Holding Crue in my arms is one of the most painful, yet healing, experiences of my life. I’m literally on an emotional roller coaster. I can stare at his little chubby face for hours and I feel so incredibly blessed to do this again; to be someone’s mommy. To me there is nothing better. To be completely needed and loved by someone is an incredible feeling. Like I did with Nash, I look at Crue and thank Todd for giving him to me, only now I do that through tears instead of smiles.
There are things that creep into my mind that I can’t stop. I can be having a completely happy moment and then I look at him sleeping so peacefully, eyes closed, hands crossed on his chest, and I gasp and cry because he resembles his brother laying in that casket. I look at his perfectly round head and see the huge incision that stretched across Nash’s from his autopsy. These are images that don’t leave my mind. Seeing my baby and knowing that could be a reality again for me is scary. Who wants to see that when they look at their baby?
When Nash died, it was hard to wrap my mind around it. When I first saw him on that hospital bed, it had been six hours since I last saw him alive and my brain had a hard time processing what was happening. It still does. I think that’s my mind’s way of protecting me from going over the edge. Having Crue is a constant reminder of what I lost and could lose again. He brings back a flood of memories, memories I had forgotten and now feel guilty for forgetting. When he cries as I change his diaper, I remember Nash doing that, and I am mad that he spent even a second of his short life crying.
I think about the times I lost my patience and feel terrible. When I feel myself getting frustrated with Crue, I breakdown. I don’t want him to know a second of anger or frustration. Now I know that is impossible. Every mother has guilt and every mother gets frustrated…but for me it’s a reminder of feeling that way even for a second with Nash. To think any part of his life was hard because of me is painful. Sometimes I’ll be holding Crue and be so overwhelmingly happy that I cry from the guilt that feeling brings. Or I cry because I can’t do that with Nash. It’s hard for me to separate one feeling from the other.
I have a lot of guilt about being a bad mother. My child is dead because of choices I made. I chose that sitter. Granted, I didn’t think he would die, but because of that choice he is gone. I know with Crue that at any point in life, even with something as simple as driving to the grocery store, something could happen like getting in an accident. I feel the heaviness of that. It weighs on me like a ton of bricks. I’m also afraid of being judged by others. I know how hard I judge myself. I feel that I failed Nash, that I made bad choices. I was supposed to protect him. Will I make the right choices for Crue?
Now with all that being said, this isn’t how I always feel. I would say I feel that way 10% of the time. The other 90% I’m completely head over heals in love with Crue. I kiss him endlessly! I never, and I mean never, put him down unless it’s for someone else to hold him. If he wakes up at 3 am, I turn on the TV and smile. I’ll ask him what he wants to watch, and then I tell him I haven’t had a better date night in my life. I am constantly talking to him about starting out his emergency room visits with something small like a cold or stitches. That he needs to ease me into these kinds of things. I could stare at him for hours. I hold his little hand and my tears fall all over him as I smile. I love him immensely.
He always looks at me with this furrowed brow of confusion. Nash smiled from the minute he was born. Crue is more serious. He studies everything with his eyes. If I sing to him, he just looks at me confused; apparently I haven’t found his song yet. The only time he smiles is in his sleep, and the dimple on his right cheek (opposite of Nash’s) shines like a little beacon and fills my heart. Nothing makes me happier than his sleeping smiles. I love giving him a bath and then wrapping him in a warm blanket and snuggling him close. Pulling him to me and kissing his little lips. I stare at him knowing I will do everything in my power to make sure he lives a long, happy and healthy life. I allow myself to think of the future and what it will be like to get a kiss or hug for him. To see him run and hug his daddy or even call him Dad for that matter. These small things to most are things I know are not promised.
I feel on edge allowing myself to think about these things again. I don’t want to get my hopes up. At the same time, to know that if everything goes as it should, this time next year I’ll have a walking, talking, kissing, and hugging, sweet baby boy puts an instant smile on my face and temporarily stops the ache I feel in my soul. It’s all I have ever wanted. To know it’s within reach again gives me hope. If his sleeping smiles bring me that much joy, I can’t imagine what his first waking ones will do for my broken heart. Loving Crue is easy…learning to separate my grief for his brother and my love for him is the challenge. I have no doubt I will learn to do this though. These are just small bumps in the road until I’m off to smooth sailing.