Lessons From the Kid I Will Never Meet

Parenthood is the worst heartache you’ve ever experienced mixed with a heady and intense love.  T didn’t teach me that lesson, the baby we lost did.  Don’t get me wrong, I think T will remind me plenty of times over the years.  But somehow I’m glad that I’ll be a little more prepared for it.  Because the first time it hits you the pain is unbearable.  And for me, that first time pain will never be associated with T.  I will always be grateful to the baby we lost for so many reasons.  When I get pregnant again I will not experience the pure joy and hope and delight I had with that pregnancy.  The fear of losing the baby will color everything.  That joy certainly wasn’t there for me when I was pregnant with T, I was too scared.  Every pregnancy is, of course, unique; and my little lost baby gave me so much happiness in the few weeks I carried it.  So in a tiny span of time that baby gave me so much joy and taught me I could bear the unbearable.  What an extraordinary teacher it was, every day I grieve that I will never get to meet who he or she was supposed to become.   
As we head into trying to have another baby I’ve been doing a boatload of thinking.  I want a baby just as fiercely this time, but the want is tempered by my realization that the reality won’t be a fairy tale.  I was the one who initiated our attempts to conceive this past summer.  And my motivations were not in any way reasonable.  My hormones were fluctuating because I was breastfeeding less as T started eating more solid food.  The moment my period came back I couldn’t think of anything except having another baby.  I was mourning the loss of my infant’s transition into a baby and then a toddler.   I was delighted he was developing so rapidly, but at the same time it was all too fast.  In my desire for another baby I didn’t want to replace T, I wanted more time with him.  And the desire was so strong I couldn’t even think straight.  I couldn’t remember how much is sucked when T was brand new and I was nursing every three hours for months on end.  I couldn’t remember his never ending crying in the night when Z and I would take turns walking in circles around our first floor sometimes crying in frustration ourselves.  I couldn’t remember how lonely I was because Z had just started a new job and we lived in a new place and most of my waking hours were just me and the kid.  I had tunnel vision baby fever in the most clichéd way possible. 
Well, my hormones have stabilized and I do remember all that stuff.   And T is such a good time right now, he cracks me up every day.  I wonder why I was so anxious to give up my solo time with him.  Our lives have stabilized tremendously.  Z is around much more this year.  We get to sleep through the night the vast majority of the time.  We have settled into a blissful domesticity.    The great thing is I want a baby just as much despite realizing how hard it will be.  I want T to have the gift of a sibling close in age to him.  I do want to have another chance to delight in a newborn, especially now that I know how fast it really does go.  If I successfully carry another baby to term I think being prepared for the difficulties will make it a happier transition for all of us. 
Little man wandering around Kinkos as we waited for our second batch of Christmas cards to be printed.  Have you not received a card from us?  Send me your address and I’ll put one in the mail! 

 That’s my hat he has on…

Grandma got him the awesomest hoodie ever.

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