While I was writing my last post, I typed something different and I changed it. What I posted was “because wasn’t the whole point to have a baby to raise for the next 50 years?” but what I typed originally was “because the whole point to get a real live baby?”
This is something I struggle with, and I think a lot of parents in our shoes struggle with, and it’s partly because the English language doesn’t have the right words and it’s partly because that’s kind of how it feels, sometimes.
I want – need, really – people to know and understand that Amy was real. Is real. That she was really our daughter, that I really had a baby, that she existed and we held her and loved her more than you would ever imagine you could love such a tiny person, who never even got to take a breath. All of that is true, but at the same time, this is also true – for lack of a better word, it feels like we didn’t get to have a real baby.
And semantics aside, I think most people know what I mean. You don’t plan to have a dead baby. When you say you want to “have a baby,” the focus is really not on the baby at all, but on the addition to your family and the experiences you’ll have together, and the experiences he or she will have separately. Sometimes our outcome feels like a scene in one of those movies with the stubborn genie, like oh, well, you only said you wanted to have a baby, you didn’t specify that she should be *alive.*
But I don’t want to say I want a real baby, like Amy wasn’t real. Sometimes she seems like something I dreamed up, but she is one of the realest things to ever happen to me. To us. It’s hard to communicate the duality of it, and it’s hard not to feel like it’s a little betrayal when I think of her as not being a “real baby.” I guess what I mean is that she wasn’t a baby the way a baby is supposed to be. I guess what I mean is I feel like a childless mother, day to day, because day to day, I am.