Friday, March 11, 2011

The Raging River

River raging
black as
night white
waters swirling

poem written by Liam R., early this morning, while looking out the window at the Manhan rushing outside our front door

There are still two hard, icy feet of snowpack in our backyard. The sky is grey and the rain pours down. In some places, along the borders of our south-facing house front, the snow has melted down within about six inches of our house walls, and feisty, determined tulips are beginning to poke their tips out of the soil. I can see them, and I know the end is in sight. Spring will come again, and May.
May will come, inevitably, as it always does. I rush through March, and I am eager to shed the coats, and boots, and hats, and other clutter that accompanies winter and children. I am desperate to closet my slippery down coat that causes the child I carry to slide off my hip; I'm hungry to be able to slip on a sling and bounce down a dry path in my sneakers. I want the smell of mud and sunlight in my house, I want to purge the dry, stale air of winter and invite the freshness of spring to take its place.
This spring, there is another replacement of sorts, or so I hope. May, as my long term readers will remember, takes my breath away every time. Somehow it surprises me with its arrival, perhaps because I am caught up in the excitement of the drying earth, blooming flowers and sunshine in the air. Our family has a week off towards the end of April, which passes by in a fit of springtime flurry, and then suddenly I realize with an almost heavy heart that it is, truly, the 30th of April and there is no 31st, and I must turn the page to May.
To May, where somewhere in the second or third line of the calendar it sits there, #13, like an ordinary day where others might go and buy a loaf of bread and fill the car up with gas while I sit at home, lonely and confused, wondering how I should be feeling and what on earth I should be doing. There is so much chaos in my house now that the stillness that used to settle upon that day like a blanket is unreachable now; instead it's a flurry of something or other while I think to myself of the moments that I can blink into almost present time that happened years ago.
This day has squelched May for me, made me fear its arrival. There is a lifting afterwards, but the downward slide is inevitable.
Except this year, May is getting traded in. I hope.
I suppose it's more of a matching gift. My feeling of doom that shadows the glorious month of May has always made me think that someday, somehow another child would tumble into our lives during this month, somehow helping us to restore the beauty of the month. And I think that's going to happen this May, I hope it does. I'm looking at this as the universe trying to give me back the gift of May, and hoping that this sense of balance will give me faith as May comes and the fear and pain settle into my core. The smell of the air, the color of the light, all of it will take me right back. This time, on her birthday, I will be 38 weeks pregnant.
Must I actually speak these words, or can you hear them? I always want to go early, to free the baby from the danger I perceive in the deep dark womb, but this time... this time...
I need her birthday to be her own, and I need this new life to have a day of his/her own as well. But yet how can I make it through that day, feeling the doom, knowing that another life teeters on the brink inside of me?
And then, when that life comes, what will May mean then?
Seven weeks 'til May, I needn't worry now.
But the river roars, my little one. She is coming.


rebeccaeee said...

This was a beautiful read. It seems that every May will be different for you. I do not expect Charlotte will be sharing her day with her new sister. If she does, it will be her gift and not your choosing, of course. I suspect you will have a late May day to celebrate this year and in the years to come. In the meantime, enjoy April and the long-overdue gifts of spring.

Hope's Mama said...

too hope I can have some joy brought back to our August one day. August 19 does sound like a very ordinary day to me as well. Just another day that people get up, get the train, go to work, come home, cook dinner and go to bed. While we are left so broken and confused.
I'm sending you much love as the snow begins to melt in your part of the world and we send some sunshine your way from this part of the world.

Pietrowski's of North Andover said...

Perhaps May...can be a name for your newest arrival? First name...middle name? Just a thought that popped into my mind while reading this post...

Housefairy said...

Beautiful, beautiful sentiments. Your son's poem is a gift, by the way, and I too hope that your dear baby comes in May. Im so sorry that you feel that being pregnant is so dangerous and that the life inside you teeters on the brink, but I do understand. Such a month of change, probably each year will be different.
You touch so many lives with your writing, bess you for keeping it up when you have your hands so full!

Charlotte's Mama said...

just to clear things up... the "she" I referred to in the closing was referring to the month, not the child... who may indeed be a "he".

kris said...

I hope and pray that this May brings joy and celebration to sit beside your grief and loss.

AshleighS said...

Reading your blog entry has been a help to me. Sometimes, after a loss like this, I think it's easy get wrapped up in yourself and forget that there are others who know exactly how you feel and what you are going through. I had what you might call a m/c in my 18th week of pregnancy. My husband and I lost our son on Feb. 14th, 2011 completely unexpectedly. We had actually just been at the doctor's two days prior to my water breaking to find out that we were having a boy! He was active and getting so big!
Today marks one month since this horrific experience took seems I am in a time warp. It's been so fast and yet, it has been the longest four weeks of my life! I can't say that I ever liked Valentine's Day that much, but now I fear I will dread it's arrival each year...all the while so many others will celebrate.
Thank you for your words.

Mandy Hitchcock said...

I've been reading your blog without commenting for about a month now. I am never sure how to plunge in with mamas whose precious babies died before they ever had a chance to live, as my daughter lived and thrived for a beautiful 17 months and 12 days before she was taken from us suddenly-- so much is the same for us, but so much is very different, I know. But with this post, I realized for the first time that we share even more than just the death of our oldest daughters. They died on the same day, seven years apart. We are coming into our first May since we lost our sweet Hudson last spring. Our first May 13. And I, too, will be 38 weeks pregnant (with our second child) on that day. I struggled last fall with whether I even wanted to continue to try through August, for fear of having a baby who would have to share this day, or even this month, with the older sister he would never meet, but ultimately decided that if it happened, then it would be because some kind of healing was meant to come of it. And I hope that will be the case. The way you have continued to live, continued to make a beautiful life with your living children, continued to make Charlotte a part of your family and its history, is an inspiration to me. I can only hope as time goes on to be able to do the same. Thank you for this post.