Saturday, February 18, 2012


I'm an aunt.

My brother-in-law and sister-in-law had their baby on Thursday.

I am thrilled for them. They have waited a LONG time for this.
I am happy for my in-laws. They have a new grand-child.
I am excited for myself and Brian. We are an aunt and uncle.
I am pleased for Kaia. She has a cousin very close in age.
I am relieved the baby is healthy and well. Not all babies are so lucky.

But the part of my heart that belongs to Aidan did a tight little squeeze, lurch and drop when Brian, on the phone minutes after delivery, turned to me and said:

"It's a boy!"


It's a boy. A boy. Boy.

Oh, boy.

I had prepared myself for this. I suspected it was a boy. Was entirely anticipating the arrival of a nephew. Was excited even.

Didn't entirely anticipate the sadness.

Where did that come from?

Last night, laying in bed, I kept myself awake thinking about it, mulling it over, when I really should have been sleeping. A part of me is a little ashamed to admit I cried. I cried, like I haven't cried in a long while. I was so looking forward to this baby being born, and I'm happy, really I why the sudden melancholy?

I went through this a bit when Kaia was born. Maybe I always will when a baby I really care about comes along. For some reason it was different when it was my own. Maybe because I have time to process now. When Kaia was born it was a wash of hormones, milk, blood and sleep deprivation. And above all that, complete and total elation that she was alive. My Acorn was here! She made it! I did it! Beyond that, I had no time or energy to focus.

Now I do.

So as I lay there last night, thinking too much, I considered, what if it had been a girl? If I had suddenly had a niece I think I would have naturally been more inclined to compare to Kaia. To compare the similarities and differences in the births of our two girls. There wouldn't have been much resemblance. I think the overwhelming feeling I might have had beyond excitement and happiness, might have been a bit of jealousy. Jealous because of the things my sister-in-law got to experience that I didn't: healthy pregnancy, full term pregnancy, vaginal delivery, saw and held baby on the day of delivery, attempted to breastfeed baby on day of delivery, will be going home tomorrow accompanied by an infant.

I would have felt a bit jealous because of the differences in the beginnings of our two babies, but recognized that in the days and weeks to come, those differences will cease to matter. If we both had girls, who cares what their first few weeks are like when they are 6 and 7, 19 and 20, 39 and 40? If we had two little girls running around, born so close together, the ghostly outline of a little boy who lives in my head could remain hazy and undefined. There would be no 'exact replica of a figment of my imagination'.

No one to compare with the son who is ashes and lives on the shelf.

But I now have a nephew. A boy who shares 1/8th the same genetic material as Aidan. This little boy will grow and be and do and see, and above Live a life Aidan will never have. Who has already, at 2 1/2 days old, done so much more than my son ever got to. I'm happy for him. Relieved he is here, safe and sound.

Sad my son isn't.

We are going to meet him on Monday. I'm excited...tinged with a bit of grief. I know I will love this little boy, love him for himself and no other, but I'm afraid he will always be a bit of a forward echo in time of what my little boy never was. And, with the passage of time, I expect that will be okay. May even be somewhat of a joy and comfort, to see him grow up beside his cousin Kaia. A close male relation that is the next-best thing to a brother.

But right hurts a little bit.


  1. I think this is a perfectly normal response... I know I'm dreading the birth of a friend's baby in about a month... I suspect it's a boy, and I'm anxious even thinking about the jealousy that will come over me even though I'm 27 weeks pregnant myself...

  2. I feel sad reading your post as well. The things you write about Aidan not doing, Adrian also did not do. He is also ashes on my night table. I sometimes forget to dust the urn every week. Will he one day be forgotten? I won't let that happen. But even so, he will never get to live. this is incredibly, hugely sad.

  3. Congratulations on becoming an Aunt. My heart sinks every time I see someone with a living Aidan. It makes me super jealous. I also feel like that when people get the delivery they want since I can only have c/s and secretly hope everyone always has girls.

  4. This is the part of being a BLM that I think is the most misunderstood. We'll always have a tinge of jealousy (at least I speak for myself) at the sight of babies who got to live... especially of the same gender. While we can love those children, we will always wish/wonder why our boys weren't the lucky ones.

    But you have a new baby... you can't be jealous. Um, not the way it goes.

  5. Congrats, but I totally understand the mixed emotions of this...

  6. I'm so sorry for the loss of your beautiful Aidan. Your son and my Liam were the exact same age when they died.
    I would feel the same way if my sister or close friend were having a baby boy. I lost Liam on August 6, 2011 so I haven't experienced anyone in my life having a baby yet. But it will happen eventuallly, and I know that I'll feel jealous of pregnancy, delivery and living child. I will also be happy for them but its not the same after you lose your baby. Nothing is the same anymore.