’t seem to focus enough to really finish much of anything. It took me a month to unpack from our vacation because looking at my suitcase made me feel overwhelmed and anxious, like I had no idea where to even start and it was just too much to handle. I can’t even enjoy sex anymore, even though I’m pregnant and hormonal. I feel so guilty that I sometimes make myself do it anyway, but he can always tell my head and heart aren’t in it. And then I feel even more guilty so I try harder still to convince him I’m fine and he can keep going. I died with my son. All the happy, loving parts of me died with him and I am left here to be lost and destroyed. Nothing could have prepared me for this emptiness. Never in my life could I have ever imagined feeling so utterly and completely…..lost. But I’ve survived yet another empty day. I am one day closer to holding my baby boy safely in my arms again.