i do not know

I went to bed last night thinking about one blog entry, and I came awake, abruptly this morning thinking about another.

Mostly, I'm thinking of what I know (very little) and what I haven't figured out, since Gabriel's death. I know to live in found time. I don't know what to do with time while I wait.

I know I can survive the death of my son. I do not know how I will cope if we can never have another child. I know that it hurts to be doing home renovations, because we wouldn't be doing them 16 month old Gabriel were here. I know to not spend my time thinking about it, because it doesn't change anything, and I might as well be thankful that we have the time, the financial resources, and strong backs that allow us to do them, because we are fortunate, more fortunate than many.

And sometimes, sometimes I get this picture of Mr. Spit and I, 10 years from now, with no children, organizing a kitchen renovation, picking out the counter tops, the cupboards, the back splash of our dreams. Not worrying much about money, inconvenience, because we have no daycare bills to pay, no school fees, no children to feed supper. And it takes my breath away. I stop, and stand, small and naked and vulnerable, in the face of such pain and fear and sorrow.

I can remember our dreams when we were first married, to have 6 children, and I can taste ash and gall in my mouth. And I do not know what to do with that.

I haven't, almost 18 months later, quite figured out how to answer people when they ask if I have children. I just don't know. Yes, but no. Not a miscarriage. I held a living, breathing son in my arms. I counted his fingers and toes, he had his father's hands, and my head of hair. We baptized him, and now he's on a shelf, in an urn. I know that my son lives, in heaven, but I don't know what to say on earth.

I don't know what to say when people tell me that I can have another baby. I'm not talking about those who blithely assume you can replace one child with another, there's nothing to say to those people, but those who don't understand, if I manage to get pregnant again, (remembering I`m one dead child and 3 miscarriages, to 0 living children) that I have a 1 in 3 chance of losing another baby. Severe pre-eclampsia isn't a statistical anomaly, it's a fact. It will happen again. The question is not if, but when. There will never be a safe point in my pregnancy, a test that tells us we have won the genetic lottery, we can't console ourselves. I don't know what to do with that uncertainty. And if one more person says that they will say a little prayer, I think I will scream.

And this morning, I woke up thinking about someone who told me I was a mother, and I think, 20 months later, I do not know how to be a mother to a dead child.

So very much I do not know.