I cannot believe that it has been five months since our girlie was born, just under five months since the world as we know it got smashed to pieces. Have I been this person for five months?
Most importantly: a mom.
We’re sneaking up on what would have been Hudson’s first Christmas. And while I imagine this particular holiday season will be rough, I do like to allow myself the luxury from time to time of imagining what she’d be like right now.
Chubby all around. Cheeks, thighs, arm and neck folds. Sticky sideways smiles, no symmetry to Hudson’s expressions quite yet. An obscene wardrobe – the most stylist 5-month old on the block, thanks to Momma Sue and Grandma Dub and crafty Aunties. Giggles. I imagine what our daughter’s giggles would be like, and it makes me ache for a sound I never heard.
I won’t lie to you, Hudson and I would be wearing matching Mrs. Claus outfits this holiday season for some kind of a photo shoot.
I allow myself the luxury of imagining our house with a baby in it. Slowly but surely, the assorted baby paraphernalia we brought home with us from the hospital has made its way back to Hudson’s room, and we’re down to just her heartbeat teddy bear, a photo album, a box of Hudson’s Heroes teeshirts, and the biggest size of this picture that Costco would print up on our wall.
But if Hudson had lived to come home with us, the joint would be awash with rattles and tummy time mats and jumpers and her black and white zebra and a whole wealth of toys I don’t even know about yet because we only made it as far as newborn toys. I’m confident at one point or another, the Hubs or I would have stepped on one of the toys strewn about, resulting in a torrent of loud words that end in *** that would have us then concerned that our daughter’s first word would be a four letter one.
In a way, I’m grateful that Hudson didn’t come home with us only to die some other way. How could I ever be in our living room after spending hours of tummy time with her there? How could I step foot in her nursery knowing she’d spent hours in baby dreamland in there? How could I lay eyes on the rocker knowing I’d fed her in that rocker?
Except of course as I imagine those experiences with our daughter in our home, I have to take every thing I said up there back. I wish for any world where I spent time interacting with our daughter, even if it were still going to end this painful way. We are missing out every day on some kind of a milestone or achievement that our little overachiever would have been delighting us with. What I wouldn’t give for memories of staring contests with our googly eyed little newborn! I would trade a thousand restful nights for one interrupted by my baby’s screaming and fussing.
And I know these experiences await me, when Baby Dub Dos, Tres and Quatro arrive on the scene (did I just predict triplets? Dear me!). So when I step on those baby toys, in the future, I’ll remember today and I’ll grit my teeth but I won’t swear. Those sleep deprived nights will be a dream come true. The world will stop for baby staring contests.
Nothing in this life is a guarantee. The only thing in life that you can truly control is how you view your life – the gratefulness with which you greet each day, the choice to smile instead of frown, the decision to be brave and to take risks and to love all out. I’m working on these things, and life is more full. I’m choosing these things, and I feel rewarded. It’s the worst thing in the world that I don’t have a 5-month old today, but my day is not ruined.
A huge hunk of my heart is gone forever, but I don’t feel incomplete. Because that’s what I choose.