You should be 2 months old today. I can’t remember what a 2 month old is like – i was very much looking forward to reminding myself with you, finding out all over again about having a baby in the house.
In a perfect world, the one i have to remind myself we would probably never have lived with you, you would be smiling now. You’d be robust enough to leave down on the floor for a moment, i expect, growing out of the crook of my arm, probably firmly into 3-6 month clothes, given you clearly didn’t fit newborn ones from the very start. You’d be looking into my eyes and you’d know your sisters well. Daddy would have started slinging you and you might have spent a night or two in a crib, the crib i never brought here for you, even though i did for all your sisters. You’d probably be gurgling at us and settling into a little bit of a familiar routine. There would be things in the house that were Freddie’s, washing to sort out that was Freddie’s.
I have to remember, because it is hard to do so, that that isn’t the little boy we were going to bring home. If you’d come home, it would have been feeding tubes and worry and trips back to the hospital. Daddy and i would probably still be living there with you and all of us would have been broken apart. The other events wafting around the wider family would have been nothing more than a background rustle, instead of the clanging pain and stress they are. If you’d lived, i’d still be waiting for you to die, maybe for years.
The problem, Freddie, is i don’t have to mourn for that little boy, the little boy who arrived in the room broken and damaged beyond repair. I only have to mourn for the one who we were expecting, the little boy who should be ready to snuggle down on daddy’s lap for the World Cup. I only have to mourn for the one who should have cried a newborn cry at birth, opened his eyes and looked at us and come home the same day. I only have to mourn for the one we believed was coming.
I don’t know what happened to you, i’m never going to know. I don’t know who to blame, what to do better, what i could have changed. I don’t know why i have 4 children in my house, not 5, or why i can sleep whenever i want, why there aren’t babygros in the wash. I have no idea why you grew but didn’t grow strong enough to stay. I don’t know if my choices broke you or if i made a mistake, or if i put myself before you. I don’t know what to tell people when they ask. I keep wondering if you knew? I keep wondering if it hurt, or frightened you, or made you sad. I keep wondering if any time in that 11 days i told you i loved you, or if you were aware enough to know it and feel it before you were born.
I keep wondering if there was a moment when things went wrong and i missed it?
I know i did love you – do love you – and that photos of you are just not enough. Sometimes i dream i walk to your bedside at night, like i did almost every night of your life. I can remember every pace, every door, every buzzer. I can feel my way back to you but when i get there, i can’t make you still exist. I can’t force you to be there in a way that means i can hold you and touch you and talk to you.
I wish i knew where you were. I wish i had some sort of something that would help me find you. I can’t seem to make you settle in my soul anywhere; i can’t feel you there. There is just an aching great hole in the place i expected you to be. I badly need you to find your way back to me.