Wednesday, February 2, 2011
All my children
Lately, I have been thinking about my children, my son in heaven and the little on I am currently carrying. The term that gets me is "children". To date I have been pregnant with two children, that is another odd statement being that only one of them is still living. It feels weird to think of my children or to think of this as my second pregnancy. Usually during a second pregnancy, women have a child they are chasing after, but I do pretty much what I did the last time around, take care of myself and do a lot of relaxing. Yet another set of things that I am not supposed be doing right now, being the Mommy of two children.
I wonder how other Angel Parents deal with the questions "Is this your first pregnancy?" or "How many children do you have?" Most of the time I am proud to say this is my second pregnancy but I know it bodes the question "How old is your first child?" When people ask how many kids I have, I always struggle with my answer. I want so much to say I have one son, but dread further questions that will reveal his tragic fate and the ultimate embarrassment of the asker. I am proud to talk about my angel but don't want anyone to feel uncomfortable or caught off guard and stuck regretting ever asking me. Unfortunately, I will have to face these questions for the rest of my life and I will have to wrestle with how to answer them. I am not sure how I feel about being uncertain of my answers to these questions.
I feel like I am betraying Trey and his memory not to claim him proudly no matter the question. I am not worried about the way the conversation will make me feel, because I am proud to call him my son and to call myself his Mommy. It's just hard to watch the reactions of well meaning people asking questions that most of us would normally ask a new friend or acquaintance. We are so used to hearing the good news that comes with being pregnant and having a baby, no one expects to hear that the baby passed away.
Another thing I have started to think about is will any of our future family pictures ever feel complete to me? To be honest, I have thought about having pregnancy photos taken before I have this baby, including one where John and I are holding a framed picture of our son. Yet I wonder, is that morbid or obsessive? In the past I have had to wrestle with others' ideas of what goes too far regarding the things I do to remember our son. Part of me always wants Trey to have a place in our family photos even if we never share the pictures with anyone else, we will never be a family without including him. I'm not sure if these pictures including Trey will be hanging on the wall or tucked away for us. It's quite a thing to consider, it's not the norm.
We have Trey's pictures in a frame up in our bedroom and there they will stay. I am ready to answer my future children's about who is in the pictures to the point that they know they have a big brother who was very sick and went to be in Heaven so he wouldn't be sick anymore. Not sure how I will word it or how much I will divulge, but they will know. I can imagine it won't be easy and that timing will have a lot to do with how and what I tell them. He already has his own stocking and mini Christmas tree and I hope my children will help include him in the holidays. I don't see myself simply packing away his tree or stocking, but who knows what more time and healing will bring.
I may be jumping the gun by thinking to far ahead in the future, but who DOESN'T think about all aspects of the future when they think about their kids. I would much rather be planning where Trey will go to school and how we are going to pay for college. Keeping him included in the family tactfully is much more difficult.
I guess all I can do is be patient and trust in time that my heart and my love for Trey will guide me towards the things I need to do for myself and my family in order to keep my idea of family in tact. I will say one thing, I never in all of my future planning saw myself pondering these elements of my life.