This is an insomniac post. I can’t sleep because my mind is turned on and I’m thinking of Millie. I spent a lovely weekend doing a little bit of this and that with my family – soccer games, fall festivals, pumpkin patches, farmer’s markets, and friends’ houses…Everything was lovely, it truly was.
When we first came home from the hospital after delivering Millie, we took Mon Cœur (MC) to a children’s museum, and of course the first thing she did was run up to a mom who had found a corner to breast feed her newborn (Millie would have been the same size), and reached out to touch the baby’s foot. Chouchou and I both quickly removed MC from the situation. I thought I was going to lose it emotionally right there, but I didn’t. A heavy blanket of melancholy settled over me though.
That same feeling of sadness came in waves at me today…As the vendor at the market proudly showed a new book that “revealed” pictures with light – the fun is putting a light behind a page to reveal a hidden picture. She flipped to a page with a pregnant mom and shone the light to reveal the baby inside. She was so proud to be demonstrating this book. I had this instant feeling of empty.
Everywhere we went today, I seemed to see expectant mothers – I suppose this happens when you are at multiple different children’s events in a huge city. I don’t remember encountering so many expectant mothers in one day. I felt horrible for not feeling happier for them, knowing the happiness of anticipation that mothers feel, and seeing the smiles on their faces. I was unable to reciprocate. I remember that smile. I remember carrying Millie, feeling beautiful and happy and looking forward to the day we would bring her into this world.
In the pumpkin patch, which was super-picked over, MC found a pumpkin just her size to bring out. On the way back to weigh and pay, I found a short squat orange and green pumpkin which I decided to take for me (and Millie). We stopped to take a picture at a hay bale and waited for another family to finish their photos. While we were waiting, I realized…their small size bundle was about the size Millie would be. I remembered the first time we took MC to the pumpkin patch when she was that age. And I was reminded that this is something we will never experience with Millie.
Later that evening at a house gathering, I found I was (over) actively engaged with my child and following her around where she wanted to go, while other parents were laissez faire. It helped that I didn’t know anyone very well at this gathering. At one point, I even felt like a helicopter parent and told myself to pump the brakes. Granted every other couple had at least two children there, so I suppose their hands were busy…like I had anticipated mine would be. And now aren’t.
I thought that I had moved through these feelings, and that I was moving forward, and while I feel like in many ways I am moving forward, grief is very cyclical. These feelings come in waves and knock me around. They make me question my progress. All I can do is allow myself the time and space to feel these feelings, to be patient with myself, and then decide it’s time to stop marinating. At some point the cloud lifts.
I decide to not focus on the whys, and what is missing from us, and I find bits of happiness in my every day – peals of laughter coming from a moon bounce, MC carrying (struggling with) a pumpkin, three cousins building forts together, and eskimo kisses. I try to stay grateful and positive, and mostly I think I’m doing a good job of it…
Until another wave hits.