Friday, May 8, 2015

You are me

I really felt like I was on the path toward healing until an event in my life sent me back to the day I held my still daughter in my arms.  Just as I was gaining momentum, I had to start all over again.  The event that sent me back was supposed to be a happy one.  One that we had planned for and looked forward to: the birth of my friend’s daughter.  Shortly after I told her I was pregnant with Quinn, she told me she was pregnant again as well.  The timing was almost as if she was inspired by the life of Quinn in my belly to bring new life to hers.  We would be once again raising our babies together.

Oh, how incredibly happy I am for them that they have a beautiful and healthy girl.  But, for every ounce of happy I have triple the longing for Quinn.  When I look at their new baby, my body literally aches.  When I first found out that her baby was born, I was obsessed with hearing the details.  Vaginal or C-section?  Complications?  Was the baby ok?  Was my friend ok?  I had to reign myself in with my compulsive questions.  I was searching for something to hold on to.  When I learned her labor was smooth sailing, I was relieved but so confused.  Her delivery couldn’t have been fine, right?  Did she just go to the hospital and have a healthy baby?  Was it really that easy?

I avoided their house for days, not able to look at it in fear of seeing her baby.  I dropped off food and gifts on their porch, but couldn’t go in.   However, the time has come and we are having them over tonight, baby too, to clear the air.  Our older daughters are good friends, and their birth and our death has distanced our relationship.  We want to mend our wounds and heal together.  I’m thinking of it as a ceremonial event for us to welcome their baby into our lives.

I am far from being a poet, but I wrote this poem to allow myself to feel what I was feeling, to hold it for a moment, so I can move forward.  I see my friend and her growing family as a reflection of what we should be – our older and younger girls the same age.  Both of us sharing in the novelty of being a family of four.  I will gain comfort that we share being families of four, just never in the way I imagined.  


You are me

I watch your belly grow,

Jealous of your chance to birth life.

Our dreams for the future fade,

Washed away by the ocean of hope.  

A cry slips beneath your window,

Echoing in my crater of hurt.

Your dark silhouette paces the midnight hall,

Mine slumbers in deep sorrow.

The tiny voice of your oldest, proudly pronouncing her name,

The longing look of mine, pointing at the urn lying above.

You are a reflection of me.

Of my family,

Of my hopes,

Of my dreams.

When I see you,

I see me.

But in the fullness of your heart,

Lays the shattered pieces of mine.

I am not you. 


  1. These are my feelings too. How did it all go? was the anticipation worse than seeing her baby or was it as awful as you had imagined? Did you grieve for Quinn more from seeing her with her baby? was it awkward?

    My friend is due 2 weeks after our Still born daughters 1st birthday and it makes me worried/sick to imagine it, as I grieve she will be so happy and I am worried that what you write of, that it will make me go backwards too , that ill be avoiding them (as I do now shes showing) I feel terrible but I dont know how to deal with it?!

  2. It's so tough. You want to happy for them but it's hard not to let your own feelings complicate it. For me, hearing of the birth and the anticipation of meeting the baby was worse than actually meeting the baby. The moment I heard of the birth, that triggered a huge setback for me. But, I've been able to progress with moving forward much more quickly than with my first days after Quinn arrived. The day before, I ran into my friend's husband, holding the baby, for a very quick second. I felt a pang of hurt but that took some of the shock away from when I formally met her. The day I formally met her, I was able to write in my journal and "be" with Quinn for a bit. Feeling connected with her helped with the visit and it was ok. I was able to see and hold the baby. I was worried I would either feel totally empty/sad or completely obsessed with her (wanting to feel and touch a baby to satisfy my longing for Quinn). However, I was ok. I was able to hold her, be happy for my friend, and genuinely enjoy the baby and all her cuteness.

    When is your friend due?