Today marks four years since Seth was stillborn. His fourth birthday. Four years have passed since he was born, and died.
And I'd like to let you know; it still hurts. Probably moreso on days like today - anniversaries, markers of his existence and death. But it always hurts really.
After I had Lily a good friend asked me "Are your arms still aching?" And I told her the truth; yes.
But I did think that with time, and more babies, maybe they'd stop aching quite so much. But when I sit and ponder upon his very short but very real life, or when I am reminded, the ache returns stronger than ever before.
And I'll see children, and meet children who share his name, or who would be his age, and I see them interact with his sisters, and I can't help but realise I should have one like that too, and it hurts and my throat swells up and my shoulders hunch and I almost feel embarrassed to be feeling so sad after so long.
But has it really been that long?
What is four years really? The space between gap years, and Olympics. The time it takes to travel the world a time or two? The space between full health and near death? Who knows really? All I do know, is that four years is a small amount of time compared with how long I have lived on this earth, how long I will probably still live on this earth, and how long I will probably have to go on feeling this pain.
But it has occurred to my mind of late that this pain? This pain I feel in my arms for longing to hold him, and in my heart for longing to love him the way I should have been able - this pain is actually a good thing. Because wherever he is right now, this pain is telling him he is loved. Wherever he is, this pain is telling him he is missed. And wherever he is, and however long we'll be apart, this pain is telling him that he is wanted; I want him to come and fill up the space that's pushing apart my heart and causing such awful pain. He won't be able to come until I come to him, but he is wanted there, all the time. Every day.
It's a privilege to feel such pain. You may think that an odd thing to say. But I am proud to carry this pain. Although at times when I am face-to-face with a new friend, and I'm fighting to hold back the tears as she introduces her very almost four-year-old son, or her son called Seth, or just a whole little crowd of little boys, I do feel embarrassed because it has "been a long time now", I should be "used to it", it hasn't really been a long time at all. And to be honest, as he should be growing bigger, the space in my heart that is missing him is growing bigger, and there's more room for the pain.
It's more of a common pain; a pain I can live with, and also a pain that's growing me; each day I live with the pain I grow a little stronger, a little more resilient, and a little more proud to be the mother of a stillborn son. Not just any stillborn son, my stillborn son. Because even though he was stillborn, he was still born, and he is still mine.
You may been wondering where I've been? I'm now blogging a little over at mumhacks.wordpress.com - a new blog. It was difficult to leave this blog, but there was a deep sense of sadness with this, and every time I logged in to write, I found myself wanting to grieve through my words, rather than writing the things I maybe would have liked to. I'll still hop on this blog from time to time whenever I have something to say about Seth, or babyloss, or anything I feel the readers of this blog would like to see. I love this blog more than I probably should, and it will always be a treasure of mine, so I will never abandon it completely. But I did need a new space, where I could be a tad happier with my writing, and not feel weighed down with grief every time I logged in and saw my most popular posts. I love you all, and hope you'll join me over at mumhacks.wordpress.com. See you there!