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This is a post that has been swirling around my head for weeks now. Time is a major factor now, choices have to be made when I have a few minutes of free time. Shower? Eat? Clean? Work? Chill? It’s amazing how all those things that seem important just aren’t when choices have to be made over what to do when I have 45 min to myself. But today, writing this post is most important.
The build up to Silas’ birth/death day has been looming since mid August. September has taken on a new meaning for us- the change of seasons just brings anxiety and sadness instead of excitement and relief. It has such a physical and emotional effect, we don’t even need to talk about it. Once it happens, we just give each other that knowing look. Yeah, it’s here again.
I’ve spent most of this month bringing Zephyr over to Silas’ tree. I have some beautiful pix of him sitting there, playing with sticks and leaves. This has been an important ritual for me after Zephyr plays on the swings. It’s been just something I do now. But it’s just so sad. No time passing will ever take away the woulda coulda shoulda’s. They are just as present today as they were Sept 26, 2008. 20 years from now, I will feel this loss as much as I feel it today. This I know.
Zephyr will never have his older brother and it breaks my heart. I am often just astounded that this happened to us. Especially when I look at what an amazing little creature Zephyr is. He is perfect in every way (even when he refuses to nap or wakes 4 times through the night!) and I think about how many of these traits his older brother would have had too. I sometimes think that Zeph has some little brother characteristics in him- like somehow he knew that’s what he was supposed to be. He is often fearless- diving off the bed or climbing on everything he sees. He is adventurous, chatty, funny, observant and super sweet. Don’t get me wrong, there are tantrums – this is a kid that knows what he wants. But he is just a delight and I wouldn’t want to spend my time with anyone else.
Tomorrow we will go plant some bulbs at the tree, because we need to honor our little Silas with some new life. Zephyr will never take the place of our first born. He brings complete and utter joy to our lives, but the hole in our hearts from the loss of our first will never be filled completely.
I’ve been wanting to write for weeks now, but life with a 6 month old doesn’t afford you much free time. I saw that my good friend Angie posted this project again and it just seemed like the perfect excuse to sit down and write. I’ve had a lot of thoughts about Silas and I am ready to get them down. I just re-read my post from last year when I had been newly pregnant. I remember clearly feeling such anxiety after having had a bleeding scare and thinking “holy shit, I could actually lose this pregnancy right now.”
It was a great post, one that felt important for me to write. After losing Silas, I had grieved for a long time and then tried to put it aside to focus on getting pregnant. That took most of my energy for the next almost 2 years. It felt like I was betraying Silas in a way but it was all I had room for. The pregnancy was a tough one though, fraught with worry at every twist and turn. We were completely teetering on the edge, that’s what it felt like every second. I wanted to believe that it couldn’t possibly happen again, but I know way too much in this babylost world. I knew my odds were pretty good to have a live, healthy baby, but then again I was on the wrong side of the odds the first time. So really, anything could happen and I wasn’t quite sure of anything. All I was sure of was that I wanted this baby more then anything in my life.
But here I am, with 6 month old Zephyr Rigel who is the most amazing little guy. He’s perfect in every way, and our lives are forever transformed because of him. I knew I would love being a mom, but it was always a dream. Sometimes it doesn’t feel real, that I get to parent this living, breathing, beautiful human. He’s mine and we created him. It has taken so long to finally get to this point where I have a baby in my arms that I stare at him and kiss his face a zillion times a day to make sure it’s real.
This post though isn’t about Zephyr, it’s about his older brother Silas who I miss terribly. I miss his being the older brother that Zephyr will never know. I will sometimes mention him to Zephyr, knowing that one day that conversation will really have to happen. I miss him when I see my friend’s kids who were born around the same time. That will probably always make me sad, forever. I get a lump in my throat when I’m around those kids- it’s something I can’t seem to shake.
When I was pregnant again, the question “is this your first?” was the hardest. It made me think of Silas every time and how I should answer. I changed it up depending on how I felt at the time. I liked to mention him, so I did often. It felt right. It didn’t happen every time, just when it felt appropriate and I got good at giving my answer. That’s how often it was asked. I believe Silas was with me during the pregnancy, and his presence was felt when I heard his little brother let out his first cry. The cry that Silas never made, came out doubly loud with his brother. He made sure we knew he was alive and well, and it truly was the best sound I have heard in my life. I get the chills just thinking about it.
