Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Everyday

There are times, where I just sit here and think about it; Birthing him, cuddling him, taking him home, and then losing him, coming home empty-handed... I just can't believe that all really happened. I can't believe we're here still and he's not. I can't believe I have his little sister and she's beautiful and amazing and absolutely the light of our lives. And that this is our lives.


I just can't believe I have to keep living this life day in and day out, for the rest of my life. The life where my first born lived and died... It's a nightmare that plays out on a perpetual loop- "My baby died, my baby died".

I meet new people- I'm making friends in our new community! I always feel on guard though until they know about my son, about Jack... I feel like I'm waiting to drop a bomb on people- their response to my words (his story) dictating as to whether I should invest any further in sustaining a relationship.  And they have no idea that I'm almost expecting them to say something upsetting because I've heard it all before.  So far I've been lucky, but I still can't help but wish it wasn't my story, you know? Like I wish I could tell the story of "someone I know" or "my sister's friend's aunt"... I hate that "we" are those stories told over breaths held and thoughts of "thank God that's not me".

Ugh.

My heart breaks for people who are new to all of this. And for people who don't feel like they can talk about their child, because I speak of him all the time. His story is laced within the fabric of my life now... Stories I tell, they are the way there are because he lived. Because he died. There are caveats and (logical?) reasoning behind statements and decisions and they are because of him. Grace born as a c-section because he was one too... I can't explain why she was a c-section without mentioning he is the reason.. And I can't explain why she was a c-section at 37w4 without explaining that I freaked out and couldn't handle the stress of it all anymore because of him. Because we lost him and everything is because of him. So I mention him all the time because he is the reason for so many seemingly little details of my life. And because I'm proud of who he was and all he should have been. I fully intend for Grace to know about her brother and hope she's one day proud to carry his name as hers middle name.

Polka dot diaper and leggings
Somedays I am so thrilled to be able to mother her living, ever present self that I want a million more just like the two I've had. Except, you know, living. I could honestly hoard babies and would do so if it I weren't so terrified to lose another. I want to go back to the time where I believed my fertility were a given- as though I was the most fertile thing ever to walk the Earth... I want to go back to the ways in which I truly believed he would get here and we would keep him and we would live a perfect life in a house on a hill and there was never anything I could ever really ask for.  That people would look at my husband and I and our perfect little family and think that we got REALLY lucky! I guess, in theory, people may still look at us that way, with no idea we should have a big boy alongside our little lady.

The reality of the situation is that we would like another couple of children ( I would like a million, but there's not time for that...), and I hope to have the guts to do it again soon. I would love to be here a year from now and have another baby to show for my efforts. Boy or girl, it doesn't matter in the least- just here and healthy.

I'm going to end this post now because I have a silly post to put up in a couple days with my new years resolutions... Noting it's nearly March, it appears I'm right on schedule. ha!

One last thing, my friend Brandy wrote a terrific post about literature and the role it plays in processing grief. It got picked up for syndication by the BlogHer Publishing network- I can't think of any better way to get people to take note of infant loss/still birth/ miscarriage than for articles to be readily available through networks like this. One way to make sure these types of things get posted to larger networks is for it to be known there is an audience for this material, so if you haven't already, please head over and comment so they know it's an important topic! Thanks!

Okay, okay, more photos of Grace. Your wish is my command. ;)

Grace's Dolly House

Nine months with our leg rolls daughter

Dressed like a pretty pretty princess
One of her Valentine's Day poses 
And another.

You're welcome.








20 comments:

Mama Bear said...

Oh she is so cute!
I also want to hoard babies who are as perfect as my boys :) But wow, it is scary. I am glad you are proud of Jack. I am also proud of Bear and I want the world to know that he is my beloved son and not something to be scared of.

kidsakeeper said...

Smiling with the tongue out...do they know how completely adorable they look when they do it? I swear S does it just to make me squeal and then tickle her...

I am glad to hear you are getting to know people in your new community. When speaking about Xavier to new friends (or potentials) I always start an Xavierism with "I am not sure if you're aware or not, but we have a son that passed away before Scarlet came"...it works for me and its convenient (? convenient? for lack of a better word) when I just want a quick reference without having to get into our whole ordeal with a stranger.

My New Normal said...

She's adorable.

I can so relate to the idea of trying to figure out when to drop the "dead baby" bomb on new friends. I've joined a playgroup and attend Gymboree classes with a bunch of people who don't know my story. I'm never sure what to say when they want to know why my Frostina was delivered at 37 weeks, especially since it had been planned that way for months prior.

I'm sad to say that sometimes I just say it's because she was transverse (which she was) because I don't always want to deal with the looks of horror on the face of a new acquaintenance.

So good for you for being brave enough to always tell his story!

Brooke said...

Oh my gosh, I hate that WE are the stories that make other people think, "Thank God that's not me." Yes-that is EXACTLY how I feel.

But I do talk about Eliza because just like you said, she's part of every decision we make now. She's a huge part of how her sister came to be here. She's a part of our family and that's all there is to it. I no longer feel like I need to spare people our sadness, but I do hate thinking about the sigh of relief that it happened to me and not to them. Ugh.

Caroline said...

With Cale being our first I can't but help think he has (and will continue) to shape our family and the timing of how we all came in each others lives.

