Thirty four Tuesdays.
Thirty four Wednesdays.
Thirty four Thursdays.
This week is the thirty fourth week since we found out that Alexander’s heart was no longer beating. The thirty fourth week since we spent days in the hospital waiting for him to be born. The thirty fourth week since we held that sweet boy in our arms.
I’ve known it was coming for a while now. I am keenly aware of the passing of days and weeks and months, and I knew this week was coming.
On Wednesday, June 29, I was 33 weeks and 6 days pregnant, and the families from our church hosted a huge and wonderful baby shower for us in a local park. I woke up the following day, at 34 weeks pregnant, with so much joy overflowing in my heart, knowing that our sweet boy would be surrounded by so much love in our faith community as he grew up.
Less than a week later, at 34 weeks and 5 days pregnant, that sweet boy was gone. On Tuesday, July 5, when we called the doctor and went in for an NST, doppler, and ultrasound, I was 34 weeks and 5 days pregnant.
Thirty four weeks and five days. That’s how long our sweet boy was with us, alive.
By the end of this week, he will be gone for longer than he was alive.
By the end of this week, I will have spent more time without my son than I got to spend with him.
And that, my friends, is hard stuff. It messes with my head. It messes with my heart. It just sucks. It really f*#@ing sucks.
Having to live every day without my son is the hardest thing I have ever had to face, and I continue to face it each and every single day. Sure, there are good days, but there are also really freaking hard days, and I imagine that it will continue to be like that for the rest of my life.
Because there will always be milestones. There will always be the should’ve beens and the could’ve beens. Losing a baby is more than losing a baby. It’s losing the one-year-old and five-year-old and thirteen-year-old and sixteen-year-old and everything else that they would have become.
Last night, as I sat in Ash Wednesday worship at church and was reminded that, “you are dust, and to dust you shall return,” I felt a bit of comfort knowing that my sweet boy is also “dust,” and that one day I will return to him. And then I saw the sweet (living) babies in the congregation receiving ashes and I had to fight back tears at the reminder that our sweet Alexander should have been there, alive, receiving ashes. Instead of once a year on Ash Wednesday, we are reminded daily of his mortality as his ashes sit on the piano in the front room of our house. It’s just not fair. It’s just not fair. It’s just not fair.
And to top it off, I just got the reminder on my work computer that my password is about to expire and I’ll have to change it. The password that I have been using includes my sweet boy’s name, which I used because that meant I got to intentionally think his name and type it every single day. By the end of this week, I’m going to have to change that password, and because of how our server works, new passwords likely won’t be able to include any part of his name for at least the next 5 years. I know that may not seem like a huge deal, but for me, it’s just one more reminder of what I have lost.
This week is a hard one. It’s so hard to know that in just a few short days, I will have lived longer without Alexander than I did with him growing inside of me. Next week, we’ll hit the eight month milestone. It just keeps coming, this grief. It just keeps washing over like waves. And, while sometimes those waves are further apart or a little less suffocating, sometimes they come in like tidal waves over and over and over again.
Oh, my sweet boy, how I am missing you this week.
You are so loved.
You are so loved.
You are so loved.