It’s a sad night tonight. I haven’t been able to fall asleep. Something has been niggling at me in the back of my mind, pressing forward, trying to come to the forefront of my consciousness. It couldn’t shake loose, so I watched Grey’s Anatomy online, which is a surefire way to make me cry. There’s something about crying, even over something completely unrelated, that stills my mind and causes things to rise to the surface that I never expected or saw coming. Things I thought I had made peace with long ago.
Laying here in bed while I type away, my son is sleeping swaddled on my chest. His little snuffling breath is music to my ears. His little twitches and sighs bring a smile to my lips. The smell that only new babies have overwhelms my senses. These things I treasure, imprint on my memory and tuck away in my heart. It’s moments like these that will tide me through teething, melt downs, and sleepless nights. It’s these memories that will be my lifeline through the struggle that is 2. And what I’ve heard about 3 and 4 and 5 and… Well, you get the picture.
What I’m feeling sad about, grieving a bit in my heart is that I don’t have this of my daughter. I have no little snuffling breath memories, no memory of how her head smells. The cooing. The eye contact. Nothing. I feel so cheated, so angry at times over it.
I’m mad at myself for not accepting that I needed help before she was almost half a year old. I want to go back in time and shake that version of me by the shoulders and shout in her face to get help. “You need to set aside your baggage about anti depressants!!!” I can picture myself saying. “You need to hold Aaron’s hand, call Sherry and tell her you want to take her up on her offer for a prescription. If you don’t, you will come to regret it!”
But I can’t. I can’t go back in time. I can’t write a letter to myself and put it in an enchanted post box to send it to my past self. All I can do is acknowledge my loss, accept it and move forward.
I use to think that moving forward was a continuous process. Now I view it as two steps forward and one step back to reflect. Then you take a great big sigh and take two more steps forward. Sometimes more than two. Sometimes it’s five or twelve. I’ve learned I can’t beat myself up about this step back to reflect and try to accept. That will only force me to step back further.
It feels more peaceful now that I’ve cried. My mind isn’t nearly as noisy as it was a few hours earlier. My heart is still sad, but in a much calmer way. I just want to snuggle my baby boy, shed a few more tears over what I’ve lost of his sister, and tuck away even more little bits of him in my heart as my baby.