One thing I struggle with daily is whether or not I am still a mom. Most will say right away "Of course you are still a mother!" Everyone tells me this, but I struggle with it all. When they tell me I'm still a mother I have two sides that fight within my clouded head;
My dark side will come fierce with sharp pains of,
No not really. You are not really a mother anymore. You have nothing to do as mother. No one to buy for, no one to make sure veggies get eaten, no one to tuck in at night. No one to kiss all over, no one to show things to, no one to raise.
The other side is my son battling my mind with,
Yes momma you are my momma. Even though I'm not with you physically, I am here and you still have to take care of me by taking care you.
September 3rd, 2010 I went to visit my doctor. I was 36 weeks pregnant. I had a routine "you are almost at the end" appointment to make sure everything looked good. Except it didn't really and next thing I knew I had an appointment to induce labor the following day. So, I invited my entire family to come have dinner with Dan and I at an Italian restaurant by our tiny apartment. Sort of like a last supper. A bit of calm before the storm you could say. It was a lot of fun. I remember being extremely nervous about being induced and having a baby in general. As per usual my family delivered the comedic relief Dan and I needed. My whole family came together and uplifted Dan and I as we were about to embark on one of the greatest gifts from God. Parenthood. We sat around the table whilst eating pizza, pasta and copious amounts of garlic bread. We entertained ideas of what our baby boy would look like, what we couldn't wait to do with him and whether or not he really would have red hair...
My induction began at 11pm on Sunday.
There was a lot of pain, it was uncomfortable.
I threw up once or twice, then I fell asleep.
My water was broken at 9am Monday morning.
My family was there with us.
I was told it was time. My sisters held my legs and Dan held my hands.
"You are doing great, Jacqui." "Come on Jacqui! That's it!" "Oh my gosh! Jacqui he has lots of hair!"
I pushed for 45 minutes.
Then our beautiful red headed boy was out and ready to conquer the world by 1pm Monday.
The days after labor are a slight blur, but I remember feeling whole. I felt like Dan and I were complete. I remember the joy Ryan brought to everyone at just being hours old. His hair was a force to be reckon with and from the second he was born he was mine and I was his. He was a perfect little baby with his eyes always open wide. Sometimes the three of us would just stare at each other. Dan and I would shower him with kisses all day. Every day it just got better and better and better.
Until it all came to a abrupt end.
I have those tender moments though, that I hold close to my heart. Those precious moments of when my son was days old. When we milked maternity leave and stayed cooped up in our apartment. I become a mother the day I brought my son into the world.
I want to keep replaying all the said memories to justify the sheer fact that Ryan happened to me. And no one can take that away from me. Not even my dark side. My dark side questions everything and sometimes it can get hard fighting the negative thoughts. Sometimes I fight them and try to keep busy. Sometimes I let them consume me and I end up in a fog for the day. I am trying really hard to train my thoughts into reliving all those tender moments of Ryan's birthday instead of replaying all the panic of his death day.
This struggle of mine is one of the hardest. I guess it will be for a while. I am still a mom. My son is just not physically with me. Which is such crap and I wish everyday I didn't have to go through this. However, I need to continue to be strong. Strong for myself and for my husband and for my son.
I'm Ryan's mom and he is my son.
Forever and always.
It just looks different than I what I had planned or imagined.
...and that is alright.