Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Vacation and videos and missing Olivia

And we're back.
Vacation went relatively well. Lucas was pretty much perfect, I fed him about an hour before meals and so he either slept or entertained himself in the stroller by playing with his hands and staring at lights while we ate-like this:

Yes, that actually was at lunch, and yes, that's what he did for about 45 minutes.
He was pretty cooperative about just hanging out or sleeping during a lot of the activities too (Bingo, talent show, karoake).
We took him swimming 3 times, he's mostly ambivalent about it..not exactly laughing and smiling in the pool, but not crying or fussing about it either, just sort of chilling like the pretty mellow baby he is.

(Disregard Joe and I arguing. For the record, Lucas did not go under water.
In the last week or so, he's started smiling ALL the time in response to things. We are loving it. And he's also started "talking" a lot more. And following us with his eyes if we are talking and move.

We ended up being in the same cabin, but the opposite side, (there are 2 sides, they share a porch but that's about it) as we were at 2 years ago when I was pregnant with Olivia. So on one side, 1`1I was pregnant, and the other, there with Lucas. (We've been going to this place since I was a baby and these were the only 2 times we've ever been in that cabin.) And there were toddlers everywhere, it seemed. It was just very bittersweet, being there with our (perfect!) baby and missing our other baby who wouldn't really be a baby anymore. There was a toddler girl who was 16 months old (the same age Olivia would have been if she'd been born in January when she was due), she had hearing aids and was at the developmental level of a 6-8 month old (crawling, not close to walking or standing on her own yet, not speaking at all, etc.) because she was very premature. I was dying to know how premature and why but never found out or even asked. But she was a stark reminder that even if Olivia had lived, we wouldn't have been back here with a normal toddler and baby. Joe and I had a sobering moment on the drive down as we barely fit everything in our car (in fact, my parents had to take the stroller for us), that we would have never fit if we'd had a toddler too. It pretty much sucks...all the should haves. Not that we aren't thankful and blessed and enamored with Lucas, but, she's still not here, and it still sucks, even after all this time. It's weird, I feel like I have to acknowledge being happy and thankful for Lucas now, every time I mention missing Olivia, as if it's greedy to want to have both our kids here. It's not something I dwell on often anymore (the should be's), but every now and then, it hits me.

There were several times in the few days we were on vacation that someone asked my mom if it was her first grandchild. And every time, she said no, that we had a little girl who died right after she was born so this was her second. I'm not positive that she said that just because we were right there or if she always does, and it shouldn't really matter, since sometimes I just say "yes" when asked that because it's just easier than getting into it with a stranger and talking about babies dying ALWAYS makes the conversation awkward. I've made peace with the fact that I don't have to tell every random person who asks (first if we have kids, now if lucas is our first) about Olivia, and it's not really fair to expect my mom to have to do that either, but I've got to admit, I was really really glad she did. Perhaps she saw the stricken look on my face when the question came up. Of course that question did...it always does..it's meant to be idle smalltalk but really it's a crappy reminder that we will never be normal again. You can't win with that question- you either tell the truth and make it awkward and maybe cry, or tell a lie/ answer evasively and then feel like an ass for denying your child/pretending like they never happened. Before it was "do you have any kids?" and now it's "is he your first?" which is even harder to answer because when I was asked if I had any kids, I could assume/pretend they meant living children and say no and feel okay about that, when I didn't want to get into "well, our baby died". But "is he the first?" doesn't really leave room for that.

Anyway, Olivia has been on our minds a lot, not that she isn't always, but we really felt her absence as much as ever, this last week.

Aside from missing her, vacation was decent. I read a couple of books while feeding the baby and taking naps with him. It was nice to not have to cook or think about food, or have to clean up. But it will never quite be as carefree as it used to be...too many memories and should have been's lingering.


MrsH said...

yes, the times when you are most happy with your living baby are also the times when you miss what could have been with the lost one. I feel the same way.

Brooke said...

I'm glad the vacation was mostly good. I know that so many experiences with Lucas will be bittersweet, and I just hope that as time goes by they continue to become a little sweeter, a little less sad.

Brooke said...

Oh--and I love that your mom includes Olivia. I think my mom would do the same.

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