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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 have this recurring tidal wave dream where it demolishes everything in sight but I always seem to be on higher ground, not being swept away. I always wake up terrified though- it’s always a very scary dream, one where I never really feel safe. The other morning, I had this dream where I was actually swimming in the ocean and there was this huge wave and I got really scared. I started swimming for dear life. I swam so hard, harder then I’ve ever swam in my life. And guess what? I made it through the wave to the other side. When I saw it crash on the shore and saw where I was, I was astounded. I thought to myself, “yeah, I did it!”
We’re finally in that overly hopeful place. We’ve succumbed to fertility drugs and I guess the medical intervention will give us what we need to make this thing happen already. There really is no other reason that they could see. Everyone wants to blame it on the stress, being scared, blah blah blah, but seriously, there are so many subsequent pregnancies happening right now to babylost parents and I know they are all going through what I am. So really, it is what it is.
The monthly torture we experience every time the stick doesn’t give us that answer we want has become part of the routine of our life. I’ve become accustomed to the disappointment. This month is different – I don’t feel quite so helpless anymore. I know there are people working with us and for us, helping us make this happen.
I’ve been trying not to focus on the future dates and times of all of what we’re going through. It’s hard to not notice anniversaries or even recognize the big one quickly approaching. All along, since probably October, I assumed I’d be pregnant by spring, no problem. Well, summer is almost over and I’m not. It has caused me more stress on top of the stress of not having my baby here with me. This uncertainty, before Silas’ looming birth/death date approaches, is scaring the shit out of me.
I’m working on that though. Back when we had birthdays, mother’s/father’s day and the tree planting, I was tortured about it all for weeks ahead of time. I know that worrying, the projections and all the expectations of what *should* be at a certain time were really just making me more crazy. It has caused me more grief and tons more pain.
Taking each day as it comes is my focus. It’s been my focus for a while now, I guess ever since beginning this whole fertility testing stuff. It has taken a huge weight off of my shoulders but could possibly lead to greater disappointment in the long run. I’m not putting all my eggs in this months basket (so to speak- ha!) but we are more hopeful then ever. I have even started taking my pre-natals again- sheesh. I can’t even believe it.
The extra hormones in my body are definitely causing me to have those emotional highs and lows for sure. But really, given what we’ve been through, I feel like I can handle all of it- the disappointment yet again, the queasy feeling in my stomach every day- I just don’t feel myself. But then I look at my life these past 10 1/2 months and I haven’t been myself for quite a while. I don’t even know what myself is anymore.
I had debated whether to write about the fertility stuff or just keep it private. I know there are a lot of people out there sharing every detail of their journey. That wasn’t really my plan. I wanted to share how I was getting through this grieving process. But now, almost a year later, it has become our focus. Hence, my own blog.
Obviously missing Silas is always part of it, but I also need this to go forward. I want to parent a living, breathing child more then anything in the whole world. It is a huge step to take, to acknowledge that Silas will never be with me physically. I want to begin to associate him with the joy in my life. And being pregnant with his sibling will bring me more joy (along with fear of course) then I can even imagine in my life right now.