There's nothing quite like exhaustion to trigger tears. When I can do nothing but sit for a while, energy totally spent, that's when Bertie creeps in and once again my rainbow's hair is wet with his mummy's salt tears over his little big brother.
We've been parenting after loss for ten weeks now, and so far I think we are doing OK. We joke that hey, he's still alive so we must be doing something right! My anxiety is, I think, proportionate to my experience. I fear he will stop breathing. Daytime naps: I must be able to see him, nighttime: breathing monitor on. In the car: check the mirror, is he moving? In the carrier: continually moving his head out of his favorite position nuzzled into my chest. It's fair enough, isn't it? When I watched helpless as my first born took his final breath?
I really don't worry about anything else. Accidents will happen. He is going to fall, he will likely break a bone some time. I don't doubt we'll wind up in A&E eventually. That's life. But breath? No breath means death. That's what I fear. I doubt it will ever go.
We took Oliver to the zoo this weekend with his nanny and grampy. I was fine, watching other families with the baby and the older sibling, imagining Bertie running on ahead to see each animal, impatient with the rest of us. No tears, just thoughts and smiles. Nanny wanted to buy both boys a gift and felt bad there was something suitable for Oliver, but not for Bertie. I was the one to reassure her, that's ok, they don't need the same. Bertie will have his own gift another time. In fact, I personally find it easier not to treat them in the same way, at the same time. It's impossible to be "fair" in a completely unfair situation. Both are loved equally, but differently. But when it was time for my parents to leave, and mum leaned down to kiss Oliver and say bye bye, the flashback took my breath away. Of course this time it was goodbye for now, not forever. but I was instantly slammed back to that forever goodbye. Hold it in, don't remind her, see them off, smile, tend to your baby son.
Now: a quiet moment, energy spent, sitting holding my sleeping, breathing boy. Now is the time to cry for my sleeping, not breathing boy.
this song today.