17 January 2009

On grief and joy (more rambling)

One of those moments keeps happening to me, when people ask how many children I have. It has become automatic to lay a hand on my belly, smile, say "two already, and this one due in April". But my traitor heart still wants to say I'm mother to six.

I go through phases of things to worry about - the logical and illogical alike - and a recent one that occured to me in the wee small hours was the date that this baby could decide to arrive. Not normally something I would think about much, any further than "soon" or "not for ages". Well it has occured to me (or re-occured to me) that a very likely due date for bump would be the 12th of April (late but not very late), which is exactly one year from the day my tiny Lael arrived. What I can't decide is whether sharing a birthday like that will make things, over the years, harder or easier.

And then I wonder if anything could make it harder, and how on earth I will react this year being either heavily pregnant or with a newborn in my arms. The grief never vanishes completely, and in wanting another child soon I think I let myself forget that an anniversary is creeping nearer and it will be... hard...

At the same time as I am feeling full of life, celebrating birth and goodness and rightness, I have to remember death and pain and loss. Ironic, as this year would the 12th will be Easter Sunday.

I spent yesterday walking along, in the cold, on my own, dwelling on all of that irony. And right then and there had one of those contractions that well-meaning people call "painless Braxton Hicks tightenings" but which nevertheless make you stop in your tracks and breathe funny for a minute. ;) And then a bird was singing, and I looked around and realised that I'd semi-automatically turned onto the path behind the park as one of my many routes home, and saw new buds everywhere, heard the dried out long grasses rustle aginst the green railings, saw moss and a small tree flourishing on a warehouse roof against all logic.

I walked the rest of the way home feeling blessed.

I am blessed to have two bright daughters bursting with energy and noise and love and laughter. I am blessed to be sitting here complaining about braxton hicks and being kicked in the bladder and baby being active at night. I am blessed to have carried six little ones for long or for short, and to be able to talk about them and share their lives and their blessings.

See what I end up writing when tired and unable to get photos to upload? You *were* warned about the possible consequences of having me back. ;)


  1. **hugs**
    I don't think your heart is being traitorous, I think its merely expressing your desire to be able to acknowledge the babies that were taken from you far too soon, yet knowing to do so would make people very uncomfortable because these days we don't know how to respond to death and loss and so its hidden away and sanitised.

    And no grief never goes away totally, it just becomes muted so we can function. Interestingly, I have no idea when the anniversaries are for my dad, mum and brother; I have a vague idea of the years but that's it; some sanity protecting mechanism I suppose.

    I think the gift your passed children give you is the ability to truly feel the blessings you do have and a deeper appreciation for Jenna, Morgan and the little one on the way.


  2. I share your thoughts on not knowing how many children to say. I never say 'when I was pregnant with my first' or anything like that as I feel it is a betrayal of the memory of the 3 children I lost before they were born, but on the other hand, I don't necessarily want to explain my obstetric history to any random stranger. So I'm just very careful with my phrasing, and remember inside myself the dates which would have been their birthdays.
    being pregnant always seems to bring up thoughts of death for me as well - I don't think it's necessarily because we've experienced losses, I think it is just a time when we are very close to the cycle of life and deatha nd very aware of both.

  3. Now you're making me all teary eyed, the way you write about *all* of your children is so beautiful

  4. hearing you darling and loving you and all your beautiful family


Penny for your thoughts? :)