Saturday, March 3, 2012

Dec 30, 2011
There has been a lot on my mind that I have not been sharing. On Dec 26, I tested. I have always sensed we wanted another child, but I was afraid to follow this route because of my job. Firefighting is not an easy career to have children… It is great once they are here, but unlike a desk job you can’t perform basic functions for months and wind up relying on the charity of your department and city to keep your job. A scary proposition at best. FMLA really doesn’t work for firefighters or police officers.  Brentwood had no maternity leave… it takes me three years to accrue enough if I take a few short vacations and minimal vacation hours for training.
So after Perry was born, I had this sense that it would be a mistake to ‘take care of the issue permanently’.  At the time, I remembered the Cheatham county family where the father had accidentally ran over his young child, their only biological child. They were blessed after adopting, but I got the sense that for some reason natural or manmade they could not have another child without adopting. You never know…. It is not replacing a child, but I had never envisioned Emily as an only child.
I have to say that I do not believe the bond to be any less between adopted children and parents. It is pure love to accept a complete little individual. Adopted children inherit the best part of their parents, the shaping of their personality and love.
But I love the combining of my husband and I in our children. I love his eye color in the shape of  my eyes, the length of my husband in Perry.  My children have their father’s eye color. They had the same eyebrows as each other. After admitting that yet another grandchild was not the spitting image of his/her father, my MIL once told me that my children resembled each other. And they did/do… the same narrow long feet, similar eyes and noses… When Perry smiled his eyes turned into narrow blue almonds, just like his sister. They both raised one eyebrow mischievously or with amusement, something they could do naturally when the best I can manage is quivering just one if I stare intently in the mirror. In some ways they were more each other than they were me. And I loved that.
Your reasons for wanting a child are still there, they have not magically gone away after you lose a child.
I am making no illusions about what the second line means. I have had more miscarriages than children, and well, as you know even that (children born) has not worked out. I went to a funeral the next day and I had to fight the sinking feeling that I was really attending the funeral for this pregnancy.
But I try to trust.
I used to think that I had already had my share of misfortune and that God would help protect my children. There is none of this now, I know God does not always protect his children from life or death. I know you think of miracles, but they do not apply to me. I have prayed the Lazarus prayer. My child remains dead, his smile stilled on this earth. Was Lazarus any more wonderful than my son?
So I have no reason to believe that this pregnancy is protected.
But still, if this pregnancy continues and the child grows, what do I say to my SIL. I do not want to tell them about this pregnancy. Cannot take any false joy before it is safely established. But I still look at the bridesmaid dress and hope that it will be impossible to wear. I also do not want it to leak out before I am ready, a maternity dress would do that.
She will not understand why I do not want to be her bridesmaid, why I would want to darken her bright day. My day has been darkened, and I do not want to do that to a bride. But happy brides do not see sad tears shed away from them. This world is theirs; the future is a wonderful thing with promise.  Filled with everyone they love.
I dread telling. I dread it because people will think I am over Perry. Nothing could be further, I just had to make the decision to live or die three days after his death.  I chose to live, and this is all part of it.
This baby will not be Perry. My joy in my family will never be completely whole again, but I chose to live. I chose to believe that there will still be happy days ahead, that life is still worth living.
I know I will cry bittersweet tears if this child is born safely. Happy to have a baby in my arms, but sad that I cannot hold Perry.

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