Friday, December 7, 2012

Guilty of the Norm

It's hard being a mom who's lost their only baby at the brink of being born.

We're coming up on 3 months without you, Luke. Monday it will have been 3 months since that terrible yet amazing day we met. The crazy moodswings and bursts of tears are definitely fewer and farther between, but your absence still crushes me to the core sometimes. Usually when I think too hard about our reality.

One quarter of one year--gone by--without you. When you should've been here.

Lately, I find myself feeling guilty. Everyone says not to--and deep down, I know I shouldn't feel this way. But I feel guilty for not honoring you more while I was pregnant. For not taking weekly pictures like everyone else seems to do. I feel guilty for saying I wasn't a huge fan of being pregnant. Guilty for being sort of mad that you were a boy. I feel guilty because I feel like my life is going on, and yet you're left behind. You'll forever be lodged in my memory at the hospital that day. You'll never grow. You'll never change. You're stuck in those moments. Forever.

And here I am, moving forward, somehow. I think about you every day. A lot. But I'm finding it easier to have fun. To smile and laugh with my friends and family. Sometimes I catch myself in the middle of being happy, and feel guilty. Shouldn't I be grieving you more, still? Sometimes I even feel normal--Like the normal I was before you. And I hate that. Because my entire normal was supposed to change when you were born.

Talking to my therapist the other day, I came to the realization that the most fucked up part of this entire journey is the fact that on that day almost three months ago, our entire lives were supposed to have been turned upside down by a screaming, crying baby boy. We were supposed to have been dumped into the world of parenting, having no idea what we were doing, but doing it anyway. I was supposed to go on maternity leave for awhile--to spend time bonding with you.

We were so ready for that change.

But instead, we left the hospital that day, and were forced to go back to our lives before you. That normal. Our normal lives. We spent 9 months getting ready for our normal to change and do a 180. But now we're in our real normal life again. We go to work. Go to the gym. Come home. Have dinner. We go out with our friends and walk the dog. Everything is back to normal.

Except totally effed up.

Sometimes I feel like I'm normal-old-me again. But it's different. I guess it's that New Normal that all baby-lost parents talk about. There's always a deep sadness that I can dwell on at the drop of a dime, and if I go there, it still hurts.

I guess sometimes I feel guilty for feeling normal. Like somehow that's not honoring you. But deep down I know that's not what you'd want for me. That's why I'm trying to embrace that old normal again. It's just that now my old normal includes you.


  1. Exactly Jen!
    I read this and immediatly related with it. It's not only getting easier to shift into my new normal, but what you said about being prepared for your normal to do a 180 and then having that not happen really hit me. That's it!
    things were supposed to change. I wasn't supposed to go back to days filled with pain and laughing and normalcy. Being Mia's mom was supposed to save me, and instead I'm thrust back into the same normal I was living in before.
    (Sorry I'm thinking out loud here and don't know if this will be making a ton of sense)
    Anyway, I'm thinking of you as we round this next bend of 3 months without them.