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?

Triggers

Triggers are weird. Sometimes, they’re exactly what you’d expect them to be, like the photo I wrote about in my last post or a movie that has a baby dying in it. Of course those things are going to make you feel like someone just rammed a hot poker through your chest. But some of them are so unexpected and when they blindside you, it feels like an attack as you’re simply going about your day. For me, seeing those packages of pre-cooked sliced chicken or turkey sets me off. I’d bought a couple of those for Daxon as he began preferring food he could pick up himself and chew. A few days after he died, I noticed a package at the back of the fridge. It sat there for a long time. I couldn’t throw it out. I guess Dan must have, eventually. There’s still a pear in there that I bought for him. I’m sure it’ll sit there until it goes bad and Dan tosses it out, too. I just can’t do it, silly as it sounds. That is my son’s pear. Sometimes, I’ll just be sitting in the tub and suddenly start bawling because I remember lying him on my chest when he was tiny and we would bathe together. He would get hungry and I’d breastfeed him right there in the bathtub. That’s one of the things I miss most – bathtime. Especially when he got older and discovered bath toys. Seeing those in stores sets me off. My mom said it’s strange things that set her off, as well. I thought being around my friends’ kids would be difficult, but for the most part, it actually seems to help a bit. Only in short burts, though, or my anxiety builds and I just want to hold my own baby and I feel like I’m going to crack. I know everyone says it’s okay to not be okay and to cry, but I still feel awkward letting go and I know it makes everyone else feel that, too. 

This pregnancy is almost a constant trigger. I remember how Dax felt the first time he kicked, how his footbecame lodged in one spot below my rib age for the last couple months and it drove me crazy, how I’d rub my belly and imagine all the amazing things we would do, who he might be, what kinds of things he might be into. I don’t think I’ve done that even once with this baby, now that I think of it… I feel guilty for it. But then when I do focus on the new baby, I also feel guilty, like I’m trying to replace Dax. I’m sure I’ll love this baby, too, even if it takes a bit longer, but I know there will probably be so many triggers along the way. All of the firsts Dax and I had are going to be replayed in only a few months and I’m sure they’re going to cut deep. I only hope that, by that time, those things that remind me of Daxon will make me smile rather than cry. 


December 25, 2015. The day my baby was born.