Two years ago today at this time, everything was fine. In fact it was more than fine, I couldn't have been happier. It was a glorious late summer day (just as it promises to be today). I still remember the spring in my step as I walked my enormously pregnant self to the hospital for the tests my doctor recommended 'just to be safe'. I loved being pregnant with Ezra, and swollen ankles and all, that day was no exception.
I had absolutely no inkling how drastically and completely the world was about to come crashing down around me.
In the two years since, I've come to own my new self...more sad, more cynical, more connected, more compassionate. But sometimes I do miss that naive happy woman.
But this day is not about me. It's been two years today since Ezra quietly slipped away. Two years since I was sent home from those tests as everything looked 'ok'. Two years since that car ride home where I started feeling 'stomach cramps', two years since I was balled up in bed with the worst kind of abdominal pain ever, much more so than my labor with Micah. Two years since that dreadful car ride back to the hospital. Two years since we heard those words 'your baby has passed away.'
And I still don't really believe it all happened. If I really focus in on that cruel truth, it makes me want to howl hysterically like I did in the first moments after we learned he was gone. How is it that my big boy, my first boy is not here?
My sweet sweet Ezra, I miss you and love you so very much. Every day. Especially today. Always.
I wouldn't have expected this, with the second anniversary of Ezra's birth and death approaching, but Glamour magazine asked me to contribute a part of an article dealing with a woman who lost her baby after seven. months of pregnancy. They wanted to include a section on what fathers experience from the loss of a child. I'm happy, at least, that this subject is getting the attention it deserves. Hopefully this will help others. Please check out the September issue of Glamour (print edition) if you can.
If life were a movie, it would have been the scene following a cataclysmic event the night before. The morning blurred by a deep fog which hugged the ocean, obscured the tops of buildings, and made anything moving or colorful a surprise, veiled until the moment you were upon it.
But life is not a movie and there was no catacylsm the night before...just some quiet stolen moments on a morning walk with my living son, who woke too early in a beach house filled with sleeping family members.
But it got me thinking about life...after. Ezra's second birthday is just weeks away. This month, August, my season of grief, I keep waiting for the cataclysm. Waiting to feel drawn back into the depths of grief that I experienced in the weeks leading up to Ezra's first birthday. Waiting to be reduced daily to a puddle of tears. Expecting a torrent of rage or deep despair. And while I still may end up there, its not where I see myself going this grief season.
The reason is this: every day now is a day after. Every day is a day without my son Ezra.
The sadness has settled into my bones, it is part of my everyday. Ezra is in my thoughts and heart daily. I continue to parent my lost son as I parent my living one. I push giggling Micah on a swing at the playground, taking note of the empty motionless swing next to him...wondering what it would be like to be pushing two boys on swings. I mentally cringe when I meet two year olds, calculating in my head the possibilities (would he have been that tall? would he be as articulate?). I feel deep stabs of jealousy as I watch siblings who are close in age interact, particularly when it is two boys. I treasure my "new mom" friendships with mamas of babes close in age to Micah...and yet can't help but wonder about the new mamas who should have been my friends had Ezra lived.
It is true I have refound joy. And yet the sadness is ever present. The sadness is every day...after.
On August 29, 2008, after 33 weeks and 5 days of the most blissfully happy unproblematic pregnancy imaginable, my world came crashing down when my son Ezra Malik died in utero. I was induced and gave birth to Ezra on August 30, 2008 at 3:47 pm. He is 4 lbs, 18 inches and has the most amazing combination of his mommy and daddy's features. He is perfect in every way. We later learned he died from a placental abruption. His mommy and daddy love him dearly and miss him terribly. Ezra taught me much in his short life, and he continues to teach me every day as I journey on my own path of grief. I created this blog both to record Ezra's life, but also to create a venue to share some of Ezra's lessons as time passes and I am more able to articulate what they are. I will update it from time to time when I feel able.