On Monday, it was 11 months since Luke was born. I am getting increasingly anxious about his first birthday approaching. Time has been moving a little more quickly lately, which is nice, but it also means that it’s really time to figure out how to mark his day. For awhile, I had thought I wanted to do a big public thing like a balloon release and picnic with a table displaying his pictures and belongings. We never had a memorial or funeral, so there was no public thing for him, which now bothers me. But Josh did not want that and it began to feel silly, so far past his loss.
Now I have been considering some kind of thing with immediately family when my sister is visiting for Mother’s day, which will be 3 days before his birthday this year. This seems appropriate, but what to do exactly? And it’s also awkward because Mother’s day is usually all about fun for my mom. Is it okay to take some of that away from her and ask her to share the day with a sad thing? I’m hoping it can also be a happy thing because he is not gone. We can celebrate his life in heaven, which is ongoing and beautiful.
Mother’s day is a weird thing for me and definitely a trigger. Last year, Mother’s day was the last day I felt Luke moving. We went to church as a family and had a big dinner at my parents’ new house. I remember feeling a little miffed that I was not totally included in being a mother that day. The boys who handed out roses at church gave me one at the prompting of my husband, but that was about it. No cards or gifts. I wasn’t excluded from food prep or dishes like my mom was, although I didn’t do too much as I was tired and had swollen feet. Even more so now, I feel that any woman who has carried a baby any length of time IS a mother and should be celebrated on Mother’s day, as well as called a mother in everyday life.
Our 39-week appointment was the next morning, Monday, 5/13. That’s when we found out he was gone. I didn’t realize beforehand that I hadn’t felt him move that morning. When I was asked, the last time I remembered feeling him move was around dinner the night before. So, he either died on Mother’s day or on 5/13/13–lots of 13’s in that date, which is a silly thing to notice, but I can’t help notice it.
That morning was horrible before we even found out about his loss. I was very anxious about discussing induction with the doctor and Josh was unusually cross too. We got in a huge fight on the way to pick up my mom about which route would get us to the office most quickly, of all the stupid things. He used curse words and yelled right in my ear. I did not respond well. I actually smacked him in the back of the head, which I’m still horrified and embarrassed about. Then we were tense and quiet the rest of the drive and during the wait. The day started out bad and got much worse. None of it is a good memory.
Luke’s birth can at least have some joy in it because he was so beautiful. I’m afraid I may never think any baby is as beautiful as him ever. And my family was all there sharing our sorrow and surrounding us with love.
So if we do the family something on Mother’s day for his birthday, that still leaves the actual day. I don’t know how to mark it. I put in to have the day off work. I think I will look at his things and watch his ultrasound videos (I have not watched those videos since his death). I want to feel close to him. But then what? I feel like Josh needs to be in on a part of it too. Maybe we can just go out to dinner? I know people sometimes have cakes, but I don’t know if I can handle that and Josh will likely think it’s silly as that’s not his sort of thing. If anyone has any good ideas, please share them. I feel like the extreme importance of his first birthday is a huge responsibility that I may not live up to.