Sometimes I have dreams and thoughts about what it must have been like to be my husband after Finley died.
I remember how excited we were to call everyone and tell them that we were expecting, and then that I was in labour and he would soon be joining us in this world.
I remember him taking Jacob over to the neighbours when we headed to the hospital so that he wouldn’t be on his own. And then I remember him moving the car out of the garage and the heavy security gates surrounding our house while I was inside so that I wouldn’t have to wait. I remember him carrying the car seat that we spent so long choosing together and the bag that I spent aganozing amounts of time packing. And I remember him laughing at me as I waddled to the car with a towel between my legs because my waters were still leaking everywhere.
We were so happy. So excited. He snoozed off and on while I was in labour and I was content. Content to wait for our son.
When it came time for the very painful part, Steve was there. He was there to encourage me through the contractions. He was there telling me to breathe when I told him I didn’t think I could make it through another pain. He held me up while I had to try and sit still through my worst pains while they were placing the epidural. He held my legs while I tried to push our son into this world. He looked at his head as he was being born, and I’m sure at that moment he was filled with an overwhelming sense of…of what? Excitement? Love? Fear? All of the above I’m sure. His son was about to be born and our lives were about to change to make room for a new little life.
But things have a way of not going as we would imagine. He was there through my csection even though I know he is squeemish. He held my hand as we waited to hear Finley’s first cries that didn’t come. And he was with me through those terrible moments where we could hear everything that was happening to try and save our son’s life. I remember the look on his face and the tears in his eyes, and mostly I remember being glad that it was him who was there with me.
Steve never held Finley. When we were able to see him he was covered in tubes and wires and was having seizures. I don’t know if he was afraid or if he just didn’t want to hurt him. But he was there as I held our son for the first and only time when he was alive. And if you look at the photos, you can see that he was looking at me. I don’t know if he knew then how much I would change – that the person that he chose to spend his life with would end up so different from the person that he married.
I remember the moment that we were told that Finley had died. I remember how I felt. I remember Steve comforting me and trying to be strong. But I don’t remember his face. I don’t know if I even looked at him to see what his reaction was. I think from that moment on I became selfish. My baby was dead and I was almost dead and nothing made sense. And Steve was so strong. He was strong for me because I was a wreck.
The night that Finley died, Steve left the hospital with the same carseat and the same baby bag that we entered the hospital with. I can’t imagine how it must have felt to drive all of those miles back to an empty house with the empty carseat in the back. We should have been driving home together with our son filling that seat. He should be wearing the clothes that I had packed for him to come home in. But instead everything had to go home as unused as it was while we were waiting for Finley to be born.
Steve would have walked into the house that night. I’m sure that it seemed to be mocking him – Finley’s things were everywhere waiting for him to need them. He spent the evening moving every single thing that we had chosen for our son into the nursery. The things that I’d knit. Every single thing. And then he shut the door. We lived in a huge Italian villa, with high ceilings, open space and marble floors that should have been so full of the presence of a new baby and a tired new mother and a hyper dog. The house must have seemed so empty instead. The silence echoing off of the cold, hard floors.
Everything about the night my husband must have had haunts me. And it breaks my heart again and again.
I saw an image like this, and it made me so sad. When we were expecting Finley it felt like we had everything. Seeing the elephants also broke my heart, as they we a large part of Finley’s nursery. I know that we still have each other, but sometimes it feels like we lost everything when Finley died.