Monday Morning

Another visit to the doctor’s, for medical problems that showed up after Luca’s birth.

It’s seems unfair to me.

To not have him, but to have all these stupid side effects from the pregnancy. No Luca, but here I sit at another appointment, trying to find out what’s wrong with me, and always hoping it will give any more insight on why he died or why his condition was never caught.

But I usually leave with no further knowledge.

I want my son. I want him in my arms, near me, so that I can reach out and touch him, feel him alive.

I slip into this dark place, my brow is furrowing, tears blur my vision. I just hope tomorrow, or even later today to have some light shine in.

Loss

Right at this moment I’m feeling the solitude of not only our loss of Luca, but the loss of friendships, of kinship with other mothers.

Luca may not be here with us in our arms or in the beautiful Tula we had bought for him, but we are still mothers. We still mother him, but in a completely different way. I have to keep his presence known and make sure he is never forgotten.

We don’t get to go to playgroups, hang our with friends and their infants. We don’t get invited because we don’t fit in. And there is no circle of grieving mamas I know locally, so there is no kinship we feel with other mothers that we can just sit with.

We have some very special friends who love and support us and want us around, and their children know Luca’s name, and for that, I’m so very grateful.

I just want to have my beautiful baby boy in my arms and bond with other mothers about the growth of our babies, and laugh about sleep deprivation.

That’s what I mourn today.

The Presence of My Son

We are on the plane heading home from our trip to NYC, and I’m listening to music on my playlist while trying to conquer level 29 on Candy Crush in an attempt to zone out. I hear these songs I know so very well and a million thoughts start flooding through my mind.

This was meant to be the trip where Gina and I introduced Luca D’oro to the people in our life that mean so much to us; having our loving community meeting the newest member of our family. That is what I planned in my head, what I pictured our summer trip to be.

I go to NY because my inside magnet pulls me there and I want G to experience it all with me.The city is familiar and home to me, and though I haven’t lived there in years, I like to go back and see our loved ones, and feel the city and the people. Central Park, meeting all his aunts and uncles and cousins, Fire Island, the best pizza, his first sense of this electrical energy that the city holds, MoMA, subways, salsa classes in Union Square, rooftop movies, Archie, the Brooklyn Bridge, Christopher Street, that was all on the agenda.

Maybe he would remember none of it, but the time would be well documented by his mamas, and who knows? Maybe his internal gps would have been synced, and he would be like me, so very drawn to my first home.

We walked through the streets of New York City without our pup, and I saw mamas and their babies, families who were experiencing with these little people. They were molding their children with these experiences. I wanted that with Luca. I hate that I don’t have that with him. I think about how beautiful he was and how I wish he was in our arms while we galavanted through the city, and I get so mad that can’t happen with him.

It’s not all a pity party. And believe me, I am in complete agreement that if anyone is allowed a fucking pity party, it’s a parent that has lost their baby. So….that means us. If I feel like I need one, I will send myself the invite, regardless of what some of you may think. But I’m starting to gain a little strength at this point, and move forward with hope and knowing that someday we will be together again, and that there has to be some exciting shit headed our way after the ridiculous series of events that has ripped our son out of our arms.

C’mon universe. C’mon Luca, help us out.

And everyday is still a roller coaster. I will be seemingly ok for a moment and then….. Well.

I hear a song that brings me back to that place, like I’m hovering over that last scene we had in our earth story together. Me in the hospital bed, G next to me, Luca in our arms, taking his last breaths. My chest contracts when I hear them, the lyrics and melody move me. Sometimes I feel like this is Luca presenting himself to me, letting me know he’s with me.

The song Breezeblocks by Alt-J comes on, and I’m singing the chorus over and over, the lady next to probably thinks I’m crazy. But I feel like I need to do this. Sing this song. Cry. Feel it all. Every second of it. For me. For Luca.

Please don’t go, please don’t go
I love you so, I love you so

Please don’t go, please don’t go
I love you so, I love you so
Please break my heart

Please don’t go, please don’t go
I love you so, I love you so

Please don’t go, please don’t go
I love you so, I love you so
Please break my heart

Please don’t go, I’ll eat you whole
I love you so, I love you so, I love you so

Please don’t go, I’ll eat you whole
I love you so, I love you so, I love you so

I’ll eat you whole
I love you so, I love you so
I’ll eat you whole
I love you so, I love you so

I’ll eat you whole
I love you so, I love you so
Please don’t go, I’ll eat you whole
I love you so, I love you so, I love you so
Please don’t go, I’ll eat you whole
I love you so, I love you so, I love you so

Luca was with us though this week, ever present in everything we did, in every smile we cracked, in every tear we shed, just like he will be for the rest of our lives.

