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 son’s 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 school 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.

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Soaking Up Memories

Each time I pass Daxon’s bedroom door, I look at it and say something to me either in my head or out loud, depending on whether my boyfriend is nearby. I know he’s not in there, but I think it’s more of s reminder to talk to him and tell him that I love him. I don’t go in often, but about once a week I feel like I need to be closer to him so I go in and sit and cry, usually on the floor beside his crib or sometimes in the rocking chair. I’ll look through his favourite book once in awhile, Little Bear is Hungry, and run my fingers over the fuzzy parts like he used to do. I’ll turn on the sound machine that casts a projection wheel on the wall of different things. The one we used the most was the fishy one, so that is still in there. A couple of times, I’ve turned on the toy I hung in his crib just days before his last. It has a screen with a waterfall in the background that lights up, a monkey that swings, a frog, and something else near the bottom. When I first put it in there, I put him in his crib and turned it on and he was so happy. He got up on hands and knees, making those cute little noises of joy while looking from me to the toy like, “Mommy, are you seeing this?! This is amazing!” 

This afternoon, I started having a meltdown on the couch. It wasn’t even anything that really triggered it either. I went upstairs and into his room, opening the door quietly like I always have, and bawled my eyes out like one of those wailing foreign women you see in movies who have just lost their husbands in a terrible battle. Then, I started looking through things. I looked through books and drawers, when I found his Love You Forever book, I broke down again. That was the first book I ever read to him while I was pregnant and then many times after. He loved that book, probably because it had a little song I’d sing in it. He loved music. I went through his closet and folded and put away some clothes my boyfriend had washed but not properly put away. He has this little chubby fox costume my mom got him to wear for Halloween. That was one of the last days he was alive. I  has a big fat bum on it with a tail and the hood is a fox head, complet and with little snout. I held that costume to me and cried yet again, not entirely surprised to notice that my arms went around it in the exact same way I used to hold my son. 

Afterward, I picked up a few things that were lying around, toys went in his toy bag, baby monitors that boyfriend had tossed behind the rocking chair went into th closet, funeral home bag went in the closet… Then I sat in the chair looking through his baby book, you know, the kind where you fill in all the pages about his firsts and family tree and everything. I never realized how big of a leap he went through at six and a half months. That’s when he first said, “Mum,” the first time he stood by himself for a couple seconds. And I remember these times, too. 

Tonight, as I was walking up the stairs for bed, I looked at his door as always and I felt something different. It was almost a peace, I think. Not quite happiness, but it wasn’t just sadness and longing. It caught me off guard and really confused me. I know it won’t last and there will always be hard days and less hard days, but I think this was somehow a step in my healing, though I’m not entirely sure how. I don’t want to spaeculate either, and ruin it so I’m just going to accept it as that and enjoy the moment a bit longer. I still miss my little boy terribly and want nothing more than to be holding him right now, but I feel like maybe this is God’s way of telling me that he heard me yelling at him today and that everything is okay, we will be together again. 

One day in paradise. 

First Day of Healing

I’ve been slowly realizing lately that the rest of my life will forever be shrouded in darkness. I feel that, even as I heal and my life begins to seem full again, even on those sunny days full of love and laughter, there will always be a dark blue cloud of sorrow hovering nearby. I’ve connected with a few other moms who have lost their babies to SIDS and they all say the same thing: it will always hurt…but it will get easier. One woman said that, even 25 years later, she still regresses into denial. That it can’t be real, her baby can’t really be gone, he has to come back, there must be something she hasn’t tried. I was feeling like that for a few days last week. I have a lot over the last three months, honestly. I feel like I haven’t done enough, like I should be working harder to bring my baby home even though I know there is no way. I feel like I have failed my son.

I saw both my doctor and my grief councillor yesterday. I had my first prenatal physical. When the doctor got out the Doppler, I was excited at first. My boyfriend was there with me to hear the heartbeat and he had my phone out to record it. We sat there for so long… I watched her face as she searched across my abdomen and belly for the familiar fast-paced heartbeat of a tiny baby in utero. Every so often, we could hear mine. As time went on and she searched and searched, it sped up. I was holding back tears as my throat closed up in pre-meditated anguish. She was going to say it soon, I knew it. She was going to say, “I’m sorry. There is no heartbeat.” But she didn’t. The relief I felt when that 150 bpm heartbeat came from the speaker was like a blade being pulled from my heart. I have been (and still am) terrified of losing this baby, before or after birth. If that should happen, I will need to be committed. I do not want to kill myself, as I’ve explained before. I need to be with my babies when I die. But in that situation…I may not be able to stop myself.

I told my grief councillor this that same day. This was only the second time I’ve seen her, but she is extremely understanding. For a reason I don’t recall, she brought in a physician to this appointment to observe. At first, it was a little awkward, but I talked to the therapist as I would have otherwise. When I mentioned the guilt I have felt for not checking on Dax before I went to bed, especially since my boyfriend put him to sleep on his stomach (which he had been rolling onto lately anyway), the physician interjected and relieved a lot of my guilt. She told me that, unless I was there right at the moment it was happening, there is nothing I could have done. Even if I had checked on him, it could have happened two minutes after I left the room or hours later. Or even if it had happened wenty minutes before I checked on him and I was able to save his life, he would have severe, permanent brain damage. My therapist asked me how I felt about that, as I had obviously thought about it before – there are so many what-ifs that circle my mind constantly. Honestly, I’m not sure that would be better than this. Maybe it would be worse. I don’t mean that just because it would be harder and more work, but he wouldn’t even be the same little boy I know I love. He would need help with everything for the rest of his life. I don’t think it’s fair to wish that on my child out of my selfish desire to hold him and have him here. I believe he is safe and loved where he is now and I will continue to pray every night that I may be there with him when this world is done with me, too.