When Zephyr was born, I think he looked like that picture we have of Silas. I think about all the pieces of Silas we’ll never know and hope that his baby brother is carrying on some of those traits. Traits like the infectious laugh when we make silly sounds at him or sing his name, his constantly moving legs, or his insane focus when trying to get that toy exactly right in his mouth. His eyebrows are super expressive. I like to think Silas may have had the same ones. It’s hard to tell though, the live memory of him has faded. We only have a few pictures and I never took enough time to study him like I should have. When I think about him, I think about that picture. I wish I knew his feet as well as I know Zephyr’s. I love his feet, I am always playing with them, knowing they will be way larger then mine one day. Boys feet start off so sweet and innocent but grow to be something so completely not! I am savoring them while they are still small and cute.
I think I may be too tired and too busy to grieve his loss most days. This moment when I think about him it makes me angry mostly and of course really sad. Angry for a loss that never should have happened. Angry that my baby doesn’t get a brother, that we don’t have 2 sons and our parents are missing a grandson. I am sad too. But mostly I feel joy for the baby I have now, for his beautiful and pure life that we get to experience every second of every day. As heartbroken and devastated as we are about Silas, that is how ecstatic and in love I am now about Zephyr.
I cannot believe it’s been almost 3 years since the birth and death of my first born son. Our lives would have been so different had we had a 3 year old running around here. I miss Silas, the promise of Silas, what could have been our amazing little boy. I feel cheated of his life and what these last 3 years could have been. Of course we made the best of it, in all the ways that we could. We have amazing people in our lives that are supportive and awesome which has helped. I write here often of all the things we do to make our lives full and fun, but a piece of our hearts will always be missing, despite what we try to do to find that happiness.
This year feels different now that I’m pregnant. Last year we were apart for this weekend. I was traveling out west and Chris was here at home. It was hard on both of us, and we promised not to let something like that happen again. With the beginning of Sept comes the natural anxiety. It brings us both instantly back to this time 3 years ago, waiting for our baby to be born. All the things we had to do to get ready, the weather changing and with it a change of seasons. It’s really strange how much our bodies just sense this timing and naturally react to it. This week in particular I’ve been overly emotional. Today I woke up just pissed. I didn’t feel like getting up, going to teach, and really doing much of anything. I still feel mopey and sad and knew that a blog post was important to help me get through it.
This last month has been emotional on so many levels. Chris definitely feels like he is powerless and thus needs to try to protect me as much as possible. I’m sure it’s hard for the guys to have to sit back and watch this unfold, without being able to control every move we make. I go about my day, teaching, driving, cooking, etc and just hope for the best. I hope that I don’t slip and fall, or get in a car accident, or do anything that could take away this precious life inside me. Chris watches me with bated breath, still wishing he could use that bubble wrap and keep me protected from harm until this little guy lands screaming in our arms. Since that is not practical, and yes, I have to live my life, we just try to work it out, communicate our fears and needs, and breathe that big sigh of relief that we got through another day.
We are close to picking our baby’s birthdate which feels awesome and weird at the same time. I had a Dr. appt today and a date is being requested, but they can’t schedule until 32 weeks, and I’m at almost 31. I can’t even believe sometimes how my whole perception of birth has changed since losing Silas. I am thrilled to be with doctors (though I love the 2 midwives in the group too), can’t wait to deliver in a hospital, and am truly looking forward to my scheduled c-section. I want a healthy, live, screaming baby and if this is how it’s done, I’m all for it.
So here we are, just patiently waiting for our first real live baby in our arms. I feel so close I can taste it, but man, 8 more weeks! arghhh!! I’m so ready for this. Every single day, I look at my belly and give thanks. I still cannot believe it- that I am really pregnant, and that it’s almost time to deliver this miracle child. With all the fertility treatments we went through, I feel like this babe inside me is truly a ray of sunshine that we worked so hard for. Every little kick reminds me of that, every day.
