One month tomorrow.
I can't even process how much my life has changed in that time. I was prepared for changes, but not for anything like what's happened. Going to the store is an ordeal for me. Spending time with people outside of my family is so emotionally and mentally exhausting to me that I'd honestly rather just not leave the house.
I found a charity online that does free photo retouching for stillborn babies, so I brought the one professional picture we have of Matthew to the place here in town that is affiliated with them. I really wanted the hospital to call Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep to do Matthew's pictures - and I didn't realize until the picture arrived that it was a different service. NILMDTS specializes in bereavement pictures, and the service that did ours takes pictures of all the babies that are born at that particular hospital. The picture I got was beautiful, but I would have liked different shots. Specifically one of me and the Other Half and our son. It would have been nice to have a family picture when we had the chance.
Anyway, the picture came back yesterday. I don't know how I feel about it. It is amazing. Beautiful. Perfect. He looks like an angel. But in a way, seeing it makes it harder. Seeing him in that picture was like looking into an alternate reality. One where my precious boy lived.
I hope that anyone reading this who has children knows how incredibly, amazingly lucky they are. I hope you appreciate every single tantrum, every messy diaper blow-out, every sleepless night. Because there are those of us who would take it all in a heartbeat if we could.