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Abbey, Delayne, and Kerri

Probably not surprisingly to anyone, I am struggling when I see babies and pregnant women.  Those two things are a concrete reminder to me of what I lost.  The bottom line is that they make me sad.   Sometimes, they even bring me to tears.

Right now, I can't even fathom wanting to hold a baby.  The last baby I held was Tripp.  I can remember exactly how it felt.  I remember how heavy he felt and how it felt to have his chest cavity expanding, in and out, on my arm.  I just can't handle the thought of that memory getting mixed up with that of holding another baby.

Abbey
Abbey is my sister-in-law (she married Hugh's brother, Billy) and she gave birth to our nephew, Pace at the beginning of December.  We got to spend a ton of time with Billy, Abbey, Maddy (Abbey's daughter) and Pace over the holidays and into January.  We had time to imagine our kids together and to laugh about Calder bossing Pace and our baby around at future family functions.  Then when we had Tripp, we quickly made plans for the boys not only to be cousins, but close friends as well.  I don't have a cousin the same age as me, let alone the same sex so I was so thrilled for Tripp and for Pace that they were going to have this.


In the days surrounding Tripp's birth and death, our families basically lived at our house.  This meant that we had a fairly newborn baby living at our house.  I didn't want it to be hard, but it was.  It was hard to see him being fed, cuddled and rocked and it was hard to hear him cry and coo.   The thing is, I love Pace and I felt so conflicted by the feelings I had.  It is one thing to turn away from a baby out in public and another to have a hard time looking at my own nephew.


Delayne
Delayne grew up with me in Tisdale.  We were friends through school and have become even better friends since graduation.  Delayne and I spent most of the last few months pregnant together.  She got a midwife and loved it, so I got a midwife.  Delayne gave birth to her son, Kyden at the end of January and had a perfect experience.   Delayne came to the hospital to visit me on the Sunday after we had Tripp (Sunday was our good day) and we talked about how our boys were going to be such good friends.


Delayne and I had made a coffee date at the start of February to meet during the February break (the week after Tripp was born) so I could meet Kyden.  This obviously didn't take place.  Delayne and her husband Darren have an older son, Deklen who had his 3rd birthday this Sunday.  I was nervous to go to the party, but went.  After some small talk, Delayne asked me if I had seen Kyden.  I told her no.  I hadn't seen Kyden, but I did see that he was sleeping in his car seat and I couldn't bring myself to look at him.   It was hard to see her breastfeed him and to see her brother proudly walk around with him.


Kerri
Kerri and I became friends when I started teaching in P.A. in 2004.  We played ball together, met the loves of our lives and both eventually moved to Martensville.  Kerri's son Dylan is 3 months older than Calder and Kerri looked after Calder when I went back to work.  Our husband's are friends and we do family things together all the time.  Kerri is pregnant and is due at the end of May, which made us exactly 10 weeks apart.  Kerri and I talk on a daily basis and often times multiple times a day.  This gave us plenty of opportunities to discuss things as our pregnancies progressed.   Kerri and I couldn't have been more thrilled at having our 2nd children be the same age.  We talked about how great it would be doing our family get togethers with all 4 kids.  We couldn't wait to have our 2nd children become as good a friends as our first are.  


When I first saw Kerri after Tripp died, I did my best to pretend she wasn't pregnant.  Kerri is my best friend and I didn't want to feel around her the way I felt around other pregnant woman.  For the most part pretending worked at first, but Kerri has a beautiful belly that doesn't let me pretend for long.  I see our boys playing together and it reminds me of what Tripp will miss out on. . . what I will miss out on.  I found myself crying every time I left her company.


I have just recently got to talk with Abbey, Delayne and Kerri about these things.  It was hard to bring up.  I had to admit that being around these 3 supportive, wonderful woman was making me sad.  I hated to even think about it, let alone say it out loud.  In many ways I was embarrassed I was feeling this way. They love me and I love them.  But, I was sad.

I talked to Abbey first.  I could barely even say the words, "it's hard to be around Pace."  Abbey teared up and said, "it's o.k.  We knew.  We totally understand."  She went on to say there are times when she finds it hard to be around Pace because he reminds her of Tripp.  She also said she found it hard to even bring him to our house, because she knew how hard it must be for us.  I was so focused on myself and my own grief that I hadn't realized how much Abbey was grieving and the extent to which that grief went.  Not only is she a mom, she is Tripp's aunt.    

I saw Delayne next at her Deklen's birthday.  As I stumbled on my words about how hard it is for me around babies, she grabbed my arm and said over and over, "it's o.k.  I understand."  She hugged me and we cried.  Delayne reminded me that no matter what is going on, our friendship won't change and that she loves me.  

I was dreading my conversation with Kerri the most.  I was feeling bad being around Pace and Kyden.  Her baby hasn't even been born yet.  I know that the hardest part is yet to come.  Kerri was no different than the other two.  We cried and she said, "I know.  I find it hard to be around you, too.  I can't even imagine how you must be feeling."  Kerri feels alone now.  We were walking the exact same paths in our lives and now my has went in a different direction.  She doesn't want complain about her pregnancy with me.  She said that would be selfish and she wouldn't do that to me.  Kerri loves me and wants to protect me.  

I have read this over a number of times and can't figure out what to say.  I just can't figure out how to put my feelings into words, let alone how to sum this up. . . 

I know I am lucky to have these 3 woman in my lives.  I know that they are grieving.  I know that I want to be there for them, but I also know that it is going to take time for me to be fully there for them.  I want them to feel completely comfortable around me, just like they want me to feel the same around them.  I know that day will come, but I am just not sure when it will be.  

So, in the mean time, I am going to work on it.  I am going to look at Pace, Kyden and Kerri's belly a little bit more each time I see them.  I am going to work at asking them more questions about their babies.  I know that as I heal, my sadness will become further away and the complete and utter happiness I feel for them and for their babies will begin to shine through.

I know I am lucky to have them.

Comments

  1. Jordan,
    I am tentative in writing any comments for the same reasons as your close friends. I don't want to bring up any more difficult emotions than you are already feeling. But I have to tell you, any pregnant woman or new mother who knows the loss you've suffered would completely understand the difficulty you have being around them or their babies.
    I almost made a comment on your wall on facebook, but then deleted it because of my profile picture. I hope you don't ever take a person's distance as uncaring; the truth is we are trying to hide you from the pain as much as you are.
    Jen

    ReplyDelete
  2. Jordan,

    I am so glad you were able to talk to these women. As hard as it was, it needed to be done. Like they said, they have just as hard of a time around you as you do around them. Taking this step of talking with these women have brought you closer together. Each of you were thinking the same thing. Instead of staying silent and having the thoughts just pass between you, and sometimes build up a wall between you, you have knocked it down. With everyone's feelings out in the open, you have taken the first step to ensure your friendship with these women will continue to grow and eventually, through truth and honesty, everyone will get back to being 100% comfortable with each other.

    Being so far away from you is very hard, and I take solace in knowing you are surrounded by such good friends.

    Love Jes

    ReplyDelete

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