I am feeling sad tonight, more sad than I have felt in a while.  I am not sure what is triggering it. I am tired, which tends to make everything worse.  My husband goes back to work Monday, and I worry that I will feel isolated.  I don’t have a strong community here yet but I don’t think I am in a place to go to mommy and me type activities.  In Seattle, when we had Eli, I made some amazing friends from the parent-baby group that the hospital organized.  I have so many positive memories, taking walks, commiserating, panicking, laughing, and sharing an incredible experience together as we navigated our first adventures of parenting.  Of course, some of the moms I was closest to had little boys around the time Sidney was born…..

I think no matter what, it would have been different to go to parent-baby groups here, mostly because I am not a first time mom, I am probably older than a lot of the new moms here being in my 30s, and also, everyone in Baltimore who I meet is married to someone else from Baltimore, and lives on the same street as all of their siblings, parents, and cousins (I am only kind of exaggerating) so they wouldn’t need a parent-baby group in the same way.  But now there is the added complication of not relating to ‘normal’ moms.  I can picture it now.  We all sit around.  We introduce ourselves and our babies.  Then we go around and express our concerns.  Maybe I say I am afraid of SIDS, and the other moms say that SIDS is rare, to which I respond, well, that means nothing to me now that my second son died for no known reason during labor, which is also rare.  Or I say, I am having trouble knowing how to mother all of my sons, two living, and one dead, and everyone just stares at me.  It doesn’t quite feel right.  I took Eli and Silas to the playground together today.  There were some other  moms at the park with their children, and we made small talk.  I did okay-no triggering conversations–but I realized I haven’t talked to random moms who I don’t know about parenting/children in a very long time.  They assumed a common ground, asking how old Silas was and congratulating me on getting out of the house.  I don’t think they realize the disconnect that I feel.

Tonight, I sat nursing Silas, and watching a movie that I saw a long time ago, called In America, not to be mistaken with Coming to America.  When I first saw the movie, I really liked it, and cried at various points in the film.  This second time, scenes took on new meanings.  The film centers on an Irish family with two daughters that moves to NYC after their son Frankie dies at around age 5.  The father cannot ‘get over’ Frankie’s death.  He says he can’t feel, he can’t cry.  And one of the daughters at one point is convinced her father is not really her father, because he has changed so much, not playing with them, and just being different.  It all hit home.  And then the mother gets pregnant again, and it’s a risky pregnancy, and there is concern that either the new baby or the mom will die, but neither do.  The film facilitated me crying, which I think was good for me, since I haven’t cried since Silas was born.  I don’t know why it’s been hard to cry lately.  The film is also semi-autobiographical, although the real Frankie died at age 10.  Beyond that, I am not sure of the details.

I can also tell I am mildly depressed because all I want to do is eat.  I am tired, and I am craving sweets, and not feeling great about my post-pregnancy body.  I am in a slump.  How do I get into a routine?  How do I do all of this?

I miss Sidney.


Fourteen months

Dear Sidney,

I miss you.  Today you would be 14 months old.  I would have taken you with your brothers to the neighborhood celebration for the fourth of July.  We would have marched around the block in the parade, eaten watermelon, and then played at the playground.  We would have run into neighbors who knew you, and would have delighted in seeing you.  I would have had all of my three boys with me.

Papa’s aunt is visiting.  She arrived with three presents, and explained to Eli who they were each for.  “The one in the red is for you, Eli.” she said, “The one in the yellow is for Silas, and the one in white is for Sidney.”  Eli responded, “But baby Sidney is dead.”  Papa’s aunt said, “I know.  I have a stone for him to leave at the cemetery.  It has a special story behind it.  I will explain it later.”  I started to get teary eyed.  Papa’s aunt is one of the few people who fully integrates you into our family.  When she wrote us a letter about visiting, she wrote, “I would love to play with Eli , visit with Sidney and see his marker, and help with Silas.”  For her, you are just another one of my sons, which clearly you are, but some people have trouble recognizing that.

I have a fake enemy in the neighborhood.  She is not really my enemy, but I am jealous of her.  She lives down the street (although she lives in a huge beautiful house and we rent a small not so beautiful town home).  She is the type of person I would have been friends with before your death/birth (I think, given that I have never actually spoken to her).  She was pregnant when I was pregnant with you–she had her daughter a few months before I had you.  A few months ago, I noticed she was pregnant again.  So when I  was walking a few days ago with your baby brother, another neighbor stopped to look at him.  I told her that he was born June 13th, and she said neighbor X had had a boy June 12th.  So now she has both of her children there with her, and I don’t get to have you.  At some point, I might still introduce myself, because it would be nice to have friends with babies in the neighborhood, but I wish I had been able to introduce myself to her after I’d had you. Alas, it was not to be.  It is still so hard.

Sidney Louis, I want to kiss your cheek, cuddle you in my arms and breathe your sweet smell in.  But instead, I visit you at the cemetery, write letters to you that you’ll never get, and replay a nightmare that still seems surreal over and over again in my head.

I love you, always and forever.