Yesterday sucked. No other way to put it.
I was actually in okay spirits at the start of the day, but as it went on, the displaced feeling started setting in again. It’s something I try to avoid thinking about and, subsequently, feeling too much, even though I think it’s always kind of there in the back of my mind, but yesterday there was no getting away from the feeling that I am not where I’m supposed to be, that I might have been able to change things if some things had occurred differently (those ever-persistent ‘what-if’s), and that I would be somewhere else, doing something else, if October 19th of 2014 had gone differently… if I’d seen a different medical professional, or if I’d asked for a second opinion, or gone to a different clinic.
Different. That word came to mind a lot. I hesitate to say better or worse, because I don’t know where I would be if Brock were here, and I don’t know for sure if that reality would be better or worse than this one. I just know it’d be really different from where I am now, whether or not that’s a good or bad thing.
I know I’d be raising a different baby, one that would be celebrating his first birthday instead of being a mere 15 days old, and that Nathan would certainly not be here.
I wouldn’t have had a bunch of milk with no baby to appreciate it if Brock hadn’t passed, so I never would have been a milk bank donor. Did my donations help any babies pull through who might not have otherwise?
I don’t think I would have felt the same frantic emptiness and need to better myself if I hadn’t lost Brock, so I probably wouldn’t have gone to finish high school (I formally graduate on the 12th of November), or found the time and money to finally go to driving school and earn my G2. I wouldn’t have started volunteering for a local blood donor clinic, and my husband likely never would have begun donating regularly, either. I wonder whose lives his donations have touched, too.
I would never have gone to loss support groups or struck up conversations with other loss mothers and fathers on online forums, and therefore there are a lot of great people I know now that I never would have met.
There are so many other little things, too. I wouldn’t live where I live, or have a lot of the things that I now have, probably. I envisioned a different baby, a different nursery, a different life. On days like yesterday, it just hits me again, all over, that this was not what I envisioned at all. It makes me wonder if there was ever anything I could have done to change the outcome, and it makes me feel woefully out of control of my own fate (which, to be fair, I know that I am – but the illusion of power is totally gone, which leaves me feeling awfully vulnerable.)
My husband and I took the day to just feel bad for ourselves. We cried, we talked it out, we snuggled Nathan a little bit more earnestly, we got expensive takeout for dinner, and I had a couple of glasses of wine for the first time in 10 months (another advantage of pumping – if you get ahead, you can take a little time off. Score!).
The other thing about the day that really upset me was that a lot of people didn’t even seem to notice that it was Brock’s birthday. I received condolences and well-wishes from a few friends, acquaintances and family members, but I heard nothing from most people… and, in particular, a few I really expected would have reached out said nothing. I’m pretty sure even most of my close relatives (my mom and dad, and in-laws) didn’t even notice the date; it was just another day for them. It wounds me to think that he could be so easily forgotten by most people when he’s almost all that I think about on many days. Perhaps it’s my fault for letting him be forgotten, I guess? I don’t really know how else to look at it. Maybe I should have made a huge deal out of his first birthday and thrown a big party or something, but I let the opportunity evade me, so now I’ve just got more what-ifs to think about. Hooray.
Happy birthday, Brock. I can at least promise you that your father and I will never forget you. ❤