Here we go again. Another month passed, another milestone, another mini-birthday we’re missing with Hudson.
I’m guessing I’d have had to buy some baby clothes by now. The 0-3 and 3-6 month outfits we were given as gifts/hand-me-downs would probably have sustained us to this point, but my 6-9 stash is a little lighter. I’m sure Momma Sue would be happy to subsidize an entire winter-to-spring wardrobe for our no-longer-little baby girl.
What else happens at 7 months? Mobility, maybe some crawling attempts. Maybe we’d start introducing a little mashed up veggie goo to our girl’s diet. Maybe that would make for some grody diapers. Maybe she’d be working on some gibberish noises that I’ll convince myself are “Momma” and “Dada.”
But we don’t have a seven month old today. We have a seven month old heartache. A seven month old missing piece. A seven month empty family.
This weekend, a younger couple that I went to school with lost their baby boy. Different circumstances, but same heartbreaking result. A totally uneventful pregnancy was followed by a sudden and irreversible disaster. Devastation. Parenthood and loss in the span of 24 hours. My heart throbbed all day when I heard. I don’t know the couple well, but I know where they are right now, and I know that it is a very, very dark place. No matter what kind of a support system they have (and I hope and pray they have a tremendous one like the Hubs and I do), the next days and weeks in their life will be their worst.
You do start to come out of it, slowly, day by day, moment by moment, one heartbeat, one breath to the next. You laugh at things sooner than you think. You catch yourself in the middle of the afternoon and realize that you haven’t cried yet. You start to get hopeful, you start to believe that life will be alright, you gain confidence that you can, in fact, face the world and even participate in it. You can be this new person.
I know this because I’ve lived it. But they don’t know this yet.
After Hudson died, I could not wrap my mind around time passing. I was told to wait 6 months before trying to get pregnant again, and I bawled about it the rest of the day. Time couldn’t pass fast enough for me. I’d mark off the weeks from Hudson’s birth, from her death. But I don’t do that anymore. I do become painfully aware of the 11th, and of the 14th, but on any given Wednesday I couldn’t tell you the number of weeks it has been since Hudson was born.
Looking back on the past seven months, it doesn’t seem like it could possibly have been that long. I’ve left a job and started a new one. I’ve written a novel. I’ve run a half marathon and raised over $1000 for the Forget-Me-Not Foundation with Hudson’s Heroes teeshirts. We’ve paid off all the medical bills. We’ve bought a new kitchen table, installed a ceiling fan, put in a tile back splash in the kitchen. I’ve held other babies and been to baby showers and been to baby birthday parties and somehow did it all without completely falling apart. I’ve fallen more in love with my husband than I ever thought was possible. My life has changed in ways I’d never have planned for myself. The last 7 months have felt like mere moments and eternities at the same time.
A lot of healing can happen in 7 months.