40 weeks and 2 days. The exact amount of time we had with you alive. Today marks 40+2 days since you were born and died in front of our eyes.
I don’t know how I am still breathing. I don’t know how my heart carried on beating after yours stopped. It will forever be a mystery to me why I haven’t drowned in my own tears on my bathroom floor.
After today we will cross the threshold into spending more time without you physically here than with you here. That terrifies me. I don’t understand how the world has continued to turn, how day has turned to night and night into day. People think time is a healer but it isn’t, it drags us further away from you.
I take myself back to the time we spent with you, the moments we held you in our arms and felt your weight. Despite the shock, trauma and depth of pain – those memories of falling more deeply in love with you being me comfort. I look at your pictures, I spend time in your room and time in nature – anything to feel close to you. Your pictures are the first thing I see in the morning and the last at night.
There’s no 9 months in 9 months out photo because you’re not here. If you were I probably wouldn’t have taken a picture like that anyway, if you were here maybe today wouldn’t feel so significant, because your not it stings more than most days. Time has gone so fast but also so slowly since you died. Sometimes passing in a blur and sometimes dragging painfully slowly.
I close my eyes and imagine what you would be like now, crawling about, maybe even trying a step or two, babbling, what food you would like and how love Bella would be with you. I see puppy Mac growing and changing and it makes me sad to think I never got to see you grow. I wonder whether you’re dad would have tried to get you into cycling starting on a scuttlebug. I wonder if you would like your uncle Kiran’s funny songs and if you would admire Bobby. I wonder what foods you would have tried at Nanny and Grandad’s house and how much you would enjoy their garden. Other times I don’t wonder what you would be like because I have a deep knowing and sense of exactly who you are and how you would be.
I think of all the adventures we would have taken you on – I know we would have visited Scotland by now and probably a few more places and maybe some campervan trips. I think of all the people in our lives you would have met. Someone said to me the other day that they miss you so much even though they didn’t meet you – I cried. It took me by surprise. I didn’t know there were other people outside of your immediate family who felt that way. It made my heart smile to know that you are loved so much by others but it breaks my heart that you aren’t here for them to show you that love.
Time isn’t a healer it’s a changer. Some of the rawness has eased – though it has been back with a vengeance since we lost your brother. Time brings up more milestones that you won’t enjoy. Time takes us further way from the precious moments we spent with you. Time passing means that more challenges have been addressed – post mortems, investigations. Time passing means we have dealt with difficult “firsts” – strangers asking if we have children, pregnancy announcements, mothers and fathers days etc. Time passing means me and your dad have had to navigate the world without you for longer. None of these things get any easier. Especially as society has decided that “time” is a healer. It has taken monumental bravery, strength and determination for me and your dad to survive the past 9 months and it seems a bit unfair that society give “time” the credit! No matter how much time passes our love you will only grow, not wane. We will love and miss you for years, decades,, forever – like all other parents. It is our love for you that gives us the strength to carry on – not time.
My fear about time moving forward from now and spending more time without you than with you is that as time passes you will be forgotten. Just a fleeting memory from the past. My biggest fear is that you will be forgotten. There are people who have decided the best way to deal with your tragic death is to pretend you never existed. You aren’t a sad thing that happened that is better forgotten. You are my firstborn child who I love as much as any mother loves their child. Few people acknowledge you though, fewer ask questions or bring you into conversations. We all know how much new mums love to talk about their babies – apparently society has decided I am not a mum and that my baby is better forgotten. I can’t tell you how hurtful that is – me and your dad talk about you all the time and always will.
I’m not religious and I’m slightly envious of people who are, people who have a clearer idea of what they think of the afterlife. I don’t know where you are. But I do feel your presence. I hope you can feel our love for you. I hope you are free. I hope you never feel pain and are forever safe. I hope you’ve found some likeminded babies (heartbreakingly I know there’s a lot of you wherever you are and I know their parents are awesome). I often wonder what you think of me and your dad – your opinion is the only other person’s opinion I really really care about and yet the only opinion I can never enquire about. I hope one day I might do something that makes you feel even a little bit proud of me.
I’ll never feel I do enough for you. Maybe this is a normal part of being a mum – the mum guilt but bereaved mum guilt is multiplied by thousands. I hope you know we are trying our best. Trying our best to honour you and also to live a life that you didn’t get to live. I cannot believe we have to live the entire rest of our lives without you – the most important person to us.
40+2 it wasn’t long enough. I wish we had more time. I would do it all over again – even the sickness, insomnia and heartburn for the joy of meeting you. Lenny I will miss you every single second of the rest of my life.