And just like that I find myself at 35 weeks pregnant. Five weeks away from my due date, but if Baby Mac & Cheese is anything like Maddox, probably a little less until we actually meet them.
I’ve spent a lot of this pregnancy feeling overwhelming anxiety. Every appointment has gone perfectly, but I’ve been there before. I know first hand how everything can look perfect and you can still leave the hospital without your baby.
But, as we get closer, I have started to finally feel some excitement, allowing myself to believe we might actually take this baby home. And the excitement of everyone in our lives is incredible. I love how our people love this baby so hard. And how excited they are to meet them.
That brings a whole new fear: that once our new baby arrives, Maddox will be forgotten. I know that all parents with multiple children have to learn to share their love, to grow their heart and create space for a new love. And that doesn’t mean pushing aside the space one occupies. They both exist simultaneously.
The difference is, Maddox lives on this earth for 13 days. Baby Mac & Cheese will, hopefully, live long beyond my time here. There will be more memories. They will do fun, silly, cute and obnoxious things literally every day. They will meet more people and have a real chance to make their mark on the world.
And the truth is, most people don’t understand infant loss. And many people will think that having this second child fills the hole in our hearts that Maddox left behind. They don’t understand that you can know someone so fully before you ever officially meet them. I knew Maddox to the core, more than I have ever known another human.
One human life can never be replaced by another. No matter how thrilled we are to welcome this tiny human into our lives, we will never stop remembering, missing and loving Maddox. His presence will be a constant in our hearts and the core of everything we do.
My fear is that the world will forget. That they will think this birth ties everything up into a nice, neat little package and suddenly we will be okay. They will stop talking about Maddox, stop remembering him and go on living their lives as if he never existed.
We are so, insanely grateful for the love, empathy and excitement our people have shared with us over the last 2 years through 2 pregnancies, 1 birth and a monumental loss. It is not something everyone in our lives was up for, and that’s okay, because the people who have stuck around and been there for us are the only people we need. They are the very best.
As you watch this new perfect human enter the world and grow up into a stubborn, emotional, bold adult with a kickass back squat, we ask you to please remember the beautiful, perfect human that came before. And please, let him still matter.
My sweet Maddox, no one could ever take your place. We will never forget you. And, no matter how much we love your little sibling, the absence you have left in our world will never be filled. It is your space to take in this world where you deserve so much more.