A year ago in November, DH's cousin passed away. She had celiac disease and was in the hospital for some tests and suffered from a heart attack. She was only 32 and had a daughter who was not quite two years old. At the time I had just entered my second trimester with BB. I spent most of my pregnancy being on the fence as to whether or not I wanted to have a baby. (I sometimes thought that my primary reason for having a baby was that DH finally gave in on the baby argument. Maybe I'll write more about all that another time.) When she passed away, I felt so terrible, both for his cousin, C, and for her baby daughter, D. I felt terrible in a way that I couldn't have felt prior to becoming pregnant. I think it was the first time I actually had true maternal feelings towards the being growing inside of me. I thought of C not getting to watch her daughter grow up. I thought of D growing up without her mother. My heart broke for both of them.
My MIL was quite close with C. I've always had the feeling that she felt like C was the daughter she never had. D's dad has to travel quite frequently for work, so she stays with her grandmother (DH's aunt) a lot, and as a result visits my in-laws with her grandmother fairly often. Today my in-laws came to visit, and my MIL was telling me about her most recent visit with D, and how smart she is, and how she was recently staying with her father, but wasn't doing well at the daycare he had her at because she didn't know anyone and was worried about being abandoned. (I would be too if I wasn't quite three years old and my mom just died last year!) So he took her back to his MILs to stay again. When she first returned to her grandmother's, she was having lots of nightmares and didn't even like going to sleep on her own. As my MIL was telling me all this today, the same feelings that I experienced last fall while I was pregnant came flooding back to me, but a hundred times stronger. I tried to not think about what she was saying at the time, because I didn't want to cry. But after they left, I was telling DH how I find it so upsetting when his mom talks about D and almost lost it.
I might have spent my pregnancy not being certain that I wanted a baby, but all that changed the day he was born. I feel like I was so naive before and while I was pregnant. I had no idea the love I was capable of feeling. When I think of something happening to prevent me from watching BB grow up, it breaks my heart. Part of my reasoning for not wanting to go back to work is that I know I can raise him better than a babysitter can. What would happen if something happened to me and I wasn't a part of his upbringing at all? I know he would be well cared for and loved to pieces, but it's not the same... a mother's love is so different from everyone else's. I never truly realized that until he arrived.
I keep wondering if in the few moments before C passed away if she knew what was about to happen. I think of how awful those last few moments would have been, knowing that she would never get to hold her baby girl again, or tell her how much she loved her, or how beautiful she is.
Almost a year later and my heart is breaking all over again for them.