Friday, July 10, 2009

Role Reversal

The weight of the baby in my arms has relieved the weight on my shoulders and the anchor on my heart.

He is wonderful, as all tiny babies are. We love him to the point that our hearts are bursting and painful at being overfilled. At the same time, he is an immediate squirming reminder of the magnitude of our loss with Baker.

He has Baker's chin and Baker's nose - both his mother's - but otherwise he is his own boy, in all his towheaded glory.

Dalene and I remember for many months following Baker's death the jealously and sadness and anger (in a very weird way) that we had towards all of the pregnant women and little babies that we saw as we traveled around. It seemed at times as though they were stalking us; taunting us. Now that's us. We are the parents with the irrepressible smiles on our blissful babymoon. I fear that we are now the tormentors of the lost.

I think that we babylost parents need to invent a symbol or claim a color or a bracelet or something that lets others in the "club" know that we are one of them. Instead of feeling upset when a babylost mama or daddy saw us with Alden, she or he might see us as a sign that rainbow babies do come, and that they are sweet, sweet balm for wounded souls.

We watch him breathe, but have not yet been neurotic. I give him kisses, but I have not physically smothered him with my squeezes, as I feared I would. He is the manifestation of the complete opposite of the parental soul-murder that was Baker's death.

We are bequeathing Baker's hand-me-downs to Alden, and that has been healing. Little t-shirts and gear, washcloths and diapers - all being handed on to the little brother. All wrong and completely right all at the same time.

We appreciate so much all of the good wishes from across the country and around the globe as our litle babe arrived.

19 comments:

Terry said...

I am so happy little Alden is bringing you both so much happiness. Nothing will ever really lessen the loss of Baker but I'm sure Alden will truly bring a measure of joy back to your lives that will last a lifetime. I wish you all well as always and for always. Terry

Misty said...

Baker has a secure place in your family, which is now followed by Alden. One doesn't replace the other, but Alden helps your heart sing in a different way then Baker does. You love them both.

Isaac has a secure place in our family, too. He is our 4th child, and yet he is dead. We look forward to having a 5th child that will love. We still want that, and I am SO over joyed that you have that right now!

Mrs. Spit said...

As one who is still in the trenches, without a living child, I must say that I greet announcements like this with joy and thanksgiving. I, too, wish there was a way to recognize a baby like Alden, who is a victory and a joy that is greater and different from many births.

Remembering Baker and celebrating Alden.

Hope's Mama said...

Parental soul-murder is right.
I'm so, so happy for you guys, and if I walk by you in the street (which is not likely given I'm in Melbourne, Australia!) I will be sure to smile.
Looking forward to joining you on the other side, soon.......

Just Breathe said...

Your right, you need to do a bracelet like Live Strong. That would be awesome, get it out there, spread the word.

AnnaMarie said...

Awwww! Smile away and enjoy all of the Alden goodness!

Jacinta said...

Congratulations! I am so glad Alden is in the world and that his brother is watching over him. He is really gorgeous.

Reba said...

i totally agree with the bracelet idea. mostly because i would have loved to know, for sure, that there was another side to the grief before there was more hope for us.

i love your family picture, too. it's funny how you can tell there's someone missing, though. even though you guys are so, so happy. i think our family pictures are the same way. we're just bursting with happiness and pride, but at the back there's this presence, too, of gratefulness, that i think comes with having these experiences of loss before the happiness.

veganinthecountry said...

i am so happy for you. i truly am. you give me hope.

k@lakly said...

I have found it so amazing and yet so simple how one so small can give so much to the wounded heart and soul.
Enjoy Alden, he is all things that are beautiful and pure. Just as a baby should.
Thinking of all of you, all four of you, as you enter this new journey.
xxoo

Mirne said...

What a beautiful photo ... you all look happy and relieved to be holding your beautiful baby.

Inanna said...

Torment me some more! :) I'm trying again and it's hard to see babies right now... but not your little guy. Not in the least. He's a joy to behold and so are you guys!

Shannon Ryan said...

yes, people sure do love to torment us with babies, don't they! bah! It took months before I really even wanted to look at one...and even now I can't say that I love being in the presence like I once did... but OH BOY, it's SOOOO very different when one of 'us' has a baby.. my heart could just BURST with joy!! So happy you are home and Alden is in your arms.. give him a little squeeze from me!!

CLC said...

I wish there was a sign too. I have seen people look at me with that look and I want to scream that it was a difficult road to get where I am now. But sadly, there's no sign and I just accept the tormentor role. But at least, we are conscious of it and sad for it, and that is more than what most can say.

Congrats again to you. Beautiful picture.

Cara said...

Your family is gorgeous, and I too have written about loss recognition. Last halloween really brought it out for me.

http://buildingheavenlybridges.blogspot.com/2008/11/signs-and-symbols.html

I'm so glad I'm not the only one.

melka said...

It's good to hear how those first days after feel - the joy and hurt, the heart-fullness and the unfilled empty space somehow coexisting.

What a beautiful family you have there.

erica said...

I'm so happy for you. Seeing the joy on your faces in that photo is a beautiful thing.

Julie said...

He is wonderful. Congratulations.

Lani said...

this makes me so teary and ecstatic for you! i love seeing a pic of the 3 of you, its beautiful.
xo lots of love