16 months ago we went in for Lucy’s second intrauterine blood transfusion, but instead, we helplessly watched her heart stop beating and a couple hours later we were inducing labor.
I have lived 16 months without my baby. It’s like going 16 months without food, or water or air or sunshine, but worse. Seriously, think about how it would feel for someone to say, “Ok, no more food. EVER.” The hunger would slowly build and the ache would set in and you would wonder, “How can I go another hour, another minute, without food? How can I go my whole life without food?” Everyone else has moved on, but I am still a Mommy living without my child. Sure, I am healing and finding some joy again, but that intense ache for my child is still there, always.
In January, Josh and I took a three day trip to Pensacola, FL to do our adoption training classes. We left our boys with my mom. It’s the longest I’ve ever been away from them. I miss them when I’m not with them. I truly love being around them. Even if I’m away from my boys for more than two hours, I start to feel that ache of missing them. I love them so much (and I’m not a helicopter parent, I promise!) Josh and I enjoyed our time alone, but I noticed that the more I started missing Liam and Asher, the more uncomfortable and anxious I felt. I realized it was the same feeling I had missing Lucy, the only difference was that I knew I would be able to satiate the ache in a day or two. I started to have this frantic thought, “What if Liam or Asher dies before I can get back to them?” I really wondered if I would ever see them again. It was kind of ridiculous, but it happened with Lucy, so of course it could happen with Liam or Asher. Aching for Lucy, Liam and Asher all at once was almost too much for me.
I had been so excited about going to the beach and relaxing with Josh. The only free time we had was the last day after our classes were finished. We were going to go to the beach and then drive home to Tuscaloosa afterwards. Josh and I both missed the boys so much that we didn’t even want to go to the beach anymore. It sounded way more fun to drive straight home and snuggle our little guys. We skipped the beach. I quenched my ache for them and it felt amazing, because I COULD. But the longing for my girl remains and burns everyday.
16 months without Lucy.
16 months of milestones missed, of aching and tears.
16 months of being misunderstood and avoided, of being judged and hushed.
16 months of being comforted by some.
16 months of two instead of three.
16 months without pink in the house. No dresses or bows or baby dolls or long, pretty curls growing.
16 months without seeing Josh hold his baby girl, without seeing Asher be the big brother that he is.
This is a long, difficult journey.
The next time we had a meeting with our adoption agency, we took our boys with us (we also didn’t have a babysitter so we kind of had no choice.) It was so much fun with our little loves, with two less to miss, and even though it was cold, THIS time we went to the beach.
We also went to Pump It Up, where we went down this slide so many times that I almost ripped my pants open and the boys still talk about it almost every day.