Today is the one month anniversary of Samantha’s death, and she would have been five months old today. In many ways I’m glad that the two coincide, because having multiple dates that are difficult would be harder. But on the 10th of any given month, I will probably pause and think of her birth and death, at least for a while. It’s also been four weeks since the funeral today.

We’re going to the cemetery today. Travis went a week or two ago, with a member from our church who was out of town during the funeral. I haven’t been out there yet, but I would really like to make this a part of our routine. If I’m home on the 10th, I will be at the cemetery at some point. I’m really glad that it is in the same town as us, unlike when we buried Jonah.

Don’t get me wrong, I still believe we made the right choice originally with Jonah. We knew we wouldn’t be staying in Buffalo for long (at the time Travis was a mission developer, and his call was temporary at best). We didn’t know it would be for as long as it ended up being, since we did end up at a congregation in the area. But we just knew that it wasn’t a permanent home. Is Texas more permanent? We can’t see into the future to know, but it feels much more like we’re staying put. Much of that I think is due to the events of the last year. In so many ways we’re only just beginning to do ministry in this place. Life takes a slower pace here, so changes aren’t necessarily happening at the lightning speed that we took in other calls. And that’s ok.

It’s funny how our emotions aren’t tied to the calendar. They come and go at will. Travis was much more in tuned with Sunday being the four week anniversary of her death. I was paying more attention looking ahead to today. Yet for me, Sunday was awful. I was an emotional basket case all day, without any kind of specific trigger. Today I feel a sense of peace, while Travis seems to be having a rough day (from what I can see). I can’t promise that I won’t have a difficult time going to the cemetery though. Monday we went to the funeral home to finalize the design on the headstone and to pay our bill, which was difficult for me. I have only been there one other time, and it was for Samantha’s visitation. Travis had less trouble because he has many memories of meeting families there. Yesterday I watched a television show with a sad ending and cried, something I never used to do. Yes, I’d feel sad or get choked up, but crying actual tears during a movie or t.v. is out of character for me.

I don’t know a lot about development in babies. One of the difficult things for me is wondering what would have been happening if Samantha hadn’t gotten sick. Would she be starting to crawl yet? Trying out solid foods? Or is that later? When I see babies, I can’t figure out how old they are, but I wonder how they compare to what Samantha would have been. I haven’t figured out yet if my not knowing is better than knowing would be.

The infant room for our school/preschool/daycare is in the church nursery, so it’s right by the bathrooms that I use when I’m in the office. Each day I walk by and look in and think about going in to just hold a baby. I miss doing that so much. But I’m not ready to do that, and I think it would just be harder holding a baby who is not mine. I would be instantly aware of all the ways that child is different from our Samantha, and miss her all the more.

I keep thinking in the back of my head that I should make an appointment with my obgyn. I tell myself that it’s to discuss with her the dangers of having another kid, but the truth is I think I just need to see her as a piece of closure on this whole ordeal. I had my six-week followup while Samantha was still in the ICU, but things have changed so much since then. I don’t think it’s safe for me to attempt having other kids, which is why we’re talking about adopting when we’re ready (not any time soon). My blood pressure is too touchy with pregnancy and requires medication that isn’t safe for pregnancy. And this whole GBS thing is so unknown, since I had EVERY normal precaution and she still got sick. I think I’d go out of my mind with worry during the entire pregnancy. I nearly did this last time around, and I told myself the whole time that I was done.

But the idea of having another baby or even adopting is impossible to think about. Right now what I want is HER, not some other baby. And I can’t have her back. Having another child right now would just be an attempt to replace her, which I can’t do. I just miss her, and I keep hoping that one of these days it won’t hurt so much, while at the same time I realize that hurting is normal and I need to let myself do it.

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