On January 13th, I started and saved this post:
A very small boy named Jack is here, and he is ours.
Jack Michael was born at 8:59 on January 5, 2015. He measured in at 8lbs even and 20″ long. He has long, long eyelashes and long, long fingers and a tiny pair of kissing lips.
After a nasty hit-and-run with HELLP syndrome with Carter Patrick, we were being diligent in monitoring my lab results, particularly after the start of the third trimester. At just after 37 weeks along, some of my old symptoms resurfaced. The unfunny joke about those symptoms is that many of them (spotty vision, swelling, headache, upper right gastric pain) can easily be associated with being largely pregnant. And then my platelets started a not-dangerous-but-not-good descent, and so began the every-two-days blood draws and urine samples.
The good news is that I never had to find out if that’s where all of that was headed. I went into a long, slow labor that started gaining speed last Monday. The day ended with a really cute baby with a full head of black hair.
As a side note, I’d like to hold a moment of gratitude for epidurals. Amen. The darn thing wore off for about 45 minutes — the anesthesiologist was in a crash C-section — and that wasn’t fun, but nothing like Carter’s labor shenanigans. Other than a super itchy face, I have nothing but high praise.
Everything has been smooth sailing. I mean, life with a newborn is exhausting, and one week in, I feel like I’m in a what-day-is-it cloud of feeding and diaper blowouts and fifteen minute catnaps. But Carter has been pretty great with all the change.
In the stir of packing for a new house and happy haze of a new baby, I set it aside for a couple of weeks. And then, as Jack chimed in his third week, life stopped.
I can’t write about Megan the way I want to write about Megan. Almost two weeks since the wreck, and the mention of her name makes my forehead go numb. That’s how I’d describe it. My brain freezes, not a fade but a collapse, and there’s truly a physical tingling right in the front of my head. Sometimes the thoughtless, stymied minutes (or hours) are accompanied by tears. Quick, thin tears that roll and roll. It’s one of the oddest things — crying without any thought. Empty head, numb brain, blocked mind — and tears that are in full stream before you realize they are all over you, all over your steering wheel, all over your husband’s shirt, all over your sleeping infant. There is no heartbreak, no loss that is relatable. And I think that is all that I can manage to put down, right now. But I promise, Meg. I promise I will keep trying. I promise that I will keep trying until all of your stories are heard.
The main purpose of this blog, from its 2008 beginnings, was to help me track my life. I’ve done a shoddy job, especially in the past 2-3 years. In the wake of personal hardship or struggle, I’ve opted for radio silence. And in the happiest times, I’d get caught up in the moment and put off documentation. As for the first — I think it’s time to not default to mute when it comes to my life story. And the latter, well, I’ll try to be better.
For today’s sake, it’s important that I document a couple of things:
January 5th: Jack Michael Sparks was born
January 23rd: We closed on our new house
February 5-7th: Jack was hospitalized for RSV.
February 6th: Alllll the help moves us into our new home.
February 10th: Megan’s services.
I don’t know. There’s more. So much more. Organizing for her, or her boys. So much organizing. So many events. The giving; the community. Lots of craziness and doctor appointments on our end. The house, unpacking. Jack fussing and Carter driving me crazy and the mom guilt and not knowing what to do, ever. Last semester of Master’s classes.
I don’t remember what sleep is. Jack slept until 5:15 this morning. 12-5:15am. Best night of sleep I’ve had since January 4th. It was amazing. (Jack went down at 8, so that makes it truly amazing. I’m considering tranquilizers on my end of the bargain.)
Part of me wants to be so, so happy. Jack and Carter and Jesse and me. Living so close to his family, my family. Having our own place with our own yard and seeing the sun come up over the mountains. Spring weather. Despite all the other stress and busy-ness, this would be the happiest I can ever remember being.
But she’s not here, and I don’t know why and I can’t think.