It’s been just over three weeks since we lost our second son, our third child. After three consecutive nights of waking in the wee hours only to lie in bed thinking incoherent thoughts, I am finally ready to write again.
Nights are especially hard because I can’t help but imagine the two scenarios that could have been my present:
I could be burning the midnight oil, walking the halls with a fussy newborn baby girl in my arms, swooshing her back and forth to soothe her, navigating the tricky art of breastfeeding and wishing for more hours to sink into the quiet haven of my sheets.
But our daughter is gone.
Or I could be resting safe in my bed as I had for those long 12 weeks, sleeping peacefully in between being tugged awake by my bladder, lulling myself back to sleep with the assurance that sometimes in life we can be made whole again by the promise of a second chance.
But our second son is now gone too.
So instead, the house is silent and I’m awake. Two children gone and I’m left to unpack the last 24 weeks, the sheer joys, the ecstatic moments when we shared the news, the blood tests, the ultrasounds, the quiet dreaming about two lives that never made it past my womb.
And the greatest challenge is to try to mourn our son in the way I mourned our daughter. In my mind I retreat to the painful, but familiar process too near to have forgotten. But this time, it doesn’t fit. It’s impossible to deal only with the loss of our son. Every time I cry for him, there are still some tears that bear her name.