Despite all that, I do complain sometimes, even though I said I wouldn’t! Pregnancy is hard on my body- I tire easily, my feet get swollen, I’m uncomfortable as can be, I sleep poorly. Chris is quick to remind me how much we wanted this, but sometimes I can’t help myself!! I am truly thrilled, of course, but I am ready though. This baby feels like 4 years in the making- which is a hell of a long time to wait for a baby.
The hardest part though lately has been answering the question-
“Is this your first?”
It happens up to 5 times a day. Most of the time I say yes, just to make it easier on all of us. But I feel terrible about it every single time. In some ways I want everyone to know about Silas, but I know it’s just not appropriate to share what happened sometimes. I don’t think it will ever be easy, regardless of how I answer. It’s always followed up with a truly uncomfortable conversation that I really don’t want to have.
To get through this tough weekend, we made sure to make awesome plans. We are going to NYC and walking the Highline, meeting up with friends, seeing Wilco at Summerstage in Central Park, staying with my brother and sis in law who have all kinds of fun planned for us all weekend. The anticipation leading up is always harder then the actual day. That seems to be true each year. Maybe somehow my body knows though, that even though Sept 25 was the day I gave birth, it was a Thursday, so today was really the day it all went down. I just want to be sad and melancholy today, it just feels right.
As always, thank you for all your support, those who read, and those who read and comment. I am not much of a blog reader these days, but I truly appreciate that there are so many of you who still read and comment and follow our story. I may find myself writing more and more as the time gets closer to baby, and as the anxiety & excitement increases.
So please light a candle for our little Silas Orion on Sunday, look up to his stars, and give your kids a hug for us. xo
Don’t you think that would make a great reality show? I mean, there is 16 and Pregnant, Pregnant in Heels, I Didn’t Know I was Pregnant- it goes on and on. But no 40 and Pregnant? I’m sure the networks are on it. Especially the whole IVF thing- I know there are a few shows out there that have dealt with this issue a little, but it seems that people still haven’t a clue what it’s like. Between all the injections, ultrasounds & meltdowns, I think it would be a hit. And if it finally works (after 3 or more tries), then it can turn into that feel good story everyone would be rooting for. Throw a prior dead baby into the mix, and yeah, this story gets compelling. It’s all good though- I feel so blessed right now. I keep saying that, but it’s true. I guess I never thought I’d be where I am at 40. I remember my parents turning 40 when I was a teenager! So weird to be in such a different place.
This whole process to get to this point has been challenging, but here I am, 11 weeks and still going strong. I feel good- not so much nausea but enough to make me feel pregnant. I am showing already (and have been for a few weeks) which seems crazy to me but I’ve been told that happens with your second. I still feel like I just look fat, since I haven’t been eating too great (with all the bday celebrations and all) and not really working out these last 3 months. But I am accepting that this is where I am right now and soon enough that baby bump will show prominently and I won’t just have to blurt out “I’m pregnant!” when someone asks why I’m not having a glass of wine or beer like everyone else around me. Chris cracks up everytime I say it- like I am trying to find an excuse to tell people (maybe I am?) but I’m at that awkward stage where I just don’t look pregnant to the outside world, but feel just big all over. So I choose to share my excitement and happiness and it feels great to do so.
The dreaded 40th bday came and went and it actually was pretty awesome. The day itself (4/28) was perfect- with a delicious breakfast cooked by my sweet husband, an awesome lunch at my fave New Haven restaurant with my girlfriends, and then dinner with my siblings & their spouses at my brother-in-laws cousin’s restaurant in Westchester. My sister was out here visiting that week so it was perfect! I never get to spend quality time with both sibs and so it was truly special. The dinner was amazing and was a great way to celebrate this milestone in my life.
For the weekend, we went to Montreal with our friends. It was fantastic! What a beautiful and interesting city. We ate and drank (some of us) our way through the city. Just perfect!
And then it was time to celebrate Chris’ bday. It wasn’t a milestone like mine, but b-days still deserve much celebration and for days we did. It’s fun having back to back b-days, but it does get tiring and my body definitely doesn’t feel awesome from all the treats and heavy foods.
