Much like the wonky week-counting and month-dating that goes with pregnancy, such is the case with when the baby is born also. Today, he is EIGHT WEEKS OLD! Theoretically, that'd be 2 months...but that won't be until Friday on the 4th. Either way, so much is changing.
So much hasn't changed either.
Matthew is still gone.
My heart still hurts so much.
I still get that 'cry' gulp in my throat and tears in my eyes when I just type about him or talk briefly in conversation about him.
I'm still his mother and as unusual as our relationship has been in 15 months (yesterday....) it's still a relationship that requires work and effort on my part, just like the case with any living child.
It's just that for all the work and effort I put in...there is no sweet little smile or baby coo as appreciation. My work is still grief work and there really doesn't seem like there is any reward to it...just work I must do in order to maintain sanity and functionality and health for Luke. It's hard and so hard for many to understand.
Life should be great, right? Luke is here...he's happy and healthy. John and I are happy and healthy.
And yet....not too far from here is a grave that reminds me that we are as happy as we can be without our Matthew.
Stephanie wrote a great post last week about how mingled with emotions having a baby is when the baby before died. She was looking for a word that wrapped up all the emotions. I couldn't have said it better. If that word exists, I'd sure like to know what it is too. All I've been able to come up with is complicated. Times a million.
My counselors are glad that I am trying to continue to blog because they are big believers in the therapy it has brought and continues to bring. I agree, but I have to say that though I wish I had more time to write more about Luke's days, I am sort of glad that I've only been able to muster once a week because it is still hard to write about all the joy of Luke while my "Missing Matthew" feelings are constantly bubbling, bubbling, bubbling at the tip of every emotion I seem to feel. Hormonally, things are certainly more stable than they were for the first few weeks of Luke's life...so that helps. The fact that every day, he looks more and more like LUKE and less and less like pictures of Matthew also makes things more bearable as well. Still, though...he'll be sleeping and I just break down and cry...looking at the picture of Matthew that's right behind his bassinet and just willing with all my might for Matthew's eyes to be open while at the same time, praying with all I have that I don't live to see Luke's closed like that forever.
Every day, though, I am consumed with Luke. I don't even have the time or energy to really cry for Matthew like I wish I could...yesterday I told Luke his brother would have been 15 months old. I could barely get the words out. Fifteen Months...
LUKE....LUKE is just such a blessing to our wounded hearts. He is still such a good, mellow and low-maintenance baby. We are really battling some things, though, poor little guy. Though his appointment for shots and well-baby isn't until Monday, I am counting the seconds because both John and I are pretty sure he has reflux. He is really giving lots of resistance to feeding now (never did before, and we are hardly using bottles anymore, so don't think it's the preference for a bottle over breast) and he is spitting up buckets during feeds. And other times too. A few times, I've seen milk coming out of his nose. I thought it was maybe me having a fast let-down, and that may not help matters, but there are more symptoms...the other night I almost took him to the ER because he just kept choking and gagging in the middle of the night. Partly like he just couldn't clear his throat, partly like he was gasping for breath. I literally slept for about an hour total over the course of 12. The angel care monitor makes me feel a bit better, but we are going to have to do something if this is reflux because the feeding is a big issue. We've inclined his bassinet, I am trying to give breaks during feedings, feeding more often and in less amounts, ordered The Brest Friend reflux wedges for feeding, give him the Gripe Water at the first hint of hiccups (it's obvious they hurt him and now when he spits up, he seems like he's in pain too)...you name it, we're trying it before we get to medicine. If medicine will help, though, I'm all for it because he is such a happy, sweet baby...I hate that something like this takes that away. As I said, we'll see on Monday.
I was SO sad yesterday as I was putting laundry away. He's already outgrown so many things. It's just sad, sad, sad for me...I'm glad he is growing, but I also know that this is it. John feels like we'll be one of those couples who took a million years to get pregnant, went through all sorts of stuff, and then are able to pop them out after that first one 'jump-started' my body.
Yeah. The stuff infertile women dream of. But doubtful...I wasn't getting pregnant when my eggs were young and pretty and now that they are less than a week away from 38 years, well...I feel like they are those old ladies in the front yard waving their canes at the prospect of any young studs coming over and screaming, "Get out of here!"
I know it sounds sort of greedy to be mourning the fact that I will probably never be pregnant again, especially as the mother of two precious boys--one of whom greets me every morning with the most precious baby smile in the world.
But motherhood is wonderful when the baby lives and I'd love more.
Auntie Jenny from Pensacola came to visit this week. Luke just snuggled right up to her! I know I talked her ear off, but as I told her...the world of people I can just talk to and cry to without sounding greedy and ungrateful seems to be getting smaller and smaller as more people feel I should be moving on and focusing solely on Luke because he is here and not on Matthew because he is not. Jenny...it was such a blessing for you to be here!
Luke is really so much more interactive! He loves his toys on his bouncy, still adores his bath, tolerates tummy time and giggles at us when we whistle at him. Maybe when I have time I'll put a video of him giggling on here...
Happy Eight Weeks, sweet boy! You are Mama's precious, precious sweetheart and I love you so much!!
Catching up with Froggy, but still not loving the picture taking. I LOVE this little sweater outfit!! Thanks Kimmy!
In Luke's room, with the awesome picture Stephanie did for him!