The day we found out Alexander’s heart wasn’t beating–the day we received the most devastating news of our entire lives–was a Tuesday.
In many ways, my life since then has been measured in Tuesdays.
For weeks, and even months, after we lost Alexander, Tuesdays were difficult. The most difficult. Every Tuesday felt like I was reliving that day. The fear and anxiety waking up. The phone call to the doctor’s office. Sending an e-mail to my co-workers saying I would be in a little late that day after my appointment. Sitting at my kitchen table trying to squeeze in a few e-mails and work before heading to the doctor. The drive to the doctor’s office. Sitting in the waiting room. The NST. The fear and the deep sense of knowing that something just wasn’t right. The nurse practitioner trying to find a heartbeat with the doppler while we waited on an ultrasound. The ultrasound that confirmed that our baby boy was gone. The shock. Sitting in a tiny room with Scott just wailing in grief. Walking out of the OB/GYN office that day and seeing the sad looks on the faces of all the doctors, nurses, and receptionists. Driving home and listening to Scott call our parents and co-workers. Sitting in our house full of baby shower gifts that suddenly felt so empty and staring at the wall while we waited for a call from the doctor. Driving to the hospital. Waiting. Waiting. Waiting.
At some point, the re-living of that terrible Tuesday slowed. I could get through Tuesdays without being paralyzed in grief. Without being totally overwhelmed and consumed by the play-by-play memories of that day. The feelings of PTSD slowed.
That said, I still count Tuesdays. I can still tell you without having to think that today it has been 33 Tuesdays since we lost Alexander. Thirty three Tuesdays.
Last night, as I was showering and getting ready for bed, that number hit me. Hard.
Thirty three Tuesdays.
On Tuesday, July 5, when we went in to the doctor, I was 34 weeks and 5 days pregnant. That means that in the next two weeks, we will cross over the mind-numbing milestone of the point at which Alexander will be gone for longer than he was here. My son Alexander. Our son Alexander. Just process that for a moment.
Today, at thirty three Tuesdays, the amount of time that has passed since I held Alexander in my arms, since I last felt him kick, since I last knew he was alive, is still shorter than the length of his life inside my womb. But that all changes in the next couple of weeks.
And that, my friends, will mess with your mind. I know, because it is messing with mine.
At some point last fall, my dear friend SC gave me something to look forward to on Tuesdays. When NBC’s newest hit show This is Us started airing on Tuesday nights we decided pretty quickly (after just two episodes, I think), that we would watch that show together. That it would be our show. Not only does that give me something to look forward to on Tuesday nights, but it gives me a safe space every Tuesday night to feel and think and say whatever is on my mind. Some weeks, the show leaves
me us both in a puddle of tears and emotion. Some weeks, we laugh together. Some weeks, we sit and talk and process for a couple hours after the end of the show. It’s sacred time. It’s time that I look forward to on Tuesdays. It’s consistent. It’s valuable. It’s time worth guarding.
So, for the most part, my Tuesdays have found a new normal. Parts of the old normal have come back. I go into the office during the day. I sit through staff meeting and the sharing of highs and lows with my co-workers. I get things done in the office (as opposed to many early Tuesdays where it took everything I had to just get to the office and sit in front of my computer for a few hours). I come home and have dinner with Scott. We go to meetings if we have them. We do life as best we know how. Then, I get together with SC to catch the latest episode of This is Us–sometimes with a bottle of wine, and sometimes with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s. Whatever is needed on that particular Tuesday. I often stay up way past my bedtime, and sometimes my Tuesdays bleed into Wednesday. But these Tuesdays are sacred.
I cling to them.
I still count them.
I am still keenly aware of how long it has been.
I still miss my sweet boy. Oh, so much.