Aria is sitting on her own now! Still supervised, because she hasn't quite figured out the consequences of gravity completely. She has done a full 360 degree pivot on her belly following Tobey (the cat) as he circled the room. She is holding her own bottle and we also started some solids this week which has been a delightfully messy experience!
She cut two bottom teeth over Christmas too. I didn't even know, she was teething, then there they were! My goodness their new developments happen so fast.
Oh, she is just the most precious little thing to me. She wakes up with a smile and does this cute little wiggle of excitement when my face pops into her view over the crib. It melts my heart. She would have Brandon wrapped so tightly around her finger.
As for me, I think I am entering the next phase of my grief. The shock is starting to wear off. It's strange how that works. The fog is lifting a bit, revealing everything with more distinction. The good part about this is that it is allowing me to finally feel the deep maternal love for my daughter. That feeling people talk about having that can only be known once you become a parent. Don't misunderstand, I have loved Aria from the moment we knew she was growing inside me, and even more when I finally held her in my arms. And every day, as I get the blessing of being her mother, that bond grows stronger and stronger. But grief is all encompassing, and shock dulls both the bad and the good. It becomes about survival, and numbness has seemed to be my ticket through the past 6 months.
However, as I start to feel again, that means that I am more attuned to the ache of Brandon's loss now too. It's harder to push that pang of pain aside to “keep on keepin' on”. It lingers, and demands to be felt.
Like every morning as I pour my orange juice, I now reach for only one cup. Lately this mundane daily task brings about so much heart ache. First I think how I used to pour for two. I'm taken back to how our mornings used to be. A smile tugs at the corner of my mouth as I remember how I had to set 2 alarms. One, about a half an hour before we had to get up that stirred Brandon so that he could come over and cuddle before we had to actually get up. He was not ashamed of his love of snuggles!
Then, instantly I feel like I have been punched in the gut, missing his embrace so deeply. I think of how off it feels to be sleeping on his side of the bed. The whole room looks different from there even though it hasn't changed. It looks like the difference between a house and a home. The presence that made our bedroom feel warm, loving and safe is gone. Now it's a shell of what was.
My mind auto pilots on this roller coaster of beautiful memories and deep hurt, each one leading seamlessly to the next.
Suddenly I snap out of it. I don't know how much time has passed as I stare blankly at a single glass of orange juice. An unlikely trigger for bunny trails of memories, thoughts and anguish, but yet every day the most absurd thing leads to this viscous circle of events, and it has only gotten harder lately as the shock wears off.
It's hard to explain the loneliness of doing it all alone. Surprisingly it's the seemingly insignificant moments that so significantly hurt. It's the down time. The time in between. It's so very, very quiet.
Yes, I know - soon it won't be very quiet around here. I'm sorry, but knowing that doesn't help. Then I'll be longing for my partner to help me through the chaos, not the quiet.
And the quiet is so much more then just a lack of "noise". It's the quiet in the space that Brandon used to be. No amount of noise will ever fill that space.
But, on a more positive note, I do also see some improvement over the 3 months since Brandon has passed. I have come to accept that this is my reality. The moments where my head spins and all I can repeat in my mind is "Is this real? Is this real? Is this real?" are less frequent. It has moved on to "Why did this happen?". But I'm not looking for an answer. It's just a different kind of disbelief I guess.
So we will keep taking it one day at a time. I have found some wonderful support groups that I look forward to attending a few times a month. I am getting a childcare schedule figured out and am attempting to find some "normalcy" in this mess. And God continues to direct each step I take.
Note: Again, please feel free to sign up for email notifications to continue to follow our journey, as I will no longer be updating on CaringBridge. Thank you!