So now back to normal- or what is turning into a new normal. We finally picked our doctors/midwives and we are pretty psyched. We found the perfect group with the perfect balance of what we are looking for this time around. All the advice you all gave was super helpful and very much appreciated. Starting to figure out how to answer “is this your first?” by just seeing how I feel like answering in that moment. It comes up at least once a day and as soon as I start to show more, will probably happen constantly.
Mother’s day was yet again, really really hard. I had my breakdown while emptying the dishes- which I think happened the same time last year. I think it just really hit me at that moment how much I miss Silas and the time I lost with him as my son. Parenting a dead baby is hard, but hits hardest on a day like Mother’s day where everyone is celebrating and it is EVERYWHERE for weeks. I know so many friends who lost their mother’s at a young age, and then now all of us who lost our children- and with all the lost soldiers as well, it seems to be more of a sad reminder of who we lost then anything else. But I do try to cherish what I do have, and that is an amazing mom & mother in law and I feel blessed for the 2 of them in my life.
Waiting patiently to be out of the first tri. It’s almost here and I can taste it. In the meantime, I am FINALLY finding the warmth I so badly missed. LONGEST WINTER EVER. The sun is out, the back door is open, the kitties are playing in the yard, the garden is starting to be planted and I can finally wear my sundresses again. YAY!
I have come to the conclusion that I’m just not a great blogger. I have had many, many posts written in my head, but just have not been able to make the time to sit and write them. My focus these days has been on my business. So with that, I am working so hard to keep up with my Full of Joy Yoga blog- that takes a lot of effort on my part so go check it out and see what I’ve been up to lately.
I really can’t believe another year will come and go and we are still in this same damn place. When we took a break from fertility meds this summer, it was to get me strong, healthy and regular. Now almost 6 months later, that has been accomplished. I have a great acupuncturist who I see weekly. What I’ve found fascinating is that I’m back on a full moon cycle (is that tmi?). It’s definitely a step in the right direction though it doesn’t keep me from feeling frustrated and devastated every month I’m not pregnant.
The most upsetting part in this for me right now, is that my insurance will only cover 1 more fresh IVF cycle before I’m 40 and that date is slowly creeping up on us. I need to have that cycle completed by April 28. Which means I need to meet with our dr. and then basically start the whole awful process again next month.
I have finally gotten to a really healthy place, I am feeling hopeful it can happen naturally, yet my insurance has to dictate what we do. I cannot turn down a free IVF cycle. I have to do it and do it feeling calm and ok. It’s hard though, it’s stressing me out and pisses me off and I hate that I have to have my life revolve around insurance rules.
So that’s where we’re at. I wish my disappearance was because I was pregnant. It seems like every other day I am finding out about another pregnant friend. It is hard to be happy for them but even harder to not. So I just am (but after a good cry for myself). Facebook continues to be a minefield that can either entertain me or make me want to throw shit. But for some reason I continue to torture myself day after day.
Luckily Phish has decided to play a lot on the east coast, we have been trying to see as many shows as we can afford. As much as I love the music, it also allows my mind to wander and sometimes in ways that tear me to pieces. I had a blast these last 2 nights, but at the same time, almost brokedown and lost my shit multiple times. I don’t know how to be anymore. I feel as torn up sometimes as I was the day we lost Silas. I think these last 2 years I just have figured out how to fake it. Don’t get me wrong, I do laugh and have fun, but that layer of loss and sadness is always there. Sometimes I just hide it really, really well.
After having to put down Beans (unbelievable right?), we got new kittens Puck & Purrsephone from a friend. They are super cute and lovable and definitely have given us something fun to focus on. New life in our home is good.
Somehow there are still people out there reading- which is amazing to me. Thank you for sticking by me, even when I feel like I have given up on myself. As down as I can get, the hope is still there. Chris and I are a team, and even when times get tough, we are in this together. We will make sure that we will have our family, and I am going to make it happen in 2011, no matter how or where or what, it will happen.
