Friday, October 26, 2012

A year ago: October 26th, 2011

I think I'm in a bit of denial about Marcellus's birthday coming up. Only 2 days away...2 days?!? How can that be? It shouldn't come at all. He isn't here to celebrate his own birthday, so it just shouldn't come. The earth should just stop rotating all together. I don't want the 28th to come.

But it's going to come anyway. Doesn't matter what I want. I wanted my boy to live more than anything I've ever wanted before and that didn't happen. So I'll have to find a way to deal. I know I'm not dealing very well right now. There's so much to do before we have people over on Sunday. Yet, I can't make myself do any of it. I wanted to plan something for Marcellus's birthday because I felt like I needed to be doing something to prepare for it. Now that it's coming I don't want to prepare for it. I just want to curl up and do nothing. Yet, I only have two days...well, really a day and a half before the 28th is here. Before it's his first birthday. Before it's Angela's 10th birthday.

And while those are the feelings I'm having today, things were very different a year ago.

A year ago today: Wednesday, October 26th, 2011
I was 28 weeks 3 days pregnant. There's really nothing exciting that stands out from that day. I went to campus to do research. I needed to get a lot done. My weekly meetings with my advisor were on Thursdays, so Wednesdays were my busy days trying to cram in as much as I could. But I didn't feel good that Wednesday. I don't know if I really had anything in particular, but I felt like crap. It was mostly in my head, stuffy, sore throat, and run down. I even started to get a cold sore. I hate to admit I get cold sores, but I do. Have my whole life. I notice that I do often get them in conjunction with feeling a bit sick. I haven't had one since then and I think I'd freak out if I get one this pregnancy. I will connect that to Marcellus being born early.

I emailed my advisor to let her know I wasn't feeling well and if we could cancel our meeting for the week. I actually just went back into my email. Those emails are still there. They're so casual. They're so unassuming. I had no idea. Making plans for future meetings with not only my own advisors, but a visiting researcher in the area I was working in. I can tell in the emails I actually did care about my work a little bit. I did care that I was making progress toward my PhD (I don't know if I've mentioned on here that I'm currently on leave from my program and don't necessarily plan on going back). From my emails I guess I started to not feel well the day before. But I remember that Wednesday I went home and I slept. I got in touch with my advisor early afternoon and as soon as I got home, I took a nap. I remember that I slept a lot. I took a long afternoon nap. Was probably up just long enough to eat and went back to bed at like 8pm for the night. I slept for like 12 hours that night.

Was my sickness because my body was getting ready for labor or was my labor because I was sick? Logically I know they probably aren't even related, but I can't help but connect them. Getting sick and a cold sore just days before my baby boy came into this world too early, coincidence or connected? I will never know.

Thinking of the meetings I had around that time reminds me of something else. My advisor (who is also the head of the department) was working on getting a parental leave policy in place for graduate students. I was helping her with it. The week before I had gathered statements from graduate students at all stages of life (that have children, expecting children, no children) about how a parental leave policy for graduate students would be beneficial.  It passed this spring. Well after Marcellus's death. They wrote about it in a newsletter and included a picture of a fellow graduate student with his wife and son. His son that was born the day after Marcellus died. I should have been in that picture with my husband and son. It should have been us, my family. But my family is not together on earth. My family is separated by something immeasurable.

Marcellus, this sucks. This sucks so bad! Your birthday coming up is bringing up all the "why?" questions again. All the "what ifs." Why were you born so early? What happened to cause me to go into labor? "Idiosyncratic" preterm labor they call it. Like some fancy name is going to help. I'm just missing you baby boy. Missing the time you were here. Missing who you would be now. Missing planning a birthday party for you. I am missing so much. I would give anything to have you here. To have you in my arms. To be chasing you around the house as you got more and more mobile (and we know you would be active! You were from the beginning) . To have to worry about you getting into the dog food. I would give anything and everything for that. I love you squirmy wormy. I love you so very much. xoxox.

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