It is hard to believe that it has been 5 years since our first son, Lukas was born still. I can still hear the echo of the doctor’s voice when we were told there was no heartbeat and I remember nearly every aspect of the three days that would follow. Without a doubt the hardest few days of my life. I still think of Lukas daily and each time I hear Ian laugh or watch his reaction to something new, I wonder if Lukas would have done the same thing. I know that these thoughts will never stop and that brings me a certain level of peace. I know that because of Lukas we were able to have Ian and that because of his loss Ian is healthy and ornery and growing into a boy who is discovering the world in front of him with open arms.
Even after five years I don’t really know how to explain the feeling of loosing a child you never knew and how hard it is on someone. All I can explain is how I am feeling and how we have grown to relish things I think we would have taken for granted had we not lost Lukas. Of course we still run into the frustrations of being a parent just like anyone, but I have to say there are times like now where we really focus on the fun that Ian is having and how we can make things better for him. I want to give him more than ever because of the fact that Lukas didn’t get the chance. Sure Ian is spoiled, and I am happy to be in a position to spoil him.
The only thing that still gets me is when someone asks if Ian is our only child, or “when are we going to have more?” These simple questions are so often thrown out with a smile on one’s face, not thinking of the answers they might get. I have gotten to a point when I try to keep the mood light and say “just one” or “we’re just counting our blessings” but there are times when I want to expand people’s horizon a bit and tell them about Lukas and the struggle we had just having one child. It is not easy for everyone, and not everyone has happy endings to all of their stories. I don’t say this to make you feel sorry for us, I say this because people don’t talk about it enough. We don’t talk about loss, because we don’t want to ruin someone’s day. In the end all we really do is keep the cover over reality. It is tragic. It is sad. It is real.
So as we celebrate Lukas’ fifth birthday, we are sad. But we are grateful too. We will always miss our son that no one got to meet, and we will hurt for the dreams he never got to have. But we love him for allowing us to have Ian, and for allowing him to have dreams and for making us truly understand the gift that a child is.