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 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 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
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,
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.