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Dare I write? Dare I start down this path again with Lu’s second pregnancy?
I’ve had the urge to go back and read what I wrote about each of the stages of her carrying Silas, but frankly, I’m scared. I’m scared of the innocence and naivety in my writing from that time. I’m scared of being confident and cocksure that everything is going to go perfectly this time. I’m scared of reading that confidence in my past posts now knowing how wrong I was.
I’ve considered putting this blog to rest altogether, and let it stand as is, as a testament to Silas’s brief time with us. Instead I could start a new one to chronicle these next nine months.
I’ve also entertained the idea that I shouldn’t write at all this time. That perhaps the words themselves were the jinx that took him from us, and how dare I risk that again?
But I hate being afraid, and I don’t believe this blog was a jinx in any way.
I also hate it when I tell people Lu is pregnant and they say “Oh how exciting, you’re going to be a father!”
I want to correct them and tell them NO, I *might* become a father. It could happen. I hope more than anything that I do become a father. But for now I’m just a potential-father. A Maybe-Dad. A hopefully-father-to-be, if the Universe allows it. If genetics and nature line up just-so. If we are as lucky this time as we were unluckly last.
For the last 3 nights I’ve barely slept. My stomach was bloated and roiling and my mind could not find the path to quiet slumber. Once I hit 4:30am and I was still awake, again, the knowledge that I was fucked for tomorrow made it even harder to still my thoughts and drift away. Even pointless tv couldn’t shut me down. Finally at 6am pure exhaustion took over and I slept for a few hours, but when I had to get up for work I was in slow-mo, and that stayed all day.
So much of our focus was just getting to this point. Yet, it took so long, it felt like it was never going to happen. I had to train my brain to think only of right now, of this, of here. Now we are ‘expecting’ and I am terrified of expectations. The stress and fear mixed with hope and love has me in knots. In order to stay sane I’ve taught myself to be happy enough with whatever was right in front of me. So that’s exactly what I’m going to keep on doing.
Today Lu is pregnant. A tiny, beautiful heart beats within her. Her boobs are bodacious and her skin has an amazing glow. She’s been tired and off to bed early and I’m trying to make her take it as easy as I can, but she’s not one for slowing down for anything. Today she woke up and felt like she might be getting a little cold, but that could just be her body reacting to the pregnancy. After all, that happened last time, I checked.
The moment stretched for eternity.
I could see the screen as the image shifted, the doctor moving the ultrasound device.
He paused on a void. He twisted and focused.
I saw a whisper of motion and then his smile broke the sound barrier and I knew what he was going to say before the words existed.
“There, you see it?”
I saw it, so did Lu.
“That’s a heartbeat,” he said.
It was true. It is true.
There is a flutter of hope within.
I should close this blog. I should shut it down and walk away. Perhaps this place these words my chronicled expectations are the jinx that prevents me from becoming exactly what I want to be.
I’m dangling. I’m done. I’m done wondering when I get to be a Dad.
Oh yeah sure I know I know how I’m Silas’s Dad and like it’s all okay because you know it’s just fine. You’re strong, you’re okay you’re going to be okay you’re doing great. All true, except the Dad part. Not that.
Got home at 2am tonight. Got a ton of shit to do tomorrow. I’ll probably go to bed at midnight tomorrow night after finishing everything I need to do. Not that it matters; my schedule is mostly my own. Lu works hard, too. All the time she’s on the go getting shit done to run her business.
We do it because we can, and because we have to. There is no Silas to dictate our lives. In our hearts he’s there of course, but we don’t have to do anything at all to hold him there. Out here in the apartment it is just cats and work and time together to eat and sleep and garden and read. It looks placid, but that is because we’re good at this now.
I’ll sleep flipping over and over and over. I’ll dream and maybe remember snatches. They’re always the same these days. They are always about the unattainable. The dreams are about friends I can’t see at concerts that never happened. Complex interactions and events cascade through my sleep and I flip and flip and flip over and over and over.
I’ve learned how to not clench my hands when I sleep. Everyone should try this. When you sleep, lay your hands flat against the cool sheen of the sheet. Spread your fingers wide. Lay your hands between the pillow and the mattress. Sleep with your hands wide open and flat because it feels good and right and smooth.
I lay flat and I flip from back to front to side to back again. No Silas. Not a Dad. This page is a mockery of everything I want. It is an affront to reality. I’ve gone for the hope, for the belief, for the obviously easy because everyone around us is clearly okay to make and have babies. To be parents.
Elm City Guy. Elm City Roaster. Now maybe Elm City Bartender but Not in New Haven so Not Really Elm City Either… Guy Who Does Lots of Things Besides… Well… You Know… Being A Dad. Elm City Douchebag. Elm City Fuck You. Elm City Leave Me The Fuck Alone Because I’ve Got Shit To-Do!
