Recently it was the fourth year since I went through the loss of my third baby.
Let me explain that statement. I have been pregnant four times. If you ask me how many children I have I will say four. You will think I gave birth to those four children. You would be wrong. I would not correct you. It's too long a story. Emma did not come from my womb. She has a mom, a great mom. The position is filled. But she is still mine in my heart, so I don't say I have three kids and a stepdaughter. Because she owns an equal slice of my love to the children I gave birth to. Besides - I did have four children come from my womb. But, one died. See - its all too complex to be explained when a random person says, "How many kids do you have?"
What do I call the baby we lost? We did name him. But even that seems odd now. I am trained in infant loss in my job. A big part of that is using the babies name, acknowledging them as a person. Maybe it's because I know that trick, but I don't really like to talk about him by name. When I tell the story I usual say, "We named him Zack." Not, "His name was Zack." It has different inflection. It honestly doesn't matter that much - the name part of it all. But what do I label him in my mind? When I say I have four kids the 4 includes Emma but does not include the baby we lost. Is that really fair to him? He was real, We knew each other, I was in love with him. But, I don't mourn his loss like I did, not for that first year.
That first year broke my heart. When he died and I had to deliver his dead body I was a shattered soul. My brain was off the tracks for a bit. It took me pulling Max out of preschool and making him stay with me all day, changing jobs to a whole different hospital and unit, and delivering another healthy baby to pull out of the gray zone. That's exactly what my depression was, a gray zone. I wasn't gone, but I felt like I was SO tired all the time and that my emotions where underwater. They felt lesser in all ways, my anger was only luke warm, my happiness was just light grey instead of bright yellow. All the color was turned down and I hated it, but only in that luke warm way that I could hate during that time.
It got better, the colors where turning back on and things where improving. Then my rainbow baby Q was born and the world was spinning right again. It was so NICE, refreshing, rejuvenating, relieving to be back to me again. I like being hyper and I like feeling strong. Those two things were not possible during that grey year.
Now it has been four years. It doesn't seem possible that time had flown that fast. I'm so glad to have that behind me. To have that in my past and not in my current problems. I can tell my story when it suits the situation and not cry. It's not a secret in my past, it made me a fundamentally better and truer to the real me person than I was before I lost that baby. And then there is Quinny.
Quinny is the last baby, the youngest in a family of four kids. He fits the role perfectly. He is Max's twin in looks and Lily's rival in dominance. That kid was meant for me. And he would have been an egg that would not have been used if we hadn't lost that other baby. I don't mourn that baby anymore as the person that we lost. I feel fear and great sadness that that kind of depression lived in me and affected my family for that year. I wish they hadn't had to go through that journey with me. I wish Lily hadn't been afraid the entire time I was pregnant with Q that he was going to die. But I don't miss that baby, I don't ache for him like I did. I really took his place in my heart and let Q have it all to himself. I'm not sure that really is ok. To just forget the love I had for that baby. But that is just how my heart healed and I have examined it all pretty closely recently. I don't think there is a secret black hole of sadness waiting to pop out at some point. I think it really is that his death left a hole and Q just filled it right up.
Time will tell, but the gist of it all is I am still a stronger and truer Brooke than I was prior to that hardship. I like the new me way better than who I was before. I immediately became a stronger person, and my whole family has benefited from it since I could shake off the grey cloud. I write this last part with Q actually wrapped around my neck like a scarf trying to grab something off my desk.
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