For not the first time, I’m glad that my dear friend Stacy has walked this road ahead of me. She knows right where my heart is at, at this eleven month mark. Here is where she was, when it was her turn.
I am so very consumed and preoccupied with the upcoming arrival of Baby Girl that it is hard to remember what is was like at this point last spring -- halfway through my pregnancy with Duncan.
We had just learned that he was indeed a boy, and that knowledge helped me take significant steps toward fully accepting his presence in our family. I was still uncomfortable with the thought of having two little boys under the age of two running around a home that did not yet feel like home in a town that was far from familiar, but knowing that I was growing a little brother for Seth helped me accept what was coming.
Everyday, my new prayer was that the Lord would give me a genuine love for my second son. That I would cherish his thumps and kicks and begin to imagine his place in our family of four.
It was a slow process, but in the month between April 17th, when he learned he was a boy, and May 16th, when we learned he’d left us, I grew leaps and bounds in my love for him, and my anticipation of the addition of his life to mine.
My emotions of last April are not all that different from my emotions this April.
Watching the scale dial creep up incrementally.
Feeling wonder and inconvenience simultaneously at the middle-of-the-night dance parties in utero.
Wondering how my heart would ever be able to love two children uniquely, completely.
Yet, here I am. In the same place, yet not. Familiar, yet completely and utterly unknown.
I know that this is the last memorial post that I will write as a mother of two. I know that by the time I need to write his one-year-birthday post, Duncan will be a big brother, and our family will have grown from four to five.
As I mentioned in my birthday post last month, I feel anxious that Duncan’s “place” feels threatened. He, for the longest time now, has been my baby. And he’s about to be….not that. Seth somehow had grown into my “big boy;” our new daughter will slide into her role as “my baby;” and Duncan…well, he would have become my “little boy.” But instead….he is just missing.
Today, I mourn not for the little 17 ounce child I held to my chest for too-few hours.
Instead, I mourn for the toddler that won’t be wobbling into my delivery room to meet his sister. I mourn for reality of one “Big Brother” tee shirt, not two. I mourn for the absence of bunk beds for my two boys. I mourn for the missing car seat in our new Flex.
It is so hard not to wonder what life would have been like for this past year with Duncan alive and well in our family. I know that the wondering is futile, and yet….
You are missed, baby boy. You are thought of, dreamt of, spoken of, and oh so missed.