Our Blessings

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

the easy part

Glory is 1 month old today! How is that possible?! Time when I was pregnant went so, so slow, and now it's moving at the speed of light. She still looks and feels and acts like a brand newborn though... probably because she's only 4 days past her actual due date. She has her 1 month check later today and I'm definitely anxious to see what she weighs.

I've had a few people ask me, my therapist included, if I've been, or if I'm going to be writing about Glory. My simple answer is this.. I guess I'd rather be with her than write about her. Even right now, I wasn't thrilled about putting her down to write anything. I *do* put her down... sometimes :) But not very often. I don't know HOW I'm going to go back to work. Ever. I have never been separated from her except for a few minutes to run into Target or the grocery store while my mom or John stayed in the car with her. Yesterday, I was going into the store and told my mom to drive across the street to mail some letters, then come right back to pick me up.. but then I said nevermind. I wanted her to wait in the parking lot for me. I didn't want her driving away with Glory. She had to at least be as near as right outside the store I was in. Seriously... going to work??? HOW?!

Yesterday we were in Old Navy and the woman behind me in line said "aw, that's a little baby. how old is she?" I said "4 weeks." She said "they never tell you this is the easy part. and then they grow up and become like him and you can't keep up", referring to her toddler aged son in her cart. I was just half-grinning, I guess... the check-out clerk said "how old is he?" and she said "almost 2."

uh-huh. I have another daughter. and she'd be "almost 2" too. I think it's a little rude.. or weird at best, to give advice to a complete stranger.. let alone how audacious it is to tell the mother of a newborn how easy she has it. I wonder how many hours of sleep SHE got the past few nights, because we could perhaps compare notes. I imagine the conversation could have gone a little different if I'd chosen to speak more than two words to her (the two words being "four" and "weeks".)

her - how old is she?me - four weeks.

her -they never tell you this is the easy part. and then they grow up and become like him and you can't keep up.

me - this isn't my first.

now technically, although she's not my first, i don't know what it's like to have an almost 2 year old or what it was like to have a newborn until now. regardless.. she was making assumptions about my life. and how easy it is because i dont know yet how hard toddlerhood is. please, no lectures about her good intentions. after all, i spared her her own fat foot in her mouth, although i dont know why i spared her, she's the one who got personal in the first place. my mom said "because it's hard to talk about it all the time". i said "it's hard NOT to talk about it".. and she said "it's just hard."

anyway... perhaps...

me - this isn't my first.

her - oh ok, how old is your other one?

me - she'd be almost 2, too, but she died the day she was born. [edit - she was born the day she died.]

her, mortified - oh my gosh! I'm so sorry!

and she may or may not have asked me what happened. some people do, some don't. I imagine she would have asked, because she'd want to know if she's immune to it, if it's something that only happens to other people. Either way, she could have gotten a free lesson on assuming what other people have been through. Just because I'm walking around happy and blessed with my beautiful newborn, I'm not a new mom. And maybe this is the easy part, but only because it's ALL "the easy part" when your child is actually alive. I'm sure her little guy keeps her running. I'm hoping and praying that in about a year, I'll experience "the hard part" of raising a toddler, too. But I promise her, it's harder to be without your toddler than it is to have the luxury to be utterly exhausted by them.

I wrote about Kathlyn all the time in my early grief, because I felt like I couldn't do it alone. I needed an outlet, I needed people to listen. I still think about her every minute, but the grief thoughts are the same and I ran out of new things to write. But I think I miss her more now that I have Glory, which I didn't think was possible. I miss her more now because I'm learning exactly what I missed. Those eyes staring up at you while you're nursing. That soft skin. Those baby noises. Pushing the stroller. Taking photographs. Dressing her up. Watching her with John. Just plain looking at her. I want it with Kathlyn. I want to be doing this the second time around. I want to be a seasoned pro at the newborn thing and be learning the toddler thing. A question that's also come up recently is "how many children do you want?" when we talk about having more. (not quite as hard as the ever popular "how many children do you have?" that comes from complete strangers). I've always been the kind of person who would love to have a lot of children.. my dad was one of seven. But now, really, I would give anything to just have the two I already had. My Kathlyn and my Glory. With a cherry on top.



  1. I think every stage has its own challenges so I wouldn't say that one is harder than the other. I know it bugs me when people make assumptions based only on what they see

  2. I hear ya on going back to work. I have less than 3 weeks left, and I'm not putting him down! I'm typing one-handed now. :)

  3. As you know, I have a toddler. He is hard work. Exhausting. Some days I wonder how I do it. But then as I often say, he's the easy part of my life. Caring for him is nothing compared to not getting to care for my daughter. Who should be here, just like Kathlyn.

  4. Oh Beth....I am so with you in how hard this is...the same genders, the looking so much alike---We now know in a way we never could have what we truly lost and it hurts like it did when we first lost them, if that is possible. At least for me....my imagination of what i miss with Matthew is now replaced with reality of a sweet baby boy and it is so bittersweet. Sending you love!

  5. I had two children before Emma died so, in a way, I *knew* what I was missing out on and yet, and yet, I was still unprepared for how much deeper my longing for Emma was after Toby was born ... (and I still don't put him down very often and he's fourteen months!)