In our family, Joey is technically the oldest and Andy is the youngest. In my husband's family, Andy (his brother) is the oldest and Joey (my husband) is the youngest. For awhile we had Joey, our son, and Joe my husband which we got used to saying. But now we have Little Andy and Big Andy (or Uncle Andy) as well. Lately when I find myself talking about the comparisons of Joey and Andy, I have to specify that it's not Andy and Joe that I'm talking about. Before I know it, the whole thing becomes a big confusion. Not to mention it is all too easy to accidentally say Joey when I mean to say Andy, which doesn't help the situation either. I guess I just got so used to saying Joey when talking about our son. Now that we have another son, I have to get used to saying Andy instead. You can see how this gets confusing.
Sometimes I can't help but feel guilty about having another son. In my mind, I am in no way trying to replace Joey, but it's too easy to jump to that feeling. Joey will always be our first son, but Andy will be our first full term son. It's like having two first born sons, but at separate times.
After losing Joey, I remember some people told me that he was just checking my husband and I out and would come back another time. At the time, I can't say that I really believed in the idea that my son had come just for a little preview and would be back later. In my mind, he was up and heaven, there to stay. But now that I'm pregnant with Andy, sometimes they are so similar, I can't help but feel like Joey is back in a way. Both Joey and Andy have me craving cheeseburgers. They both have long legs and started kicking strong early in the pregnancy. And yet, although both brothers are so much alike, they're different in their own ways too. Joey had me gagging any time I was near sea food for the entire pregnancy, where as Andy had me avoiding chicken for a little while but now I have no food aversions. Joey had me craving butterfinger blizzards, where Andy has me craving..., well just about anything sweet. Joey kicked after meals but Andy kicks before meals when I get hungry. Plus Joey was up and moving early in the morning, where as Andy seems to sleep in until nearly 10am and is wiggling until late at night. Like Big Andy and Joe, the brothers are so much alike and yet so different.
As much as it seems like Joey is in there some times, Andy is very much his own person. The two brothers are obviously a lot a like, and maybe in a way Andy has a lot of his brother in him. But I still feel like Joey is in heaven watching over his little brother as Andy grows more and more into his own unique self. I will always love and cherish Joey, forever remembering what he taught us and what he sacrificed for us. But now it's time I enjoy the gift he gave to us...the gift of his little brother and the chance for Andy to carry to full term.
Every time I mix up their names, though I feel guilty at first, I soon feel the joy that comes from having such wonderfully similar and yet unique sons. I love it that they are so much a like. I love it that they are so different. Though there are so many emotions to sort through with having another son, I wouldn't have it any other way.