February 22 was the anniversary of Cayden's funeral. I spent the day not thinking about it, forcefully turning my mind from memories and images. I had to do this, to keep from moving into a state of utter panic. There was a GurgleOrc waiting to be born. His due date was February 27. He was moving consistently, but I still poked and prodded him if he went longer than an hour or so without adjusting position.
He was late, as all mine have been. He made his appearance on March 2. I spent the entire labor refusing to believe that it was actually happening, that what I was feeling weren't Braxton-Hicks contractions. By four in the afternoon the pain was intense enough that I decided I needed that blessed epidural. So we went, were admitted, I was praised for my calm demeanor and asked if I was sure I really needed the epidural? I assured them I did, that I was only calm because I knew it was coming. Around nine that evening the nurse announced it was time to push. We spent a few minutes doing this and then to my complete and utter surprise GurgleOrc was handed to me. After the marathon sessions with Orclette and Miniorc I had expected this one to go on and on and on and .... You get the picture.
GurgleOrc is five months now. I don't dwell overmuch on thinking about how old Cayden would be now as it's still too painful. We talk about him frequently, I include him in our prayers, I say we have four children to those who ask. I can sometimes sing in church now although tears always threaten. The music is beginning to come back, the mind is thinking again, ideas are formulating. And GurgleOrc is pure joy. He wakes up slowly, gurgling softly, then upping the volume until he's telling all and sundry that HE IS AWAKE. BASK IN MY PRESENCE. His sister and brother adore him and I've only heard a couple of times that they wish we could send him back (and that was in the beginning, now Miniorc tells e that he won't ever let anyone hurt his little brother).
So. There we are. I'm pronouncing myself back. I'm not fully Wulfa yet, but then I will never again be the Wulfa that I was. And that's fine. Pain is a constant reminder to me, but joy comes with it as I think about one day, a long ways from now, getting to talk to Cayden, ask him what he thought of his childhood, what he thinks about everything. Preferably in a library with squashy armchairs and lots of coffee (I don't subscribe to the floating on clouds idea of heaven). It will be lovely.