Tag Archives: baby’s first Christmas

A visit from Santa

Last night, my dear friend L (who was pregnant at the same time as me and had her son the day after Hudson was born) and her hubby C stopped by with some Christmas treats. And guess who they brought with them? Their little five-month old baby boy, all dressed up in his Santa suit.

What a sweet, mellow, chunky-in-all-the-right-places little man. I got to hold him for the first time, and only briefly did the thought cross my mind: “This is how old Hudson would be.” He was very fascinated with my sweet Hudson memento necklace, the one with the ceramic heart that also can be a bracelet. He got it in a baby vice grip a few times, and I was impressed with his grabbing/choking me skills.

The Hubs held him too, for the majority of the visit actually. The little guy was super intrigued by Jungle (aka the Hudson Ruth Walter Memorial Beard), again with the baby vice grip but this time on hair that is attached to skin. I swear my husband is like the Baby Whisperer. He patiently held the little beard grabber in various strategic positions that made the beard less grab-able.

Side Note: I love to watch my husband with babies.

We caught up with these friends who we haven’t seen in ages, people with whom we were supposed to be embarking on this parenting journey at the same time, people we shared birthing class embarrassment with, even went to the same doctor. And you know what? I enjoyed it thoroughly. For whatever reason, it feels like more progress, more healing. That we got to love all up on their little baby boy, this little guy who would/should be one of Hudson’s favorite playmates, and that at no point did I feel on the verge of tears or even really preoccupied with the comparison to Hudson… well, that seems like a good step. That we got to listen to these friends share their parenting journey a little bit without even a tinge of envy… that seems like a good step, too.

I am so thankful for the wonderful people who are in our lives. And I’m so thankful that good people are parents. For this holiday season, we are parents without our child, and that is truly heartbreaking. But I really believe that next year, it will be our baby in the Santa suit, “ho-ho-hoeing” around with plates of delicious treats.

That’s all I want for Christmas.

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After the Hubs and I got married, I remember getting all gooey and sentimental about our “firsts.”

“It’s our first married plane ride!”
“This is our first married Christmas!”
“Oh my gosh, this is our first married grocery shopping trip!”

I may or may not have saved the receipt from that one.

Since Hudson died, I’ve had a new set of “firsts” – not ones I necessarily get gooey or sentimental over, but emotional firsts all the same.

The first time I held a baby after Hudson.

Don't I look like I'm going to eat this little guy?

Don’t I look like I’m going to eat this little guy?

The first trip into a Carters to buy baby clothes as a gift, the recipient of which was the little man pictured above. That will get its whole own blog post, probably.

The first baby shower for a friend (another one that will get its own dedicated blog post, likely).

The first Thanksgiving.

And soon, the first Christmas.

I have been wracking my brains for ways to remember Hudson this holiday season, to make a new tradition of celebrating Hudson’s life during this time when we celebrate the life of another pretty remarkable baby (“Dear Eight Pound, Six Ounce, Newborn Baby Jesus, don’t even know a word yet, just a little infant, so cuddly, but still omnipotent…” Talladega Nights, anyone?).

If only I were shopping for frivolous baby outfits and 6-month old toys this week, instead of trying to figure out a holiday memorial for her.

The Forget-Me-Not Foundation sent the Hubs and I a card and a little angel ornament, something to put on the tree to remind us of our “angel baby.” We talked about making a big family donation to the Forget-Me-Not Foundation in Hudson’s name for Christmas. I even read on some grief and loss forum about a woman who was planning to still shop for her daughter (who was stillborn), but was going to donate the gifts to Toys for Tots. I didn’t even shop much for Hudson when I was pregnant. I sort of wish I had indulged that little temptation more now, but I was so sure I’d have a lifetime to dress her up, entertain her, teach her.

While I’m still a little at a loss for ways to make Hudson a part of our Christmas celebration this year, I do find myself looking forward to a lot of firsts.

How about:
First positive pregnancy test
First sound of Hudson’s baby sibling’s cries
First diaper blow out
First sleepless night
First word
First grade
First boyfriend/girlfriend
First job
First grandbaby (hey, why not? I’m looking WAY forward here!)

Everything now is a “first” without Hudson – and that is the sentence for a lifetime of making bittersweet memories. But I’m determined to face these firsts with a heart full of hope, not dread. No matter how profoundly or meaningfully we chose to celebrate Hudson this Christmas, I know it will still be a shitty Christmas without her. But maybe our second Christmas without Hudson will also be our first Christmas with Baby Dub Dos.

And Baby Dub Dos will be the first of his/her kind.

I won’t live my entire life in the shadow of Firsts Without…


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