I realize that if I wait to write until I feel like I have plenty of time, I may never write again. And so here I go, pecking away with one hand as I hold Elliott with the other...
I'm not sure whether it's due to lack of time, lack of sleep, or lack of being able to fully go there right now, but I'm not doing a lot of processing these days (11 days!) since Elliott was born. I'm living much more in the moment, letting thoughts just come in and out of my head. It's similar really to the shock during the hours, days, and weeks after Miles' death. There is much more constant happiness now in this shock (as opposed to the disbelief, overwhelming haze of wanting the world to stop, and just having the memory of happiness of having Miles). And now there's a constant feeling of awe and gratitude. But it's all still there.
Joy does not replace pain. And pain does not replace joy.
And so I don't process too much beyond that. I just let it all be, holding onto each moment before it's gone.
And at times those moments are big.
In the middle of the night, I lay next to Elliott, staring at her precious, perfect face as she sleeps. And there he is. I see her and I see Miles. I do not have a "replacement" issue--I know full well and celebrate that she is our second child, her own little person, starting out on her own little path. But there is something. Something real about feeling like I've been here before--a deja vu of sorts--yet this is the first time I've had a child here with me at home. I look out the window at the hospital at night, the light on the helicopter pad constantly blinking. I think of those days when Miles was alive. And I look at my framed photo of Miles on the day he was born. I whisper to him with tears in my eyes and a smile on my face in case he can see me, "I miss you, Miles. I wish you were here with us, too."
I hold Elliott in my arms, whispering to her how much I love her, memorizing her every facial expression, sound, and sweet way. My moments are happily filled with learning the ways she likes to be held and swayed. Eating spoonfuls of peanut butter and big glasses of milk, trying to keep up my milk supply for her. Panicking when I'm worried she's not breathing well, relying on Mitch to tell me that she's fine. Singing to her and bringing the total number of people who like my singing voice to the grand total of two--Miles and Elliott. Jumping out of the shower midway through to make sure she's still asleep and not crying for me. Holding her all night on the couch since she cries in the crib ("Isn't a walk-in closet supposed to be every girl's dream?" Mitch asks), briefly wondering if I'm doing long term damage to her ability to sleep in her own bed.
Simply I'm busy doing all of the things that I hoped and prayed I would get to do with her--and that I had hoped and prayed to do with Miles. It doesn't take much processing to figure that one out.