We are fortunate to live close to both of our jobs. When the
weather is nice, I ride my bike to work. Last year, A and I rode all summer
long. Autumn was mild so I rode my bike to and from work up until 36-weeks
gestation (at that point it became too difficult to swing my leg up and over
the bar on my bike; it’s a dude bike). A good friend suggested taking a photo
of big ole pregnant me on my bicycle. E snapped one picture around that 36-week
mark as I pulled up to our house. I love that photo.
I hadn’t thought much about this until Monday evening when I
checked the forecast and decided to ride to work the following morning for the
first time this year. Poor E. We were relaxing on the couch and I casually
mentioned I would be biking to work in the morning and then let out a yelp and
It hit me that the last time I was on my bike, A and I were
together. I considered how much time we spent together on the bicycle. Going to and from
work, to and from prenatal appointments, riding with E too to hear outdoor
music or go to the market. Some people thought I was out of my mind for commuting
this way while pregnant but I knew we were safe and it kind of gave me a sense
of pride. I anticipated parenting my baby my own way, even in the face of
criticism from others; this was just an early example of that.
I did ride my bike to and from work the rest of this past week and
I did not have another meltdown about it. Biking each day was a special
activity that A and I shared, communing with each other and it’s just another
reminder of how sorely I miss his presence. I look forward to riding together
again someday with my precious son.
It’s a dreary day in Griefland. All week the storm has been
building, knowing that Sunday was coming. The onslaught of radio and television
ads fueling the fury. Yesterday the winds were at a fever pitch and only by staying busy did I
hold off the torrent.
Today I hid, unwilling to confront all the whole families out
there. I spent the day alternating between crying and distracting myself. It
was very reminiscent of the early days after A was born. It’s a tried and true
method to surviving the day.
After days of brooding and feeling blue, I find myself again
frustrated that my pre-stillbirth tactics no longer help ease the pain and
discomfort. It does not matter how many hours I sleep, it does not matter how
much ice cream I eat or drinks I have, it does not matter how long I soak in
the tub. I still feel awful. Awful and helpless to remediate it. You’d think
I’ve learned this lesson by now. But apparently my psyche is too stubborn to
accept this lack of control over its own emotions and its own life.
So I’ll retreat to my current, post-stillbirth regime of
breakdowns and avoidance.
The passage of time is undeniable. Spring is in full bloom
and the yard beckons. E and I spent hours outside this week mowing, weeding and
pruning. But I never once stopped thinking of sweet baby A.
He should be here with us, experiencing his first spring.
We’d plop him in the center of a blanket while we worked nearby only to turn
around and realize he’d scootched over to the edge of the blanket and was
quizzically shoving tiny fistfuls of grass into his mouth! Perhaps the
pack-n-play is a better option or maybe Daddy will strap you into the carrier.
I’d slather on the sunscreen and put a brimmed hat on your
downy head. Don’t pay any attention when Daddy says you look doofy.
“This is a lilac, A. Can you smell it? No, no don’t eat it! Smell it.”
Almost 7-months-old, I long for your pudgy sausage-link
legs, your creases for wrists, your dimples for knuckles. Delighting in your
I cannot do the simplest task without missing you intensely.
Wondering if you’d still wake me during the night to nurse. What I wouldn’t
give for a poor night’s sleep! I cannot step foot outside the house without
wanting you to be on my hip or in your stroller. All of the neighbor babies are out on their porches or
strolling the sidewalks. That should be us Love. That should be us.
Beautiful, sunny Spring with your blooms and warmth, you’re
making me feel miserable.