It is my honor to welcome a guest post for Right Where I Am from Danielle. [Remember if you do not have a blog and want to contribute, you are welcome to post right here. Send me an email at uberangie(at)gmail(dot)com.] My dear friend Danielle's first son Kai died a month and a half before Lucia. Danielle lost her second son a year and two months later. This year, Leap Day to be exact, Danielle gave birth to her third son, an incredible little Monkey full of contented joy and love. This week, Danielle emailed me with her contribution to the Right Where I Am project. Her insights into grief and her journey last year are right here. --Angie
My son is three months old. He wriggles. He coos. He smiles at us all the time. He smiles so much that when he eats, milk dribbles from his laughing mouth and wets us both. He loves it when I sing- ridiculous, composed-in-the-moment songs about Mickey Mouse socks and poo. At least once a day I sing through a throat choked with tears, because he is here.
When my grandmother, made Great-Grandma at long last, came to meet him in the hospital, she brought me a baby book to record my first memories of our time together. It sat on a shelf for the first few weeks, all but forgotten in the sleep-deprived haze of new parenthood. When I finally opened it, his brothers were there on every page. What we thought when we found out we were having a baby: Please don’t die. Who we told first, and what they thought: I didn’t use the word pregnant until the third trimester. Everyone was terrified, but too polite to say so. What we thought when we were waiting for you to be born: Please don’t die. Siblings waiting to welcome you home:… Suddenly, I could not write.
Our grief is very quiet these days – overshadowed by the newness and the unbelievable, heart-expanding joy of having this amazing little boy to love. Right now, in this moment, I am happier than I can remember being in years, or maybe ever. I am falling in love with my husband all over again, as he asks me daily if I think this boy will ever be too old to let Daddy hug and kiss him. My heart is light as I dance around in circles with my son in my arms. My son. Right now I have everything I have ever wanted.
The other day I asked my husband if he felt healed, now that Monkey is here. He didn’t hesitate.
“No. No. I just don’t have time to think about it as much.”
And yet we do think about it. It’s in the way we introduce ourselves to the other new parents in the neighborhood, where one or the other of us mentions every time that we had a long, long road to get here. It’s in our daily conversations about whether we have it in us to risk trying for another living child- ridiculous conversations to be having 13 weeks in, but conversations that feel so urgent, so necessary. It’s in our amazement that friends, expecting a son in July, are willing to decorate their nursery and take our hand-me-down onesies, believing without question that their child will come home.
He is here. His brothers are not. He is here. We went to hell and back to get him here safely. To get him here at all. He is here. There will likely be no others. He is here.
For the first time in a long time, so am I.