His Mommy

By |2018-05-10T20:34:19+00:00May 10th, 2018|Parenting After Loss|0 Comments

I don’t want to be writing this.

My skin tingles and it feels like I have cotton in my ears. The tears are coating my eyes, threatening to spill over. I don’t want to be a bereaved mother.

People are kind. They acknowledged I am a mother, even when I had no living children. On Mother’s Day, I received messages and a gift or two. Each gesture heartfelt, thoughtful, and generous. Validating my role as a mother, validating my relationship to my baby boy.

But none of that takes away from how wrong it all feels.

I am a mother, that has been true for me since I saw that positive pregnancy test. It was still true when Oberon died. It is still true today. I am his mother, he is my child. But this motherhood, this isn’t right.

Elegant cards met with a quiet house. Holding on to my memories because we can’t make new ones.

I want him in my arms, wriggling to get free. I want the hurried steps, trying to find a favorite toy. I want the unintelligible demands and the mystery of figuring out new phrases. I want the randomly mispronounced words. I want the giddy laughter that scrunches up eyes. I want the silly faces for pictures, or the refusal to take any at all. I want to read the same book over and over again. I want to go to him in the middle of the night to comfort and cuddle. I want to order random things off Amazon because he is into that sort of thing these days. I want to have a never-ending pile of miniature laundry. Boogers on fingers. Leaky diapers. Sticky tables. Toys underfoot.

I am a mother, but I want to be his mommy.

Elizabeth with Oberon in hospice care

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About the Author:

Elizabeth Thoma
Elizabeth Thoma lives in the Bay Area, California, with her husband, Chris, and two cats, JJ and Pepper. She found out she was expecting their first child Mother’s Day weekend, 2014. With mild symptoms and no significant early warning signs, they adjusted to pregnancy and eagerly planned for their growing family. At the second trimester anatomy scan, they found out they were having a son and that he had an abdominal wall defect, an omphalocele. Ever the planners, Elizabeth and Chris prepared themselves and their families for what the omphalocele meant in a best-case scenario, and some of the possibilities that couldn’t be diagnosed in utero. Their son, Oberon, was born six weeks early and had his omphalocele surgery within his first twelve hours of life. The surgery went well, but Obie was having trouble breathing. At first, the doctors thought it was related to his large tongue, one of the many indicators that he had Beckwith-Wiedemann Syndrome. When Obie was one week old, the doctors told Chris and Elizabeth that somewhere along the line, Obie’s brain stopped developing. While they could control his seizures somewhat with heavy medication, Obie’s brain would never develop and he would not be able to walk, talk, or even communicate. At this point, they decided to switch Obie to comfort care and try to take him home from the NICU. They successfully broke out of the NICU and Obie rode home in an ambulance. Bringing their son home brought much comfort to their family. Obie passed away at home in his daddy’s arms at 33 days old. Elizabeth found out she was pregnant with their second child a week after Mother’s Day, 2015. Her second son, Everett, was born January 7, 2016. Elizabeth and Chris blog at about their family at Our Little Beastie.

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