Since Gabriel was born and especially since he started sleeping alone in his crib (11 months), I have kept him very closely monitored. We have an AngelCare movement and sound monitor under the mattress, which detects every breath he takes. If it doesn't, it will sound the alarm. A few times, it has gone off, causing me to rush into his room to check on him. Usually he has just managed to squeeze himself into a corner that is difficult for the monitor to pick up the movement. I also have a video monitor so I can see what he's doing. A few times when the AngelCare has gone off, I've been able to see him moving in the video monitor, so I know he's OK. I keep both monitors on all night, every night. We travel with them, too. It gives me enormous peace of mind, which affords me a better night's sleep.
Despite the monitoring, it rarely fails to cross my mind each morning when I hear Gabriel start to stir that he has woken up. I am hyper conscious of the fact that we all continue to wake up. Why is this? Why is it that Natalie didn't? It seems like such a simple thing, to wake up. To keep breathing, to stay alive. Yet she didn't and we will never know why.
This is a difficult time of year. March 18th is coming fast. I get more anxious, breathe shorter breaths, and have a deeper-than-usual feeling of sorrow. The gloom of March has descended. I know we'll get through it and it's not out of strength, it's out of having no other choice. The 6th anniversary of our little girl's tragic passing is almost here. It doesn't seem to be getting any easier year after year. It just is. It is just part of our DNA now. And we all do our best to be a little bit kinder to each other, a little bit more forgiving, because we know the worst time of year is here. As we muddle through this difficult time, I continue to take comfort that we all continue to wake up and marvel at the simultaneous simplicity and complexity of that reality.