Wednesday, March 17, 2010

I miss you, alligator

Yesterday was our monthly trip to Saint Andrews Bay for an all day sampling trip on the pontoon boat, the first one I've been on since I came back to work. It was sunny but still cold. I was looking forward to being on the boat again but I was dreading seeing the people that had last seen me in November, when I was still pregnant with you. I didn't know if the people we meet out there knew that you were gone and I couldn't bring myself to ask. I guess my coworker must have told them because the woman told me she was sorry to hear about the baby. I was grateful that she said something, most people have pretended nothing happened.

I cried when the boat got out on the water. It was so beautiful, the sun was sparkling on the water and the wind was ruffling the surface. The wind was cold, but scented with spring and all the promise of new life. But something was missing and it ruined the whole day. You loved riding on the boat, at least I always thought so because you always moved a lot when I rode on a boat. When we came out of the channel and picked up speed we went straight through a large flock of cormorants. They flew into the air and seemed to hover for a minute, following along with the boat so that they stayed just ahead of it. I thought of you while tears streamed down my face and the wind blew them from my cheeks to blend with the salt spray.

I thought about my beliefs and that part of you, the energy that made you unique in the world, might be there with me right at that moment. I thought again of how like a cold spring wind my grief is. It blows up out of nowhere on a beautiful sunny day and knocks me flat into a cold and muddy puddle. Some days it's not hard to stand up and brush off the mud, other days it's all I can do to keep my head above the black sucking mud and keep breathing. I wondered if you would be angry at me for being so sad when faced with such beauty. But you aren't here, so it can't be beautiful.

I realized after an hour or so that the day was so hard because this was the last thing I remember enjoying. The last time I did this trip was shortly before you died and that too was a beautiful day. It was warmer then and I was happy. The contrast was stark. Yesterday there was no squirming to laugh about, no need to brace for the bouncing when we hit a wave, no worry about getting too cold or getting sea sick. No late morning sickness to keep me from eating. Just me, all alone, huddled in my jacket so that no one could see me sobbing for my lost child. I wanted to go home, and I wanted you. It was such a beautiful day, but you weren't there to see it.


  1. we should still be pregnant.

    the day i found out that the baby had died was a beautiful sunny afternoon. after that i don't remember any sunshine at all, until a couple of weeks ago.

    i'm glad someone acknowledged Aiden. i'm discovering that as time goes by, people are more willing to talk. because i'm less likely to cry? maybe, but i'll take what i can get.


  2. Beautiful post.

    I'm sorry that Aiden wasn't there to see such a beautiful day but maybe a part of him, his energy, was with you.

    I'm glad that one of your colleagues mentioned Aiden. I find that 'pretending that nothing ever happened' so strange and hurtful although I completely understand why people take that route. I probably would have done in the past myself.

    Thinking of you. xo

  3. This was a beautiful post, and it sounds like you had a cathartic experience. I hope it was healing for you.

    On a much shallower note, I am intrigued about your job. What are you sampling? Is it for 'academic' research or conservation work?

  4. Leslie: I'm a biologist with the state environmental agency. Supposedly we are doing conservation work but the current political climate means we are really just spinning our wheels. Which is really too bad, this state could use some conservation. I wanted to be a wildlife biologist and even made it most of the way through graduate school, but now I am just happy to have a job. I always enjoy your blog because of my background. Keep up the nerdy science stuff!

  5. beautifully written :) I am so happy that at least 1 woman acknowledge Aiden. We have somewhat brushed on the subject but something that may need to get bumped up. Even now, 2 years out I still can't get people to say his name and acknowledge his life. Its like taboo...its frustrating thats what it is! I saw my dr yesterday and have some more news. contact me when you get a chance

  6. My heart breaks for you and your family. I find myself in the middle of this too, some place between motherhood and a very sick baby. Your support has meant so much to me, I hope I can do the same for you. You and Aiden are in my thoughts......