“Time is the longest distance between two places.” (Tennessee Williams)
27 weeks. I counted today. It’s been 27 weeks since I last felt you moving inside of me. Tomorrow it will be 27 weeks since I saw you. Held you. Lost you. I remember hitting 27 weeks in my pregnancy for you. The third trimester had arrived. It meant I was getting closer and closer to having you in my arms. I was so excited to hit that milestone in my pregnancy. I actually still felt physically well, and you were still measuring on track. How could I have known what 11 weeks later would bring? An unforeseen tragedy looming around the corner. I was so naive.
And now, as I think of you, I am 16 weeks pregnant for your baby brother. It’s hard to believe that in 24 weeks, God willing, he could be alive in my arms. Helping to redeem what we lost when we lost you. Never replacing you, but bringing healing to my heart, which has been shattered through your death. Delivering you... Still. Silent. “Sleeping.” (But I am still breathing, baby girl.)
This weekend was strange for me. And I wanted to explain. I thought of you, but I thought of him so much, too. Even upon waking and falling asleep. How can you both take up so much room in my mind and in my heart? I think about how each day with him is a gift. Will there be another tomorrow? Will I make it to next week, 20 weeks, 27 weeks, 38 weeks? I cannot know, and I cannot fathom even looking to the 40 week mark. What I do know is that there are no guarantees, and if he is not meant to come home in my arms, then he won’t. But I really hope he does. I think about you loving him from heaven, and my heart fills with joy. How lucky is he to have such an amazing big sister...praying for him. Praying for me. Praying for your Dad and his two brothers and two sisters here with us. He wouldn’t be on his way if you were here. And that fact is such a bittersweet blow.
Being pregnant for him makes me think so much of what it was like to be pregnant for you this time last year. The due dates are so close. With you, I kept counting and anxiously waiting to get to the next week. Because somewhere deep down, I was fighting to hold onto you. From the very beginning. Somehow, I instinctively knew you were never meant to be mine. And then, my fear of losing you actually became my reality. I thought I could beat time and will you here. But in the end, I didn’t win.
And for your brother, with each passing week, I think: “How did we already make it to this point?” Because let’s be honest, in these weeks of growing him, conceiving about 11 weeks after burying you, have also been weeks of heavily grieving you. The weeks that continue as this pregnancy advances are also weeks without you. Weeks trying to get through this first year. Weeks getting closer to your first birthday, which is now less than six months away. I’m in a strange space, my love. Time is doing something to me, and I can’t quite figure it out.
Perhaps this is living in the present moment? An unidentified healing taking place within me...invading the shattered spaces? Perhaps it’s me being hopeful for the future, but also holding onto the awareness that there’s no way I can know for sure what the coming weeks will bring? Joy or pain? Perhaps I am feeling thankful for another week of inner progress and growth? Another week to carry your brother? But sorrowful to have another week without you? Another week of not watching you grow, or loving you without the distance?
I do know that in these weeks that remain, I will try to take each moment, each day, each week as it arrives. Will you help me to be strong? I will still try to plan and schedule and allow myself to look forward to upcoming events, despite my fears of loss or disappointment. I will also try to remember a lesson that I’ve learned through losing you...that time is precious. And fragile. And to make every moment count.
So as I begin another week, please stay close to me. Help to remember. And to savor. And to live with open hands. I love you so very much.