When I found out Jensen was a boy, I was overjoyed. I imagined him playing football, getting dirty, and playing rough outside. At my house, I planned on getting a big window in the back door so I could look outback to watch him play in the mud. I pictured us sitting outside together looking at the stars. When he was older, running in and out of the back door and eventually sneaking in and out. Those are just some of the dreams I had for him, with just the backyard. I would be his number one cheerleader, nurse, and above all his mother.
With all my dreams for him, I imagined me being the best momma for him. Whatever he needed me to be, I would. Of course, he would be made to listen and respect his parents and everyone else. Imagining his journey through infancy to adulthood, I also imagined myself as a mother growing with his needs. When I lost Jensen, I lost all my dreams for him and the biggest part of myself. I lost him, made of me, and I lost a certain identity I had for myself for the past ten months.
Which brings me to Day Two of this ten-day journey…
In what ways are you still the mother you thought you’d be?
In what ways does she still live on?
Today marks 27 days since Jensen was born and 27 days since he’s been gone. I never imagined losing him or imagined this is the journey my motherhood with lead me to. Four weeks with a baby means sleepless nights, countless diapers, and endless love. Motherhood with a newborn baby is messy. I imagined myself with the messiness right now and knowing the messiness would lead to a dramatic toddler and then a curious child and then a know-it-all teenager to adulthood. Instead, motherhood after a baby born asleep includes sleepless nights, countless tissues, and endless love; some the same, mostly different. My sleepless nights include countless tissues. I’m up wondering why, crying, and just remembering my Jensen. Some nights are harder than others and I know there will be good nights and horrible nights in my future. I’ve went through so many boxes of tissues. There are times when there are constant flows of tears and there’s other where I have to share tissues with those around me when I’m talking about Jensen. But there is never a lack of love I have for him. It is an endless love as I know all mothers have for their child. It’s the love my mother had for me growing up till now.
As I ponder on today’s questions I have to remember what I imagined before the unthinkable and compare them with my thoughts now. The reoccurring theme in both is love.
When I wake up each morning and am talking to Jensen, I could easily just stay in bed each day. I don’t. I think and often say out loud, Jensen wouldn’t me like this. He wouldn’t want me to give up on all my dreams and hopes. He wouldn’t want me to be laying in bed all day. He wants me to have that big, windowed backdoor. He wants me to grow as a mother for him. He doesn’t need me to care for him as a mom would care for a newborn. He still needs the love, but he needs to see me growing. All of these dreams, all of this grief, all of Jensen was made from love. Him and it is my motivation to get out of bed every morning. To go get that big, windowed back door. To grow and explore in this new type of motherhood. Most importantly, to keep loving him and letting everyone know how loved my Jensen is.
It’s our love for each other that makes me the mother I’d always had imagined myself being.