Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Irish twins and Irish blessings

June 4, 2013
110 days

Since my last post I have survived Mother’s Day and my due date.  It’s been an upside down month.

Mother’s Day we went to the zoo in Boston.  I figured Joe would have wanted us to do something special that maybe we could not have done had he survived.  Perhaps that’s the wrong way to look at it but that’s how I got through the day.  Joe would have been very, very sick and we would not have brought him home from the hospital.  My partner and I would have been trading off time to be at the NICU and taking care of our son H.   There would not have been trips to the zoo two hours away - especially if we had met Joe and had to watch him die.  I barely made it through his stillbirth.  So my gift to Joe and to H was to do something special with our time together.

I expected seeing the other families with multiple children would do me in but I stayed focused on us and took lots of pictures and listened to H’s attempts at saying all the animal names.  He’s talking a lot these days and we are teaching him sign language.  He spreads his arms real wide and says “This much” when I ask him how much we love his brother Joe.  He gets it.

My due date was a tough day.  It was tough weekend. There is a rational part of me that knows how much Joe would have suffered.  There’s the rest of me that just misses him.  It will never be better or fixed.  The length of time since we lost our son will just keep growing.

I’m so glad I got that last video ultrasound.  I had a lot of anxiety waiting for the appointment and worried that he wouldn’t make it long enough for me to get those images and pictures.  Normally you get those things at the twenty-week ultrasound but the technician had stopped recording after a few minutes and there were no pictures.

Sometimes those premonitions haunt me.  It was like I knew.  That first week after Joe died, I had waves of déjà vu.  It was flashbacks of the birth and doctor visits but it felt like I had seen it all before and I wondered why I didn’t see it all coming.

I didn’t return the clothes I bought for Joe that week.  I have all of H’s clothes saved but I wanted Joe to have a few new things too.  I thought if I had to return it, it would at least give me something to do so I wouldn’t sit around crying all the time.  Then one day, I had a burst of ‘okay, let’s deal with this grief today’ shortly after Joe passed away and when I put my hand on the first hanger I felt the room start to tip.  It’s all packed away now. 

There have been a couple of times that I felt like Joe arranged something for me. 

Last week we stopped to look at an apartment and a neighbor came over to our truck and we had a wonderful conversation.  Something kept pushing me to ask her more questions.  She was just lovely - telling me all about her grandbabies and all the new ones on the way.  I haven’t been able to talk about anyone else’s pregnancy but that evening, I kept asking for more details.  Shortly after driving away we stopped at a light and the truck ahead of us turned left while someone else was running the red light and had to screech to a stop about a foot from the guy’s passenger side.  A few seconds in the difference, we would have been stopped at the light, first in line to make the turn.

And then another gift - I am six weeks pregnant.  I took five extra pregnancy tests to confirm because I am still completely in shock.  I didn’t think for a second we would be so lucky. We took my first pregnant belly photo on Joe’s due date and posted it on Facebook.  I know it’s too early to announce it and so many things can go wrong but unless you’ve been where I am and know the mix of grief with anticipation, terror with joy, anxiety with hope, there is really no room to judge.  Or maybe I’ve just learned that life is too short to listen to the judgments.  I know I need the support of my friends and that is okay.

My due date is three weeks before the date Joe left us.  I am carrying his Irish twin – which is actually supposed to be a derogatory term, but I see it as a blessing.  There’s something about shamrocks and all things Irish that keeps me connected to Joe.  This blessing gives me so much comfort.  We will meet again my sweet Joe.

An Irish Blessing
May the road rise up to meet you
May the wind be always at your back
May the sun shine warm upon your face
The rains fall soft upon your fields
And until we meet again
May God hold you in the palm of his hand.

You never know who's watching :)
Mother's Day at Franklin Park Zoo.

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