I know you are with me, but I sure do miss you Luca D.

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Definition

I don’t know who I am, or what I’m doing.

This trip has reminded me how lost I am. How defined I feel by Luca, and how it’s hard to be defined by what isn’t, here.

Strangers don’t see him, they don’t see us. I am just me. Without my child.

I was pregnant, and now I am not. I once was whole plus one, and now I am zero.

My yearning to be Luca’s mother, and do all that regular things mothers do for their children, teases me every day when I look around and see strangers with their babies.

So often I feel angry, mad at the world. How could this happen to him? To us?

What am I supposed to do now? I am not the same person, so how do I live my life now? How do we live our life as mothers with no child here to mother?

Telling his story again to the friends and family here that have wanted to listen, has been healing and supportive. Being able to talk about my son to those who were involved in our lives before is bittersweet. I want to show them more pictures, but I have only the ones from the single time I got to hold my son.

The time I was defined as his mother.

And I will always be his mother. If only he were in my arms to share the experience with. Alas, they are empty. As am I.

Packing

I’ve had this anxiety about going. I’m excited- and that’s relative to the extreme of the other feelings I’m experiencing, but it all feels so weird to be doing, like we are forgetting something big.

And I get it. I am completely aware what is missing from this trip. He’s physically missing from everything we do, from everything we experience.

I should have already sent you a funny picture of Luca packed into our suitcase surrounded by clothes, or maybe one of him in some of his NYC attire. I should have been counting how many diapers, decided which wraps would be more breathable for us in the hot and humid NYC weather, considered bringing bottles or not, and been anticipating his first of many flights.

Instead I’m up, lump in my throat. Getting ready to light the candles and incense at his altar. I fold and pack my little pile of clothes while G sleeps so peacefully. The house is silent.

Then it starts. How did we end up in this house? Why are we here? What are we doing? This isn’t where we thought we would ever be. Our family was supposed to get bigger. What the fuck are we doing? How will life ever feel really good again? What happened? Why Luca? Why us? Why our family?

And the tears flow. Just like they do everyday, a daily cleanse, my grief medicine.

So I go to look at his pictures, to stare at his beauty one last time before we leave on our first family vacation as the new us.

 

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Invisible Mother

Each day, another milestone.

A day with friends, making forward steps to move through this experience and ease ever so slowly into our new normal.

Then a newborn baby and his mama walk in. She has him in a wrap, similar to the one we had for Luca. The conversation turns to the talk of spit up and diapers, of feeding and naps. And I wish I could join in their story of parenting.  Their story is of sleep deprivation and firsts and baby smiles. Our story is of saying goodbye, looking at the same 165 pictures every week, grief counseling, of healing, of isolation.

I’m caught by my own self, looking at her, so longingly. Wishing I could have that experience with my own son, my baby, my Luca.

And I am pretty sure she sees me as this childless woman. I do look at her with admiration in my eyes, but she has no idea what I’ve been through.  I don’t want her life. I want my life. The way we envisioned it to be with Luca.

She doesn’t know that I carried my son to full term, that I had a ring sling wrap waiting at home to put Luca in.

She doesn’t know I labored for three days, was put under, and woke up to the loss of the experience of the silent birth of my son. He was born, and he didn’t make a noise. He was born and I didn’t get to meet him for nearly 30 hours.

He was born, and when I did finally meet him, I had to say hello and goodbye. I had to fit in a lifetime of memories in minutes.

She doesn’t know that the first time I laid eyes on my son, I held onto him while his spirit left his beautiful little lifeless body.

That’s why I look at her so longingly. I wish I could feel what she is feeling with her son, if only for a moment, with my Luca D’oro.  And I wish so much I could share my story with another mother, to be acknowledged as a parent, as his mother.

Pride

Today would have been Luca’s first Pride parade.

Last year at Pride, we had told a few friends we were expecting. Last year at Pride, we were so excited that this year, we would have our baby in tow to watch the parade and go to the festival.

Crazy rainbow outfit, a shirt saying he loved his mamas, pictures with scantily clad men, pictures with our friends celebrating Luca’s first pride; that was the anticipation.

Again. And again. And again.

We are reminded of how very different life is now, as compared to what it was going to be.

Last year we were in our first trimester, I was so very tired, we rode bikes to Pride and well, I was pregnant, so there was no celebratory drinks.

This year, I’m 4 months out from losing my son and still reeling from the physical and mental trauma that comes with losing Luca.

And we dive deeper down into this hole.