Thursday, November 21, 2013
What It Feels Like Seven Months Later...
Warning! Warning! There's still time to turn back! This post might be a little... rough around the edges. You've been warned...
I'm a mess.
I'm sure some of it (hopefully a lot of it?) has to do with pregnancy hormones. The kind that make it hard to stop crying.
I know a lot of it is because I'm tired. Very tired. And grieving my little boy who has now been gone seven months and seven days. And growing a baby under a broken heart. Well, technically her feet are under my heart because she is head down and getting ready to meet us. Which means we are close... which is why I am so tired. And emotional.
It's a rite of passage for every Mom to get emotional towards the end of a pregnancy - and to worry, if she has other children, that she will have time for both. I am no different... but this is a little more complicated.
Brian and I have been joined at the hip these last seven months and seven days. I have talked incessantly about Gavin's death and his life with him - every night at bedtime and often during the day. When I would have loved to have farmed him out to generous friends and neighbors and even strangers who were willing to play with him, I often (not always - but often!) resisted. I never wanted him to feel abandoned by me... regardless of what I might have needed. Like silence. Like time alone to throw boxes against the garage wall. Like a day without Star Wars or Angry Birds.
Lately, he is exhibiting more grief. It comes out in behaviors... it shows up in physical symptoms... and he can sometimes verbalize it. He's acting out here and there (which is very unusual for him) - and he's a little more clingy with me. Today we talked about Gavin for the majority of the day and I addressed his concerns about Gavin missing Christmas and Brian's birthday and more.
Here's the ugly truth: I am 100% patient with his needs and his questions and trying to figure out when his behavior needs correction and when it needs "love bombing" - but part of me wants to scream... "WHY NOW???"
And then the guilt.
I feel horrible for even FEELING or THINKING "why now" - of COURSE it's now! There are so many things that are about to change! He's probably scared! Nervous! Missing his brother! What a jerk I am!!!!!
But I am so, so tired. And, as I am closely monitored for signs of preeclampsia, I am worried too. And scared. As I watch my feet and ankles and calves swell and swell - I hear my doctor's voice telling me to keep my feet up. Then I hear myself laughing at him and asking him, "When?"
I hear all day, "Mama - play with me?" So we paint... and we play Darth Vader and the Storm Troopers... and I try to mentally stay present while he jabbers on about X Wing Fighters and Ewoks and Luke Skywalker. Today I took him to the movies - just so I could sit in relative silence. But mostly so I could sit and cry in the dark... which I did.
I want him to know that I'm here for him. That we're in this together (when Daddy isn't here!). That I will listen to him - always. That Hope is not a replacement... for him OR for Gavin. It's a lot of pressure right now.
And then there's the Facebook Page photo journey I've been on. It started before Gavin's birthday. I thought I could share his entire life in photos and memories leading up to his September birthday. I quickly realized that this was an impossible task. This project has taken on a life of its own. The response and the outpouring of love for Gavin... the way it has helped and inspired people just by sharing his journey or things that we did with him... the way people look forward to seeing each picture... it's been humbling. I am now about three months away (in pictures) from the day he died. The end of Gavin's pictures will likely blend right into the birth of Hope. I couldn't have planned that if I tried.
Lots of people have been asking what will happen when the pictures end. I don't know how to answer that. Gavin will never be gone from our family - and he will always be represented on this blog and on the Facebook page. My blog has always been about our family... and I won't - I can't! - stop writing. But it will change back to "normal" (whatever the hell that is) when I get to the end of my pictures. You'll still see Gavin and hear memories when they come up - but you'll also learn about Brian's new milestones. And you'll get to know Gavin's little sister, Hope, who deserves as much space as her brothers have received in my journals.
I am making up this "living life without Gavin" thing as I go along. I don't have a great plan except to keep showing up here and sharing my heart. Even when it's in fragments.
Especially when it's in fragments.
I'm a mess. Seven months and seven days is a long time to be without your first born child while anticipating your last. I miss Gavin so much - it seems more now than ever.
I would really appreciate your positive thoughts and prayers during these last days and weeks of my pregnancy. And please don't forget Brian and Ed. Brian, especially, who seems to really be feeling it lately. I will worry so much about his needs when Hope is born.
If you made it this far, I'm impressed.