I read my son a bedtime story last night.
This particular book I bought after he was gone, well this week last year actually. The sentence pulled at my heartstrings, such as many books I have read in the past…
“Yes, Edgar, I’ll always love you… evermore.”
He’d be sixteen and a half months old now. That seems unbelievable. His day and nighttime routine should be set in stone, which includes me reading to him. Instead of him trying to help me turn the pages, I read and the rest of the house was silent. Besides my voice, the only other noise in the house was the pages turning. You would think I would get used to stillness, but it still makes me uncomfortable. I think it always will.
When I was pregnant with Jensen, I read to him every night. Then I would journal and write a Bible verse. Even the first couple weeks after he was born, I would get out the books he’d kick to and whisper their words so he could hear and no one would think I was crazy. Reading every night turned to only a few times a week to just on big days, like Christmas or his birthday. It got too hard. That sounds like a really weak excuse, but it’s true and the truth is always difficult to swallow. Instead, I kept writing at night, which turned into nightly letter writing. One day my collection of notebooks will be bigger than the amount of books Jensen had in his little library.
After I got done reading to him, I cried on the floor. (I seem to be doing this a lot lately.)
Earlier yesterday, I kept feeling like this was all a dream. It felt like I couldn’t connect back to almost two years ago when I found out he was in my belly. Sometimes I forget how his kicks feel or what it was like being pregnant. When that happens, I have to focus really hard to get them back. But that’s terrifying to me. Those are the only moments I had with him and I won’t get anymore.
I don’t have the words to explain how the aftermath of pregnancy and infant loss feels. There have been days I just go sit in his room and say his name. He was real. The absolute worst happened. It stopped me from all the future moments with him.
I didn’t just lose a baby, I lost every second I was meant to spend with him. A person died, not an idea of one.
August not only brings my birthday, it’s when I had my positive pregnancy test. The first month of the rest of my life. I wonder if my brain has been protecting me lately by not letting pregnancy memories flood my consciousness. The cycle of Jensen events will be in full swing in only a few days. I can feel the anxiety slowly building, I wonder if I’m strong enough to hold it all.
Somehow I know I will be; I have so far. I have surprised myself with being able to stand back up again. Through all the pain and heartbreak I have encountered, I’m still pushing on. Forever tied to Jensen and the love that surrounds him, but also to the lessons loss has taught me.
“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”
The Great Gatsby