My son is in bed, and when I go to bed I will pass by his cot and place my hand on his chest and wait for the rhythmic rise and fall to tell me that Everything Is Ok. I have required proof of life every night since he was born. Unless he is restless. I don't have to touch him if he's already moving or sighing in his sleep (I love the sound of his sleep-sigh).
It has not been easy; this seismic shift from grief and longing to joy and exhaustion.
Depression still lurks in the dark corners of tiredness. Grief stalks me these days in the form of anxiety: It pops up and rattles me awake in the middle of the night with thoughts of death. His, hers, mine, yours...
It's hard this letting go. For the 4 long years after George left and before Felix came to stay, all I thought about was George and making new babies.
At times I feel as if the future is behind me. I spent so long wishing and hoping and waiting that now I have my alive-baby I'm a little lost. There's nothing left to wish and hope and wait for. Or so it seems.
I'm trying to live in the moment, and the moments are truly glorious with this concentrated bundle of noise and life, but there is an absence. I've been trying to fill it with Felix and art and sewing but it lingers.
We won't be having any more children. I couldn't cope with another pregnancy, neither physically nor emotionally and, well, I'm 47 you know, my eggs are going off pretty rapidly!
I have one living child and two dead children. I am a mother of three and yet if you ask me I will probably hesitate or stutter or I won't look at you and then I will say one.
But there is George, whose beautiful tiny face and body are no longer in focus. He is like a child playing chase, dodging out of my reach with a giggle and I can't even touch a fingertip to his hair. He is just around the corner out of my sight. He is a flash of light. Electrons, neutrons and protons whizzing around space. He exists, of that I am sure, but elsewhere.
And there is Little Poppet, a brief moment of promise and hope and the only one of my two dead children I have dreamt of. I thought Little P was a boy but I dreamed of a little girl in a red winter coat, who turned to me with a big grin and wide almond eyes and told me her name was Elizabeth Rose. Elizabeth was not a name we chose or even thought about. Her miniature heart beat so so briefly.
Felix is pure energy and love and fun. He fills my days with delight and chases away my fears with his smile. And everyday I wish he had his two older siblings to play with.
Please visit beautiful Angie's blog to read (oh you must read, her words are so beautiful) and participate in the "right where I am" project.
Felix at two.
This blog must appear abandoned but it isn't. I don't think it is anyway. I have started several posts and abandoned them. But the blog remains. I will be back at some point. I think.