My name is Lindsay and I regularly blog at You Are The Roots. I'm a writer, not an athlete -- and that's why I've spent the past few years doing a Blogathon. It's what us bloggers do while you more athletic people are out running marathons for charity. Don't laugh. Staying up for 24 hours is tricky when you're a sleep-deprived parent.
I'm a mom of two living in Southeast Florida. This is where it gets tricky. In June of 2011, I gave birth to my beautiful son, Ethan. He was born screaming and hasn't stopped talking since. (I'm only slightly joking. I'm pretty sure he even talks a mile a minute in his sleep.) After analyzing (and overanalyzing) it to shreds, we decided to try for a second child to give Ethan a sibling. We were ecstatic when we found out we were expecting our second child. My second pregnancy was slightly easier than my first even though I was more tired after chasing a toddler around all day. We found out we were expecting a little girl and I couldn't shake my gut feeling that something was wrong. When I envisioned my life, it was always as a boy mom. I found myself frustrated at people when they told me how having a girl was "the best" and how "everyone wants a daughter." Maybe it was a premonition and maybe, somehow, I always knew but the day the perinatologist put her hand on my shoulder and told her my daughter wasn't going to make it was still the worst day of my life. Before my eyes, my world began to crumble as I felt my daughter move around in my belly only to accept that I would soon be mourning her short, beautiful life. Wylie was diagnosed with a very rare and severe cause of congenital heart disease that came out of nowhere. Her heart was literally broken -- and then, so were ours.
Wylie passed a month before Ethan's 3rd birthday. He would ask me if I was crying because I didn't want to have his birthday party anymore and my heart would ache out of guilt, but also smile at the beautiful innocence that only children possess. His birthday party went on and his smile got us through the darkest pain of our lives. Wylie's ashes came home and the door to her in-progress nursery was locked shut. Her clothes still hang in the closet, her crib still sits in the room that her brother helped paint for her.
It's been a hard road to walk. "How many do you have, just the one?" Strangers ask it all of the time, wherever we are -- the grocery store, Target, the mall, Starbucks. I never know how to respond. Saying "yes, just the one" makes me feel like I am dishonoring my daughter. Saying "no, I have another one but she died" is never worth the reaction it gets: the awkwardness, the scurrying away, the thoughtless "at least you have him."
These are things I'm still trying to figure out. These are things I will probably spend the rest of my life trying to figure out. Maybe I will and maybe I never will. Maybe I will have more children. Maybe I won't. The only certainty in my life is that I have two children -- two beautiful children -- and that's never going to change.