July 4, 2016
My dearest Sidney,
Today you would have been two months, and I would have been marking the day by sharing photos of you, and information about the joys of your first two months. Towards the end of my pregnancy with you, I decided it was important that you had something new. We were planning on using almost all of your brother’s old stuff, old clothes, old beds, even old diaper covers, and I wanted you to have something that would be just for you. We had marked each month of your brother’s life, charting his growth until he was two years old by posing him between two monkey stuffed animals. We decided to get you two elephant stuffed animals, and I was excited when I found one Jellycat elephant and an elephant stuffed with scented lavender, made by the same companies that made the monkeys we used in your brother’s photos. Eli wanted to play with them, but we said they were for you. Now, we don’t get to take those photos (and the camera on my phone broke when we were in the hospital with you, perhaps a symbolic protest that no photos without you were worth taking. I still have not gotten it replaced). The elephants are put away somewhere in a closet, hidden before I even got home from the hospital. I will not share your picture on facebook, writing about the milestones you’d achieved at two months. The only milestone I can write about is how I have survived two months without you . Two horrible wretched months. This weekend, it was thinking about sleep that triggered tears for me–not knowing whether you would already have been sleeping through the night, whether you would enjoy the car, and be lulled to sleep by the driving, whether you would be a good napper, would fall asleep nursing, would need to be held. I won’t ever know these things about you. I think you would have been easy-going, my beautiful second child. My second son. Daddy and I are both second children.
We had what should have been a good weekend, visiting friends in Philadelphia. And this morning, we went to a fourth of July parade. But the weekend was marked by your absence, how you were not in a carrier on my chest, I did not have to worry about you getting too much sun, or needing to nurse and not having somewhere to nurse you. If you were here, we probably wouldn’t have gone to Philadelphia in the first place. We would have stayed at home, going to the local fourth of July celebration, and proudly showing you off, eagerly looking forward to running into all of the acquaintances who I am now trying to avoid. I would do anything to have you here still.
On our way back from Philadelphia, we stopped at the cemetery. It was raining, and your brother had fallen asleep in the car. I got out and went to your grave, and stood over it, my tears mixing with the rain. It seemed only fitting that the sky would be grey, mourning your absence on the independence day of our country. Then your daddy got out and went to visit your grave. He misses you too. We are broken without you.
Your brother has been making up stories about babies who don’t get to come. He misses you too. The other day he told me that he is the first son, that he has a brother called baby Sidney who didn’t get to come. But that he is still a big brother. When we got home from the hospital, we gave your brother a Curious George stuffed animal with a shirt that says ‘Go bananas. I’m a big brother.’ We had gotten it to give to Eli from you. The mailman dropped it at our house when we were in the hospital having you. We decided to still give it to Eli. He is still your big brother. He will always be your big brother. He has been pretending his Curious George stuffed animal is a super hero. Many of his adventures involve saving babies. Tonight, Eli fell asleep holding Curious George He misses you a lot, and I don’t think he even understands the extent of his loss.
We still don’t know what happened to you, my love. The doctors have not given us the pathology report. I don’t know why you are not here. I will never understand it. It still sometimes seems like it can’t be real. I am so sorry, my baby. I am so sorry. You have to know that I would do anything I could to change it. The past few days, I keep thinking I feel you kick. But you are gone, not kicking and moving inside of me.
I have not been singing to Eli as much at bedtime. It makes me sad, remembering how when I would sing to Eli, you would kick. I had imagined that the lullabies I sang to him would be soothing and comforting to you when I sang them to you, already familiar from your time in my womb.
I haven’t figured out yet how to make my life meaningful, how to adjust to my new reality without you. I am trying to appreciate every moment but I am not able to do that yet. It is much too painful for me without you here.
I want you to know that I love you, that I will always love you, that you are my second son, my beautiful baby boy. You are forever in my heart, in your daddy’s heart, and in your brother’s heart.
I love you.