Today I should have a 9 month old baby boy at home. We should be in Italy. I imagine that he would be crawling and getting into everything while we are trying to get all of the last minute preparations for Christmas complete. There would be a mound of presents under the tree that took ages to wrap because of the sweet boy who keeps distracting me. Steve’s family would probably be with us by now, slightly disbelieving of how much Finley has grown. We’d be getting ready for Christmas Eve. I’d probably be pulling my hair out wondering how I was meant to enjoy my son’s first Christmas while having to also entertain. But it would be merry. Finley would go to bed in his Christmas pyjamas and when we got him dressed on Christmas morning, it would be in some suitably adorable Christmas onesie. He would be a fun age, and would probably love playing in all of the paper and boxes. There would be so many photos. I can imagine sitting on Skype with my family back in Canada and everyone would be all smiles and laughter because of a special little man. Because of Finley.
Last Christmas I was just in my third trimester of pregnancy. I was in Canada and my family and friends were meeting my husband for the first time. My grandma gave us a book for Finley and in the inside it said ‘For Baby Sissons, love G. Grandma’. I had so many expectations about what the following year would look like. I could picture how it would feel to finally have my own child to share this magical holiday with. I imagined making new traditions, buying a Baby’s First Christmas bauble that is similar to the ones my parents had for my brother and me.
I could not sleep last night, I had so many nightmares. I was upset today. Steve said to me that I can’t be upset on the 23rd of every month forever. But I’m afraid I will be. How can I not be? At this time 9 months ago, I was half an hour away from meeting my son. Still blissfully unaware that my life would never turn out the way I had planned. I knew I would be meeting him soon because I was being taken in for my cesarean. I thought I would have a lifetime with him. Within a matter of minutes I went from the highest of highs at giving birth, to the lowest of lows knowing that he wasn’t ok.
I finally hung the stockings that I knit today. They look so lovely all together up on the mantle. I only wish that it was a photo of the three of us (and Jacob) rather than a photo of our stockings that I was able to share with everyone.
My husband says that if I keep thinking Christmas is going to be terrible, then I will make it terrible. Like a self fulfilling prophecy. And while he is probably partially right, I can’t think about Christmas and be happy. Because being truly happy would mean pretending that Finley never happened. It would mean denying every hope and wish that I had last Christmas. Erasing every plan that I made when I was pregnant. It’s impossible.
And so all I ask for this Christmas is that you remember Finley with me. Don’t expect too much from me. Let me take the time to be upset and sad if I need to. Remind me that his life mattered and continues to matter to you too. Do something for him or in his name. Just remember.