Monday, September 21, 2009

SHADOW BABIES AND TACO SALADS

I ate a taco salad today. I haven't eaten one since I was pregnant with Brenna. I distinctly remember my husband bringing it home for me, and me telling him how much the baby liked taco salad.

After I lost her I couldn't eat one.

I ate one at work today. Sitting at my desk, all I could think about was the last time I ate one. The last time when she was still with me.

Before I entered deadbabyland I had never heard the term Shadow Baby. I had no idea what it meant. For those of you lucky enough not to know, a Shadow Baby is a baby/child in your life that is close in age to what your child would have been. For most women it's the child of someone with whom they were pregnant at the same time. The child that lived when theirs didn't.

My shadow baby is a boy. I think that makes it easier.

His mother and I were due literally two weeks apart.

She sent flowers to Brenna's funeral.

When I saw her, a month before our due date (Did I just say our?) I could barely look at her. It killed me to see her. It was a Fourth of July party. I ended up drinking too much, and crying all the way home.

I didn't go to her baby shower.

When she had him, I was happy he was born alive and healthy. They were over the moon in love with him. I couldn't blame them.

The first few times I saw him I could barely look at him. I put a smile on my face, and died inside. "Want to see him" his aunt asked me. I shook my head no. She looked at me knowingly, and said she was sorry. I felt like an ass.

He came to our family Easter this year, which was weird because he's not family. I was pissed at them. I was mad that they were bringing him without any acknowledgement of my feelings. They should know. But, it was my problem- not theirs. I had to accept this baby as a part of my life. I couldn't avoid him forever. I should not, could not expect people to tip toe around me forever!!!! It was ridiculous for me to feel that way, and I knew it. But I couldn't help feeling like it should be her first Easter and instead he was the center of attention. I didn't hold him that day, but I did touch his foot. Yes, I remember that. I know it's ridiculous, but I remember it well.

It wasn't until Memorial Day that I saw him again. I held him this time. It was painfully easier than I anticipated.

I saw him this past Fourth of July. He was laughing, and happy. It reminded me of what I was missing. What she would be doing.

I think he will always remind me.

2 comments:

Fishsticks and Fireflies said...

Until reading your post I never realized how thankful I am for not having a Shadow Baby . . . I can only imagine how difficult it must be to see a child who is doing all the things that your own child would be doing if she were here.

I love the picture of Brenna in your header - she is beautiful, and I am so sorry for your loss.

JenJen said...

I have a shadow baby that is oddly a baby that I never see but her mom is a colleague of mine. I NEVER asked her mommy how she was doing upon her return to work not that I didn't care but it was too painful to imagine that this little baby girl was using all the girly clothes that her mommy bought her~ I hope I never see this baby.

Your taco salad was a good step in the right direction and I'm so proud of you ((hugs))