Kerri and Drew

In the last week, I have had Tripp’s 3 month birthday, the 3 month anniversary of his death, and on Tuesday Kerri gave birth to her son, Drew.  I have had a myriad of emotions this week with the most prominent one being the fear of the unknown.  I have dealt with the 2 days surrounding Tripp’s birth and death before, but how I would feel when Kerri had the baby was uncharted.

I found that as time got closer to the date of Kerri’s scheduled c-section, I began to feel overwhelmed.  The realization that things were going to change scared me.  Kerri and I had Dylan and Calder 3 months apart.  We spent the last 3 years on the same journey, being pregnant to having infants and then toddlers.  We came full circle when we became pregnant again with due dates 2 months apart.  Kerri and I were going to go through everything together again.  I remember jumping up and yelling when she told me she was expecting.  I was excited for her, but I was excited for me too.  I loved being on the journey with Kerri and looked forward to doing it again.  Kerri and I knew our youngest were going to be best friends just like Calder and Dylan were.  It felt perfect. 

The last couple of weeks I have been afraid.  Afraid that I wouldn’t feel happy when she had the baby.  All logic told me I was happy.  I wanted Kerri and Chris to have a second child.  I wanted Dylan to be a big brother.  I wanted their baby to arrive safely and be healthy.  I wanted these things because I love Kerri.  These things make Kerri happy and I wanted her to be happy.  My fear?  What if I didn’t feel happy?  What if I was so sad for my loss that I didn’t feel happy for her?  What kind of friend would I be?  I remember when they had Dylan how I felt.  I remember how I didn’t feel that happiness for a moment, I felt that, pit of your stomach jitters, for days.  I was elated.  I wanted to feel that happy for them this time, but I know I can’t make myself feel a certain way, even if I want to.  I will feel whatever I feel.

On Monday, I called Kerri to see how her weekend went.  We hadn’t spoken since Friday, which is a significant amount of time for us to go without talking.  For 20 minutes we talked about the usual. . . our husbands, our sons, and how we spent our weekend.  When it was time to go Kerri thanked me for calling and noted that she knew it must have been hard for me.  I broke down.  I told her it was hard, but not nearly as hard as not calling. She is my best friend.  We ended the conversations with tear soaked “I love yous”.

Later that night I got this email from Kerri:

Hi Jordan

Since we ended our conversation both blubbering I just wanted to send you a little email.

I just wanted to thank you for the phone call. I know that must have been so hard for you, but you need to know how much that meant to me. I know you guys are thinking of us and it has to be hard. I wish I had the words to make all of this easier.

Know that we love you guys. Talk to you soon...

Your friend

After reading the email, I knew I needed to respond.  I had briefly told Kerri a few of the things I was feeling on the phone, but I had done some more thinking about how I felt and realized I hadn’t told her everything. Here is my response.

When I got off the phone, Hugh had been listening to the last few minutes.  He told me he loved me.  I wiped away my tears and told him I felt bad for you.  

I feel bad that because of our friendship, tomorrow, in what will be tied for the happiest day of your life with Dylan's Birth Day, you might feel guilt over feeling happy.  Tomorrow you will have a healthy baby and you should feel complete and utter joy. . . But maybe guilt is the wrong word, I don't want to assume I know how you are going to feel, but I do know, in your happiest moment, I want you to be HAPPY.  I don't want you to feel bad for us.  I want you to have that moment without any other feelings. Just love and happiness.  You deserve it.  I want that for you.

So tomorrow, don't worry about me.  I am going to be completely fine.  You and I can have tears over my loss any day.  Your baby will only have 1 Birth Day.

I love you and will be anxiously awaiting news on your healthy bundle.

Love your friend, 

Tuesday, Kerri gave birth to her son, Drew.  Tuesday was one of my hardest days since February.  I relived many of the moments and emotions I had when we lost Tripp.  I couldn’t stop feeling sad and jealous.  

I have been using the word “jealous” for the past couple of weeks when I describe Kerri’s impending delivery, and so my sister, Jes, googled it this morning and sent me the link.  Jealous doesn’t quite fit.  Jealousy is the emotion when you fear something or someone might be taken away, so for example you may get jealous when someone flirts with your spouse.  Envy is the emotion when one wants something that someone else has.  Envy fits.  This is from Wikipedia:

Envy is best defined as an emotion that "occurs when a person lacks another's (perceived) superior quality, achievement, or possession and either desires it or wishes that the other lacked it.”

I am envious that Drew was healthy and Tripp was not.  I am envious that Kerri has her baby and I don’t have mine.  I desire Tripp, but in that same breath, not one part of me wishes Kerri didn’t have Drew. In fact, even just thinking about Kerri not having Drew makes me feel sick.  I just want what she has.

If the other person is perceived to be similar to the envier, the aroused envy will be particularly intense, because it signals to the envier that it just as well could have been he or she who had the desired object.

I am so glad Jes emailed me that link.  This last statement explains why I am feeling such intense emotion. Hugh isn’t feeling the same way as I am and because of this, I have felt a bit alone in my emotional response. This definition may not cover it completely, but it is a starting point.  I perceive myself to be extremely similar to Kerri, and because of this I am feeling a greater response to Drew’s birth.

Today, I feel better than yesterday and I know time heals, so tomorrow I will be a little better than today.  I don’t want to envy Kerri.  I want to feel happiness for her, because I am happy.  I am just feeling too much sadness for my own loss that the happiness isn’t able to push through. . . yet.

I wrote this post yesterday and I wanted Kerri’s o.k. before I posted it.  I texted her husband, Chris, to see if I could email it to his phone.  Here is what he wrote:

Jordan, you can say whatever you need to say.  You can’t hurt our feelings over how you’re feeling. Since we got here (the hospital), we can’t stop thinking about what you guys went through.  Whatever you need to say, you can say it. However you’re feeling, you can feel. We love you guys.

Chris and Kerri didn’t want to read the post.  In their moment, they are thinking of me.  I am so fortunate to have them as friends.

I love you, Kerri, Chris, Dylan and Drew.


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