You make gorgeous babies. I hope you do have a million more. Or at least two more. :)

Tiffany said...

i understand. i feel that way often. that is probably why i try not to socialize with new people now. i just can't open up my heart to them. i wish i could hoard babies too. or that i could go plant them and wait a few wks for them to sprout. it's hard for me to understand what has made me get out of bed day after day since losing Julius. i understand my purpose since rainbow was born, but it's still so hard living on without him...

Darcey said...

Seriously, she is the cutest thing ever. I bet you kiss those cheeks 24 hours a day :)

B. Wilson @ Windy {City} Wilsons said...

The baby hoarder! I can picture you hoarding babies in your house like some people hoard cats. Just please don't hoard both. We couldn't be friends. That, and we really couldn't. I'd sneeze nonstop around you. Hah.

You know, I'd never thought of the c-section being something to explain, but you're so right. It's definitely something people want to know about. Why the c-section? Was something wrong? Well, yes. Something was very wrong. Setup for bomb drop....and... wait for it... bomb. :/

Makes me ill to think people really to think quietly to themselves that they're thankful it isn't them. Dammit, I want to think such thoughts.

I freaking love you and I freaking love Gracie. And Jack. I love his little squish so much. I just wish it was a big, toddler squish. <3

B. Wilson @ Windy {City} Wilsons said...

p.s. I wish we could also plant babies and wait for them to sprout, just like Tiffany said.

I know you'd have a whole garden, but I'd be content with my few saplings.

Veronica said...

More and more, as I get closer to the end of this pregnancy, people who don't know me very well are certainly treating me like this is my first.
I say, "we'll see" to a lot of comments, and "here's hoping!". I want to speak up and tell them how much I still, and will always, miss my dearest Alexander. No matter how many more children (if any - not quite there yet) I'll have. But it's hard. I know they aren't always thinking of my reality, even though I am.

When people poke, and we get to talking about my labour with this next one - my story inevitably comes out. Why would we plan to induce the perfectly perfect pregnancy we've been having so far? Well...because thing don't really end all that perfectly for us it seems. And yes, aren't you glad it was me? That I'm that pesky statistic ...and not you, or anyone in your family, or any of your friends who are currently pregnant...? Yeah..

Your kids are adorable, and beautiful. I hope you have more too <3

My New Normal said...

Your post has really inspired me. So much that I've written one of my own and of course, linked back to this one.

Renel said...

Oh man I hate that I'm the one people talk about in hushed voices. I remember a mother I knew peripherally who was due two weeks before Camille. Her son wasn't breathing well at birth and was at children's hospital for a week before going home very healthy. I remember hoping everything would go well for them. I also thought... Better her than me. 2 weeks later Camille died. This is our lives. Every day. We miss them. Our lives will be forever shaped by them. What a wonderful post.

Caz said...

I can relate to so much of what you have said here. Everything in our lives is the way it is because our child died, different now, and colours everything. Every experience and every decision. I found you through Finding My New Normal. My daughter was stillborn in June 2010, and my rainbow son was also born around 16 months after her.

SG said...

Yes. Oh, yes about figuring out when to tell people what and wondering how they will react. And then I do this (unfair?) thing where I test out which of my new mommy friends can handle casual mentions of Elizabeth without getting all awkward. You know, like comparing the two girls' birthweights and other mundane things. Some of them just can't take it. Wimps.

Grace is ADORABLE! and I laughed out loud at the idea of baby hoarding. Nice mental picture there.

Nicole said...

I remember having "thankful its not me" thoughts before Caroline died. I don't have them anymore. I hadn't even realized it until I read this post. Now my heart just breaks for people in terrible situations because I know all to well what heartbreak truly feels like. And it makes me want yo throw up to think that people respond to my story by being glad its not them. But I get it. And I'm jealous. I can't believe this is my story. I can't believe it all really happened. I can't believe its your story, and I wish beyond all wishes it wasn't. I wish all of our "somebody's" were here with us.

You don't notice all the ways these babies and their brief lives shape so much of our day to day lives. It kind of sneaks up on you. I understand what you mean about explaining why Grace was a c-section delivery, because I have to explain why my girls were 36w inductions...and people just stare at me and usually say, "oh my gosh." Yep. Pretty much. :/

Grace is such a beautiful girl. Her pictures make me smile. I hope you do get to have (at least) a couple more babies -here and healthy. I'll agree with the others and say if we could plant them and wait a bit, that would be pretty great. I might even have a couple more then!

JoyAndSorrow said...

Feeling like you're waiting to drop a bomb on people - I SO relate to that!!! And the constant battle of whether to even tell them or not, or when is appropriate to do so, how will it change the relationship. Just endless mind jumbling madness! xoxo ~Lindsay

Jen Burt said...

I think you're brave. Really brave, actually.

More and more, I find myself glossing over the past few years when I meet new people simply because I don't want to be "that person". This isn't only because I hate the pity and quiet prayer of gratitude (that it wasn't them) in their eyes, but also because I feel like I never know if someone actually wants to be my friend, or if they just want me to be their project—someone to help and to lift.

So when I meet new people, I know they assume my living 4 YO has been our most recent addition to the family, and it's just so much easier to let them think that. I don't lie; I just don't bring it up and then feel awful about it on my own afterwards. So wimps like me are grateful for the brave ones like you because you help me to see that there's a better way to do this—not necessarily easier, but at least more true to my two sweet boys and our family and myself. Thanks, friend.

Jen Burt said...

P.S. I'd want to hoard babies too if I made 'em as cute as little miss Grace. Those cheeks and that sweet little grin! Baby perfection!

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