August 5th. The day my babies died.
My breath caught in my throat. After a quick deliberation, I signed up to chaperone that day. I suppose it's better to spend a few hours at a park and getting ice cream with my rainbow boy, who turns two in just six days, than trying not to cry while sitting among my co-workers at my desk, very few of whom know my story.
It's clear that so many people around me have forgotten about our babies. Life has moved on. We have a handsome handful of a towhead toddler running us ragged. We must be all fixed, like none of it ever happened.
It's true that I have joy in my life today. I laugh every day at and with my funny boy. He's the life of every party, and has a harem of little girlfriends at daycare. He's a sunshine, no doubt, an extrovert and people person, making friends right and left with people of all ages. As much happiness as he brings me, his siblings are missing. There are holes in our family that can't be filled by anyone, not even him.
This past weekend we joined other bereaved parents at the TEARS Foundation's Rock & Walk event in honor of our lost babies. In talking with my friend at and after the event, several feelings came up: the anxiety leading up to the event, the absolute annoyance during the event (like why in fuck do we need a 45 minute opening ceremony when we're really all there just to remember and honor our dead babies?), and the emotional exhaustion after. As I walked slowly around the track with my mom ahead of Paul and Asher, I said, "I still cannot believe this is my life." The life of dead babies. Of years of heartbreak and infertility. The exclusion. The isolation. The trying to navigate joy with pain, the devastating guilt I feel when Asher is pummeling my very last nerve, wondering when, if ever, these contradictory feelings will fade.
We're almost to the four year mark. I can look back in my mind's eye to the events that happened on the 4th and 5th of August so many years ago as if I'm watching someone else's movie, detached. But the lingering effects of our journey to build a family and claw my way through the reality of life after babyloss are still very much real and alive.
It hurts my heart.