Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Nearing 31 Weeks

Dear Oliver,

Your brother will be 31 weeks along on Sunday. That is the oldest you got to be. From here on out he will get to do things you didn’t get to do. He will keep growing and be born alive. He will get to cry in our arms. He will get to open his eyes and learn to see. He will get to hear our voices with no fluid in the way. He will eat all the milk instead of giving it away.


I have been afraid of this moment since I got pregnant again. I was afraid he wouldn’t make it, that I would have to say goodbye again. I was afraid people would think that it was a setback, but that things were “ok” again. Things will never be ok again. Not wholly. Not for our family. But they will be good, and I am afraid of that too. I’m afraid that this new baby boy will show me exactly and in excruciating detail what I missed out on with you.


In fact this is what I am afraid of most of all. I know what it felt like to deliver you. To hold you. To touch your face and to know I couldn’t keep you. But I didn’t know what it felt like to feed you, and nurture you and watch you grow. And now I will know. I will know what I missed with you.


I’m sorry that you couldn’t do those things with me. I think I tell you I am sorry in every letter that I write. I will never stop being sorry for whatever it was that caused you to die. I am sorry that we will never know, and that I couldn’t save you. That I couldn’t protect you. I am sorry that at this time last time I didn’t know what would happen. I’m sorry to your brother that this time I know. That his birth will be bittersweet, because I will think of you. And miss you.


All my love,


I took this the day before Oliver died, to show how huge I felt in relation to this comically small watermellon.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

I stopped posting.

I stopped posting on this blog. The reason I stopped at first was that I found out I was pregnant again. I wasn't ready to tell people, so I decided to take a break from blogging until I new what to say, and somehow I just stopped.

baby Speck

This pregnancy is terrifying.

There is no way to write about Oliver without writing about the baby who is 27 weeks along, who I fear dying daily. Every twinge, every pain, makes me afraid something is going to be wrong, and that before I know it I will be grieving another son I will never get to know.

And when he kicks, and lets me know he is still alive in there, I feel guilty. I feel guilty for loving him as much as I love Oliver. I feel guilty knowing that this particular baby would not exist if his brother had survived. I feel guilty that we plan to give him all of his brother's unused things. All those gifts that were made with love.. for another baby. If Oliver had lived, his younger siblings would have used those things. I watched my sister learn to ride my first bike. I watched her sell my old stuffed animals at garage sales, and get to keep the money because they were "hers" now. I know the people who gave us beautiful gifts, did so picturing a baby using them. Being snuggled. Being loved. The blanket that was knit with love was meant to be wrapped around a baby, and it will be. But I can't help but feel guilty, that the baby wont be Oliver.

And I feel guilty for the new baby. The day I found out I was pregnant with Oliver was the best day. Every moment of being pregnant- even the ones that sucked- was amazing. I made special announcements to tell the world he was coming. We told our parents with special Christmas gifts, so that Christmas mornign we got to see them unwrap the news that they were going to be grandparents for the first time.

And now it's bittersweet. I told my mom I was pregnant again with a phone call. A terrified phone call. I don't lay awake at night picturing taking the baby on walks by the river, I lay awake wondering if I could survive losing him. If I could plan another funeral for another child. His whole life he will have the shadow of not being Oliver.

I am terrified that he will be overshadowed by his dead brother. And terrified that he won't. Im afraid that the living breathing son reaching milestones will become more real, and his brother who would have been, will fade away. And when he does, part of me will too.

And more than anything, I want baby Speck to live. I want him to be born, and cry, and poop on all our stuff, and keep us awake for endless hours and get gum on the cat, and take my car and get married and be happy. And the hardest part is knowing that there is no guarantee.