One thing I haven't talked about much here is that Andrew looks exactly like Jack. Not necessarily in photos, but in person he is the spitting image. Folks who knew Jack as a tiny baby take a step back and say, "Oh, WOW" when they see Andrew for the first time.
I don't doubt that as he sheds his newborn-ness and asserts his own personality, he will start to look more like his unique self, but oh boy, I wasn't expecting a little clone baby. My siblings and I may have resembled each other, but never this much.
Also, like Jack, Andrew will only sleep during the day if he's resting on my stomach and I'm bouncing my pelvis up and down. Call it mama twerking if you will. But of course when I did it with Jack, none of us knew what twerking was and Miley Cyrus was still a Huggies-wearing preschooler named Destiny Hope. Good times.
So, what is it like having a baby who looks just like my son who died?
It's pretty awesome and not all that weird. I tried to figure out why I don't find it more painful or troubling, and I think, in a way, it's because it has helped throw me right back into what motherhood was like so long ago, even though I am rusty. It just feels right. Of course he looks like a Donaldson, because he IS one! He looks a lot like Margaret, too, and Tim, and me. And even though I'm 46 and this whole thing has been quite the surprise, I'm still MOM-- hear me roar. Or hear me scrape the bottom of yet another ice cream bowl, but whatever.
Andrew's sweet little looks don't make me miss Jack more. What I mean is, having baby Andrew makes me miss the sweet and innocent times of Jack and Margaret's babyhoods (something I never thought I would say) just as you might miss your own children's babyhoods-- marveling at how little they once were, remembering the sweet baby smells, footy pajamas, and the very first smiles. It isn't about grief as much as change and the passing of time.
With Jack, I miss the 17 year old boy who would be up to who knows what this summer, driving around town, dating, and hopefully holding down a part time job before Senior year. I try to picture him as the big, big brother to this little one, which isn't difficult because teenaged Margaret is such an awesome example, marveling along with Mom and Dad at every teeny tiny milestone.
I'm grateful that I'm able to remember and channel the sweet, tough, sleepless days of the past, as with love and wonder and muscle memory we embrace these new ones with Baby Andrew.
P.S. How I wish for your sake the computer screen had "smell-i-vision" because there is a sweet baby on my chest right now, and his head is right in sniffing range.