Phew. I’m glad that’s out there. I hope that didn’t hurt anyone, but damn that felt good.
Maybe I’ll be a dad someday. Until then this blog is named as it is as a hope for what could be. If anyone is listening/reading that can do anything about this, all I have to say is seriously, stop fucking with us. We’ve had enough.
I’m going to be a dad. Lu is going to be a mom. We are taking actions and steps far beyond what most people have to do, but we’re doing it because it feels right and because once it finally happens I’m pretty sure we’ll be pretty good at it. And that’s not bragging, that’s hope.
I have had these images of myself with my feet stuck in cement, and everyone else is just flying past me. Their lives are moving forward, baby after baby being born. And here I am, stuck. While I know I’ve moved forward in these last 9 months in so many other ways, I am still not a mom to a living child. As a teacher, I have always taken care of other people’s children. I have always imagined what it would be like to finally have children of my own. I almost did.
When we decided it was time to start our family, we were still in SF. The timing never seemed to work, and then we decided to move east. At that point, we figured we’d wait until we were settled in a new town in a new apt. As soon as that time finally came, we got pregnant pretty quickly. It happened so fast and so unexpectedly. Our bodies really were connected with our minds.
Here I am, years later from when we first decided we were ready, and we’re back to square one. It’s so frustrating and so upsetting. I am realizing that in all this, I am scared to death that it will never happen. I am terrified that I will never get to be a mom. One by one, all the babylost mom’s out there are getting pregnant again. Then here I sit, waiting, stuck, a life on hold. It’s almost unbearable at times.
I have the angel on one shoulder whispering in my ear in the most hopeful of voices “of course you will get pregnant again, don’t be silly.” I have the devil shouting at me “don’t set yourself up for disappointment again, look what happened to you already.” and the battle continues. Do I fill myself up with hope that it will happen to me? Or do I put away all thoughts of what will & could be and accept what is now.
I don’t want to accept it. I imagine my Silas with me, 9 months old, almost every single day. It’s my daily torture. It’s this constant longing for what isn’t here and what will never be. Then I fill my thoughts with hope for a new life growing inside of me. But that is not happening, and at this point, is hard to really believe that it will. I want to believe it, oh so badly, but that devil forces me back to reality.
Balance is necessary and important. Finding it with the opposing thoughts on my shoulders is a challenge. Luckily I have lots of love around me, pulling me up from the cement and moving me in the direction I need to go.
Silas would have been 4 months old today. We would have just been getting into our family groove, finally settling into our new role as parents. Instead we are on the darkened flipside of that joyful vision. We are unsettling onto a hard and slippery path.
Today I would have bragged about my tiny son and told you all about his poops and gurgles. Instead I stood mute and pushed grimly through the day, not telling everyone what I couldn’t stop thinking about.
I want to tell people about him, but I do not know how to do it. Even when asked a direct question about the existence of offspring in my life I’m not always sure how to respond. Just the other day two people asked me if I had kids and with one I told the truth and the other I outright lied.
I don’t feel bad about that, though. Sometimes it’s just easier to not explain everything, especially in a professional setting. I sorta believe that it’s a privilege for me to speak of Silas. It’s not something I talk about with just anyone. If I feel comfortable telling you about him it means I trust you and that I take you seriously as a friend.
These last 4 months have been the longest of my life. The days have been dense and heavy, tough to carry and hard to push through. In many ways I feel like nothing else exists before September 25, 2008. It is somewhat painful to look back beyond that, back into our blissful ignorance. Before that day, hope was an idea I could easily grasp. It is much harder to grab hold of these days.
I reach for it, but hope is hard and slippery like the ice that seals the yards and sidewalks of this town. A white, crusty foam covers the landscape and when I walk down the block to the liquor store or the post office I see the same twisted flows of water-turned-hard day after day, week after week.
When I try to hold Silas in my mind and in my heart, I find those same slick surfaces. Everything we were about to become has slowed and hardened. Our almost-parentness, our new-sonhood, our fresh & beautiful family, those aspects are sealed behind clear, thick ice. Shattering those walls releases a flood of tears but the salty water runs hot.
I want to tell you about my son, but the story is too sad and too true. It starts where it ends: with broken hearts and the hard, cold flows of frozen hopes.
The only things that help us thaw are love and friendship and patience and music and the heavy purr of sleeping cats tucked close in our bed.
The promise of sun on my faces pulls me out into the day. At night, the chance to share a dream with our vanished son slips me into my anxious slumber. All day there are words that are frozen in my throat.
I want to tell you about my son Silas but the words are too hard to be heard. They slip from me in shivered whispers; his absence makes me cold.