Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Life After Death

Another big milestone for me....I'm having a baby!

I'm actually six months along already, due in mid-September.  We are having a boy.

Sheldon and I are thrilled.  We had been trying since we got married last year, and though it doesn't sound like a long time, I was starting to get discouraged when it took us six months to get a positive test result.  The (small) bummer was that this test happened to fall one day before we took a trip to Las Vegas.  On the plus side, I realized I REALLY love Vegas when I was able to have a blast drinking only ginger ale - and I think the fact that I wasn't drinking made me get carded a lot.  At 33, I'll take that all day long!

Overall, things have been going very well.  I feel pretty good, and even ran 3.5 miles in a marathon relay race a few weeks ago.  I am just starting to feel big and notice that my belly influences my mobility and the way I move, and I'm getting up a lot in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom and change positions.  Overall, though, I can't complain.

On the other hand, there have been some triggers or emotional challenges.  Not long after we found out our good news, I had a dream that really shook me and had me feeling "off" for a while, and I cried for a good day or two.  In my dream, I was pregnant and sharing my life with Sheldon, just like in real life.  However, the baby was Brian's.  We knew that I would have two children -- one Brian's and one Sheldon's -- and we were happy with that scenario.  In the dream, I felt like it was perfect -- I would get one child with each of my loves.  I woke up and was sad to remember that this wasn't the case, and I felt disappointed about that, and again had to grieve for the fact that I never had the opportunity to have a child with Brian (or, more accurately, that we never even ventured down that path because we thought we had time for that "later").  It's not fair that he died before he could have kids, that his genes weren't carried on.  We had talked about down the road and I fantasized about having a red-headed,  smart, mischievous boy like him.  He was such an adorable kid.  The fact that this never happened still leaves me with a sinking, empty, feeling....like you feel if you are holding a precious heirloom that means the world to someone and you just dropped it in front of them and saw it shatter at your feet, and you are frozen, staring down in shock at your empty fingers and the myriad glass fragments littering the ground.  Broken chances, irreversible fate....an opportunity that literally slipped through my fingers and shattered in front of me, never to be whole or real or within my grasp again.  This still pains me a great deal when I think about it.  I think this is why I've waited so long to blog about this.  The dream happened a good four months ago, but I'm crying as much today as I did the day after it happened.

This pregnancy brings about another reality -- I am carrying a child who would not have existed if Brian had lived.  This boy will owe his very existence to Brian's death.  Of course, Brian dying changed a lot of things in many peoples' lives though the butterfly effect -- I have made new friends, friendships have been forged among people I connected, a couple I introduced is now engaged, people live in houses I found for them, etc.  And I know I wouldn't even be married to Sheldon if Brian hadn't died.  But this adds a whole new level of gravity to the impact of it all -- a human being is going to be born out of the aftermath of Brian's death.  It's a sobering and heavy thought.

I think about how I'm going to tell the little one about Brian.  How will he understand?  When is it too soon to talk about death?  I know it will not be a one-time, sit-down conversation and that we will handle it in age-appropriate ways, but it's already something on my mind.  Most parents at least get the luxury to delay this conversation for many years, until a death in the family occurs.  In this case, a death in the family happened before he came along, and one that he'll ask questions about when he finds out my middle name, when he asks how he's related to his Boka cousins and relatives, when he sees my tattoo or pictures of Brian on the wall.  Will he understand that I could love Brian and Daddy the same?  Will he worry about Daddy dying too?  Will he see Brian watching over him and us?

I don't like feeling like I see the negative side of everything, because I'm generally a very positive person.  And I do feel like I've made a lot of progress.  Early in my grief, I would have to strain to see the silver linings amongst the big, dark clouds.  Now, I feel like it's blue skies all the time, though I am aware of the dark clouds in the distance, clouds that are outside the vision of those who don't know what I know, who haven't been through what I've been through.  

Mostly though...I see skies of blue...and I think to myself, "What a wonderful world."