A year ago today, according to some new weird facebook feature, i posted three photos of Paul. The only photos i shared while he was alive. A year ago today, we brought Paul back home after a short stay at the hospital. A year ago today, i felt relieved to get out of the hospital and be able to finally enjoy my son’s presence without the constant interruption of a well-intentioned nurse. Even though i was thankful to be taking home a healthy baby, i could not understand how incredibly lucky i was to have had an uneventful pregnancy leading to a strong and relaxed 8-pound baby.
A year ago today, half a continent away, another baby was born. He was much smaller. He needed a longer stay at the hospital. But he, too, was expected to become strong enough for his loving family to take him home with them, and to start enjoying his presence without the oversight of medical personnel. That is not how things went. He never made it home.
The last eleven months have been filled with pain and awful hours of grief and doubt and guilt. Through these complex and difficult times, however, i have been lucky to « meet » other mothers who could understand, sometimes better than the people closest to me, what i was dealing with. They too felt distrust and anger and the bottomless sadness of losing their babies. Even though i wish we had never had any reason to bond over our shared experiences of grief, i am so thankful for their presence in my life.
Today, the son of one of these women i have become friends with despite having never met should be one year old.
Tonight a candle burns in my home for Zachary and his family.