I liked that the annual Compassionate Friends candle lighting happened to fall on Hanukkah. These days I feel like my thoughts of Silas are just slipping away, and I can’t seem to figure out how to stop it. We don’t do anything to honor him these days. I think we’re just bogged down with everything else. Losing Silas is old news, all this other crap, it is what we deal with in the present. Though his loss is that umbrella with which we stand under of course. We’ve already dealt with the worst, but lately the daily trials and tribulations just seem to get harder and harder to deal with.
Yesterday we had crazy rainstorms all day and it made me so melancholy. Early in the evening I started looking around the apt for Bandha and couldn’t find him. Chris and I ran to the back door and opened it, there stood our kitty, soaking wet and shaken. He was out there for 5 hours, at least! I lost it – in a way that I haven’t in a really long time. Obviously a good cry was waiting for that moment because I sobbed. I sobbed so much harder then I have in a really really long time. I felt so bad, like I was such a terrible mom to do that to my cat. They are my babies right now, my only ones and I didn’t even know he wasn’t here in our apt?
I already felt like a bad mom for the fact that we don’t do anything to honor Silas except when we’re told to “light a candle.” Then I leave my cat in the rain for 5 hours? Ugh. It sucked and I just wanted to be unhappy and mad at myself the rest of the night. It was as if I had to punish myself for everything that is going wrong in our lives right now.
I hate the complaining, the constant complaining. But I also hate the pretending that all is fine. Not sure how to strike that balance but I’m working hard on that every second of every day.
Yesterday I just wanted to be sad. It was one of those days. I know these days are rough for all of us- the holidays are just hard- period. It’s just I feel so empty and missing my baby, and my patience for a new little one to take shape is wearing thin.
Bandha seems fine today. I dried him off, fed him his favorite food and gave him as much love as I could. I held him tight to my body and showered him with kisses and just cried for my babies.
The rain is not helping. I’m having one of those melancholy days where I just feel helpless & hopeless and nothing is making it better. It’s been a quiet day, taught a few classes but sat at my computer most of the day getting some much needed work done. It seems like I always have work to do to keep this business successful. I think it just takes me a lot longer these days to get shit done.
What happens is my mind wanders to what should have been, what could have been, what isn’t and I feel defeated. I can’t help it. I know I have lots of joy and good things going on. But deep down, I’m still sad & heart broken and I feel like there is no way to fix it.
All the yoga, therapy, exercise, tv & kitty snuggling won’t change a bit. When Chumby curls up in my arms in the morning, I love and hate it at the same time. I always think “this should be my baby, my little Silas.”
I try to snap out of it and accept the sweet smells and purrs of my snuggly kitty but it’s so damn hard. Most of the time I can take all the love she has for me and allow it to ease some of the pain. But not always.
I look at every child I teach these days, and think how badly I want one. How far it is from my reach.
We’re almost at 2 yrs since conceiving Silas. We are not anywhere closer then we were before. I feel even further from being a mom. Pretty much every babylost mama I met here in blogland who lost babies around the same time as me, is pregnant. Some, like Sally, are just about to have their 2nd baby. Their rainbow baby. I am thrilled for them, of course. More then anyone else really, these subsequent pregnancies give me hope too. But I feel like the last man standing and it’s really lonely over here.
These days I am feeling good physically- I’ve lost most of the weight, I’m feeling stronger then ever, and I’m making an effort. When I look deep within though, I still feel so broken. My therapist would disagree, she feels like I have come such a long way from when I started seeing her. But I feel stagnant. I go through the motions, day in and day out, doing what I am “supposed” to be doing – what a normal person does. But it is all a facade.
I am shattered and have no clue how to make it better. Chris and I cling to each other- all we have is each other in this and sometimes we feel like we’re drowning from the weight of it all. From having to go through each day, putting one foot in front of the other.
We decided to take a break from the fertility stuff. It was too much and very stressful. We’re going the natural route- acupuncture, herbs, and then hoping for the best. We’ll re-evaluate in the new year and see where that takes us. It feels like the right decision for us now, though I am tired of hoping.
Today is just one of those days. It’s cold and rainy, just like my mood. Luckily, tomorrow I have a girls night which is something that is sure to snap me right out of it.
For now though, I will wallow in it and hope that Chumby decides to come snuggle with me on the couch.