Yesterday I woke up in the grips of overwhelming sorrow, pretty much as I'd expected I would. I'd had trouble going to sleep the night before because I knew what was coming, and a frantic "He can't die again, he can't die again, he can't die again" mantra was what eventually lulled me to sleep.
I woke up to the sound of pouring rain and, with a heavy heart, kept my eyes fixed on my watch all day long as I relived Thomas' birth day, one year later.
There are still holes in my memory (I can't quite figure out how the four and a half hours between My Beloved calling my parents to let them know I was progressing well and the start of the pushing stage seems like just 15 minutes) but I remember all the most important parts.
I remember waiting for them to hoist his tiny, indignant face over the blue curtain and knowing that something was wrong for the very first time when they didn't. I remember that like it was yesterday.
But it's been a year. An entire year since he silently slipped into our lives and just as quietly left us. The only sound I ever heard him make was one tiny gasp while I held him as we waited for him to die.
I've heard that precious little sound a million times during this past year. Sometimes I try to make it myself, just to hear it again.
I know, I know, crazy lady stuff. But you cling to whatever you need to, I've learned. And that sweet little sound, even though I well know that in reality it was one of his last gasps, is a sound memory I cherish.
I was rather surprised by the mental reenactment of yesterday. I had no idea what to expect, but reliving it hour by hour wasn't really what I thought would happen. Thank goodness we busied ourselves with a good deed we thought Thomas would approve of, lunch together and a quick visit with my parents. There was time to check my watch, but no time to wallow.
By the end of the day I was almost giddy with relief that I'd survived it - that we'd both survived an entire year with the pain of such an enormous loss.
I still have no idea how.
This morning felt a lot different. Thomas' death was traumatic of course, but we pretty much knew he was going to die right after he was born, so today, the anniversary of his death, isn't nearly as difficult a day as yesterday was. Yesterday was the anniversary of his birth and the anniversary of the day our lives crumbled right out from under our feet. It was the day we knew we'd had and would lose our beautiful baby boy.
Today felt, I don't know, empty. Not good, not bad, just empty. And lonely. The giddiness of last night has worn off and, like last year, I know that yes, we survived - but we're alone, the two of us.
And it's so lonely.
So I don't know what tomorrow will bring. I can't even begin to speculate. But I can say that when the clock tick tocks its way past midnight in about 45 minutes I will be happy that these two horrible days are finished.
It's awful to know that the day your first child was born is a day that will forever cause you unbearable pain. That's a terrible thing to live with - a terrible thing to know that you're going to know for the rest of your life.