As unhealthy as it may sound, sometimes I feel like Sam is mine.
I sleep on a futon mattress on the floor of the living room. Sam snuggled up against me or directly on my chest. I disregard peoples warnings of the dangers of co-sleeping with a baby and the arguments people put forward that I'm spoiling him and setting up bad sleeping habits. I wake through the night to feed him, make sure the blankets aren't near his face, to check his breathing. He comes with me to friends' houses, work-related events, for coffee.
I like him close.
I hold him as I type this post with one hand. I recognize that my deepening attachment to this little life may be in part to ease the anxiety and discomfort felt from the corrosion of the slightly bigger life I'm already attached to. And I'm okay with that.
Julia and I bicker about his care like typical parents do, despite not being his parents. Whether to use a soother, how many layers of clothes he needs for the weather, the reasons for his crying. I find myself wanting to bring him to our house, away from the weight of what's happening to his sister. I want to protect him. From this. From everything. (Although there's no way in hell Stella would allow me to steal her brother, she often doesn't like him out of her sight and directs his care from her place on the couch, and is doing a fine job of protecting him). I want to give Aim and Mish the room they need for Stella. With Stella desperately attached to Mishi's lap, and Aimee with a separated pelvis unable to care for one child let alone two, both of them suffering indescribable pain, I am given the room I need for Sam.
People obsessively ask me if Julia and I plan to have another baby, presumably because of my obvious attachment to this one. Family members have been more than encouraging, pressuring even. I cant help but wonder if it's because they worry if something happened to Gracie, that we wouldn't have a baby Sam to live for. As if a second child would heal the loss of a first.
Sam looks like Aimee. Same eyebrows, skin tone (albeit a bit jaundiced), nose, and upper lip. I find myself filled with childhood memories of us when I look at him. When we found out a few months ago that Sam was a boy, I was quietly disappointed. I hoped for a girl, just as I did when Stella was born. I wanted for my daughter to have the relationship Aimee and I had growing up and still have, the relationship Mishi and Heather have; tight, protective, bonded, connected. The relationship Gracie and Stella had already begun developing, best friends. When others found out Sam was a boy, they were quietly relieved. A boy could mean the possibility of a different experience than the heartbreaking one with Stella. Less triggering, less to compare, possibly less resemblance. And it's true. Sam doesn't resemble Stella at all, he rather resembles Gracie a little bit.
Now that he's here with us, I am infatuated with Sam exactly the way he is. I'm even starting to see all of the possibilities for Gracie and Sam's relationship, regardless of sex, separation in age, presence of Stella.
The other day I caught myself. I had entered the house and walked right past Stella on the couch to find and hold Sam. Unconsciously disregarding our ritual nose kiss greeting and her daily inquiring of what treats I had brought her. When I realized what I did, I couldn't stop crying in the bathroom almost all afternoon.
I'm not sure where this post is going. i know it sounds unfinished, i guess my thoughts are just unfinished, i dunno.