My superimposed life

September 28, 2008

The way things should have been is superimposed on the way things are, and the shadow of what I want looms so large over this reality that sometimes I can almost taste, smell, and hear what I don’t have. So much potential and so many moments have been lost that the moments I am actually living are all haunted by what could have been.

Yesterday, for example, felt something like this:

I wake up in the morning, gasp when the loss sinks in again, stumble downstairs to get coffee. I can drink as much coffee as I like now. Still not sure how I feel about that.
I wake up in the very early morning to the sound of Teddy making pre-crying noises, reach over to the co-sleeper and pull him to me for his early morning feeding. N stirs but doesn’t wake up and I wonder if it would be mean to nudge him so that he can do the diaper changing this time.

I pack N’s backpack with books to return to the library, and then walk down the hill with Mom and Dad. When I check out some DVDs and a couple of books I run into one of N’s colleagues at the desk with his two children, who both want to carry their books home. He says hi, and I say hi, and I hate thinking like this but don’t know why his children are here and our child is gone.
I pack N’s backpack with books to return to the library, and then show off the baby sling we picked up in Portland. Dad slings the backpack over his shoulder and I get Teddy situated in the sling before we walk down the hill to the library. I hunt for lullaby collections on the CD rack and talk to Teddy about all the books we’ll read to him. I nod hello to one of N’s colleagues at the desk while asking about the library’s Mother Goose story times.

Dad and I sit on the sofa, watching the Cubs game, both of us wishing we knew what to say to each other, both of us so afraid to talk about Teddy that we just don’t. Cubs win.
Dad and I sit on the sofa, watching the Cubs game. Teddy is in my arms, sporting his Cubs cap. He holds on to Dad’s finger, tight, tight, and we joke about whether or not it’s a good parenting move to raise this little boy up as a Cubs fan.

We go to dinner with my parents, and I try to not think about the adorable tow-headed tyke in the booster seat at the neighboring booth. I drink too much sangria
We sit down to dinner with my parents. Mom has generously cooked for us, which is good because N and I are still tired and adapting to having a baby in the house. We wait and wait for Teddy to nap before we can eat and Mom scoops him up when he fusses. The help is nice, but we’re kind of looking forward to having T all to ourselves again. I sip some wine from N’s glass.

After dinner we play cards with my parents and there is a bit of joking about how Mom and her friends don’t talk so much about their kids now as they did when we were all in college. I say, “Maybe we need to lead more interesting li..” and then stop before I can tempt the fates further.
After dinner we play cards with my parents, having finally coaxed Teddy to sleep. While we play we talk about babies, about how my brother and I slept when we were tiny, about late night feedings and walking the floor singing lullabies, about never-ending laundry. We laugh at the story of the first time N was peed on, changing a diaper.

I help Mom make up the guest bed and then head upstairs where I read until 1:00 a.m., wishing I were tired enough to go to sleep without thinking about Teddy being gone. I start crying in the middle of a chapter and can’t turn it off. N holds me till I can stop, and I get up, use the bathroom, cry a bit more, blow my nose and return to bed, wishing that crying didn’t involve so much snot. Finally we fall asleep.
I help Mom make up the guest bed, and then Mom and Dad walk upstairs to say goodnight to their grandson. The four adults stand around for a while, smiling at the beauty that is a sleeping baby. After the new grandparents head downstairs to the guest bed, N and I lie down together, tired, happy, grateful, catching some sleep while we can.


  1. ((hugs)) to you, mama. ((hugs)) to you.

  2. Many many gentle hugs to you… we’re holding your hand. The way you write here… it’s so vivid, imagining that paralell world. There’s a whole host of mamas out here who understand, and I’m so glad you’re with us and sharing your voice.

    On a pratical note we’ve shifted around the discussion area at Glow in the Woods – I wanted you to know that your post is still there, but simply has a new home. Thank you so much for being a part of our motley crew, but as we always must caveat, we wish you weren’t.

    Much love and peace and light. Be patient with yourself, and reach out anytime you need an ear.
    xo sweetsalty kate

  3. I could have written this… I am so right there by your side. My daughter Tikva was also born with CDH and lived for 8 weeks and 2 days. Today is 8 weeks and 2 days since she left us… It’s not easier yet. One day at a time. I am glad to have stumbled onto your blog. Here’s mine: http://www.growinginside.blogspot.com. Blessings to you.

  4. […] to offer us babysitting services in case we wanted to explore the city.  And I started doing my superimposing trick again.  I could close my eyes and see what it would be like if Teddy were there with us – that […]

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