It’s true what some people say, that when you lay your eyes on your child for the first time you love them with your entire being. The first glimpse of my son was in the form of double pink lines on a home pregnancy test. Later I heard his amazing heartbeat and viewed his cute, little fetal self via ultrasound. When I held him for the first time a huge wave of calm and wonderment encompassed me; my heart burst open with warmth and pure love for him.
That was the first time I truly felt love. Relationships with parents, spouses, and friends can become so complicated; that short time resting in the hospital bed was an oasis of peace and love existing in a complicated story. During the next several hours he was held, named, and blessed.
After your baby’s body has been taken away to chill in the morgue those feelings of love get rather hard to reproduce, at least in my experience.
I am an expert on anger.
I am an expert on jealousy.
I am an expert on sleepless nights where the dead baby keeps me up.
I’m an expert on despising love because its absence leads to so many ugly emotions.
I know all about gender differences in grieving styles and how a dead baby can strain a marriage. Subsequently, I am an expert on dining alone, maintaining a house alone, and longing for the family that is no longer possible. Soon I will have first hand experience of divorce.
I now know more about the numerous ways that a embryo, fetus, or infant can die than I know about what items parents need to carry in baby bags.
I’m an expert on being stricken speechless in response to thoughtless remarks.
“You’re young, you can have another.”
“That baby just wasn’t meant to be.”
“You named it???!!!”
“I thought you would be over it by now.”
“If my child died I would die as well.”
“Was there really nothing medically that could be done to make him live?”
No one wants to become so familiar those feelings. Since he died two years ago I have been drowning in currents of loss. Having spent two years mastering negative emotions, what next?
I want to be an expert on love. Friend-love… parent-love… stranger-love… ex-spouse love… new lover love… kitty and puppy love… self-love.
I want to someday feel the all-consuming, uncomplicated love I felt while holding my son again. I will learn to miss my son, rage against the randomness of birth defects, sneer when mentioning the ex, tense up around pregnant women, WHILE loving.
Beginning today, everyday I will practice love.
What are you an expert of?
What would you like to be an expert of?
AnnaMarie blogs at A Garden for Butterflies, where she muses beautifully about grief, loss and life after the death of your child.