Every year, 26,000 babies are stillborn in America. In 2003, one of them was my son.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Happy Birthday to my little guy

I've just read Monica's post over at Still Hopeful and am thinking yet again of what might be, and of what is. Yesterday was a year since she and her husband lost Jack, and I am reminded again of the sting of anniversaries. But today marks a happy anniversary for us, James's 3rd birthday. We were expecting him on the 5th, but despite the 6 a.m. induction, he chose not to appear until 12:57 on the morning of the 6th.

I expect I will always think, on this day, no matter how old the two of us get, that if Ben had not died, there would likely be no James. Physically, time-wise, it would have been possible to have them both, born 18 months apart. Had Ben lived, it is very likely we would have an infant now, a child under the age of 1.5. My naive plan to have three children, about three years apart, might have been complete. That dream might have come true.

Today, I can't imagine having three kids - well, no, I can imagine it, but I can't somehow comprehend what life would be like. I am faced with the terrible knowledge that, if Ben had lived, James wouldn't be with us. I can't imagine life with the one, but without the other. And I could never make that choice, if I had to, although I believe that if there were no other choice but to have Ben, stillborn, or not to have him at all, I would take him as I had him.

But today is not about Ben, though he is never far from my thoughts. Today is James's day, and I can't imagine my life without him. Every day I am amazed by how much I love him, how much he lights up my world. I think he came here to make us laugh, which we all need. At three, he loves big trucks, dinosaurs, and making loud noises. He tells me he loves me, gives great "squeeze hugs," and is generally a crazy little man growing up far too quickly. He loves preschool and wearing his "packback" and carrying his lunchbox. He adores Thomas the Tank Engine and his stuffed monkey. He also adores his big sister, who he calls "Diddy." He has changed my world for the better and he is the reason I smile every day.

Happy Birthday, Little Man. I love you, more than you will ever know.


Debbie said...

Happy Birthday, James! <3 <3 <3

Especially sentimental today, maybe? Your post brought tears to my eyes instantly.

Monica H said...

Happy Birthday James :-)

Thank you for thinking of me and noting Jack's would be birthday. Some things we may never understand, but I'm hoping and praying and waiting for the day when all of this makes a bit of sense. Perhaps it will and the outcome will include a little boy who wears "packbacks".

c. said...

Happy Birthday, James!

Virginia said...

Thanks, everyone. I know it's hard to see someone else's baby growing up and I know you understand as well. But I'm so happy you share this joy with me, though I'm sorry it's hard.

I'm not saying what I want to say very well, so, thank you. And hugs.

Jen Ballantyne said...

What a beautiful post Virginia. I came by to thank you for your support and the kindness you have shown on my blog. I appreciate it so very much and am very glad I popped by. Thanks again and take care, Jen B x