When I was pregnant with William, I was frightened.

Not of having a baby –

more of having a baby boy.

I struggled to get my head around it.

As much as David wanted to have a boy, I was very happy raising girls.

I knew my fear stemmed from having a wild, rough and often abusive brother

and of course a wild, rough and abusive father too.

I knew it but I didn’t figure it out until I was about 36 weeks pregnant.

When he was born

everything changed .

I didn’t care anymore because I was sure that this sweet little boy was more David and less…

well, less of me.

I loved him every bit as much as I loved the girls

and then everything changed again

because Will died

and I never got to find out what it would be like to have him as my boy.

The guilt of fearing that son in the first place often had me at the very edge of life and death in that first year.

I blamed myself,


Finally pregnant again, I willed my body to be carrying at least one boy of the two babies that were growing inside me


about six months after that

I got to meet him.

We called him Noah because it meant peace (and because it was the only name that Dave and I could agree on).

I was hopeful that he was my second chance

and I almost blew it in that very first week.

I walked into the NICU,

it had been a very bad day for Noah

and he was struggling

as most 30 weekers do

but in that instant

in exactly the same nook

in exactly the same NICU

I couldn’t see Noah



I could only see that sweet little baby

as his brother.

I’m ashamed to say

I walked out of that unit

and didn’t go back for a week.

A whole week.

I mean,

I went there,

I took the kids to see them with David

but when it came time to step through those doors

I couldn’t do it.

I went and expressed like a mad woman

and cried

and lamented to the wooden sculpture of a mother protectively encompassing her newborn child, just outside the one place I needed to be more than anywhere else.

Everyone was so patient with me

and I tried

oh, how I tried

but I would always be left at those double doors a quivering, horrible mess


my midwife and friend

told me to pull myself together and see Noah for what he was;

a beautiful new lifeforce

and so I was allowed a third chance.

He’ been such an easy baby to love.

He’s easy going;


but somewhere along the way

we have moved apart.

I think it has alot to do with my not being at home much over the last four years,

spending so much time in the hospital with his sister

or maybe he just relates better to everyone else in the house

or maybe I have silently pushed him away because he is a boy

or because I am protecting my heart

or maybe it’s because boys are different from girls, in the way they show their affection

I’m not sure.

I love him more than life itself

but his preference is for his father

or Maddy.

I could sit here and write that I am okay with that.

I don’t want forced relationships with my kids.

Time with children is so fleeting

before they are suddenly independent

and you find yourself having to untie the apron strings.

I want them to feel happy, secure, loved

but not obliged.


I could sit here and say that I’m happy to wait for the moments.

Happy to take what I can get and hold those memories close to my heart


I’d be lying.

I want him to want me first.

I want him to miss me when I’m gone, more than he misses the car that I take.

I want people to remark on the bond that we have,

the way they do when they see he and David together.

I don’t want all of it.

I can share.

Perhaps I’m too late though.

Perhaps his little soul cannot forgive me

for not seeing his beauty,

his light

when I should have.

Even though I have no plans to stop connecting with my boy

it leaves me wondering;

maybe there are no more chances.