13 Months Later

This post was written on November 27.

Enough time has passed since we lost Carter that I have stopped counting weeks. Once we passed 39 weeks, it didn't seem to matter much anymore. I just knew that time kept going. Today, November 27, I know that it has been 52 and a few weeks. I'm not sure how many, and I'm not going to count. 

This morning, as I was getting ready, I was thinking about what our life was like one year ago today, just one month after losing our sweet boy. We had spent the weekend in Boise for Thanksgiving, and I remember crying a lot on the drive home. It had been so hard to be away from home, but it was also so hard to go back. Our house still felt too quiet. I think at that point, we were both already over the holidays, and knowing that we still had to get through Christmas was wearing us both down. But I also remember posting a picture of the three of us and being so proud to be Carter's mom. I remember thinking, if I loved him that much without him there, I couldn't imagine what it would feel like to be able to know and love him even more. I remember telling Brandon that I didn't want to be quiet about it anymore. I wanted people to know that it was okay to say his name and to ask questions about him. I wanted to tell people how my labor went because I loved it, and also because it was real and it happened. I wanted to tell our story so many times over that I would never be able to forget it.

The weeks and months following our loss were spent with tears in our eyes much of the time. As each week passed, we were hit with a solid reminder that we weren't counting our son's age, but just the time that had passed since we lost him. Everything was hard. Life itself was just so heavy. And confusing. It still is sometimes. But it's not such a hard sadness to bear anymore. Maybe that's just because we have incorporated the grief into every aspect of our life, but either way, the weight doesn't seem as heavy anymore.

Seeing the difference between today and one year ago is crazy to me. We have lost not just one baby, but three, and have been tested in so many ways. I cry a lot easier (#momlife), and Brandon and I are both more quick to anger than we used to be. My patience is thin and I'm constantly tired, and social anxiety is the only friend I can make plans with. But I have also been changed in so many good ways. Even moreso than before, I care more about others than I do myself. Our marriage is stronger than I ever thought it could be, and our priorities have shifted even more to the things that matter most. I can't necessarily speak for Brandon, but my mothering heart is so full all the time. We are still parents at our core, even though we don't get to parent any live children. But that love still shines through in the way we care for each other and the cats. You might laugh, but come watch Brandon interact with the cats and I swear it will make your heart melt. We both have slowed down and learned to appreciate our time together, even if we are just sitting on the floor in the nursery. We take more time to just be. I think it allows us to feel closer to our babies.

I still can't believe it has been over a year since we lost Carter. I can't say that I am grateful for this whole experience, but I am grateful for him. I would rather have him here, but if this is all we can have of him, then I would do it a million times over.

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