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Thanksgiving

Well it seems that my turkey dinner will be had 850 miles from home.

My parents are making the trip to see my sister and baby that weekend.

The apprehension has already started.  Days away from home.  Might be alone as it depends on if Hubby can get time off work.  Oh yes, and the baby in the room, my nephew.

Will my sister understand that I do not touch or hold babies?  I am still not able to. Will they feel slighted?  Oh, land.  Will they understand that me coming and being there is all that I can do?  All that I can handle.  If she goes to term he will almost the same ## of days old as “C” was.

 

That word I will not say.

Last fall I wrote a post about my friend titled No Words.

Today I am in the same place.  I have no words.  Or rather I have many.  Many words that I wish to shout, to yell to spit.  I am angry.

My friend’s daughter is not well.  The shit is back.  They did surgery last fall to remove the tumor and placed rods in her spine.  She had treatments.  She was doing well.  There are more tumors. She is an amazing girl and fighting.  She has fought since the day she was born. I have never met anyone who is stronger than this beautiful young woman.

I am praying.  I am fighting the fight in my mind for them.  I am scared for my friend.  I do not want her to join my club.  How much does a mother have to endure in life?

Life is testing what Faith I have left.  I have hope that all will be well and I send them much LOVE.

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Visit

My husband’s cousin brought home her baby on Thursday.  He was a 28w 5d prem. His due date was June 27th. So today he is 37 weeks.

All weekend we have been asked have you seen the baby?  When are you going?  We are not.  There has been a steady stream of people into that home since Thursday evening.  In addition to the visits they planned to take him to an event in our town on Saturday, with several hundred people…  Yes, my husband and I both have our flu and Tdap.  So all necessary precautions have been taken.

However, he is a prem.  He is to have limited access to visitors for the time being.  Now because we are choosing to do as instructed by Neonatologist, and the NICU we are the jerks.

Yesterday, as we drove to the lake my husband stated “What did they think we were doing in the hospital for 3 weeks?  Having a vacation?”  How do you respond to that statement.  Every part of it is truth and valid.

I informed some of the family that we would not be over so the message would filter through.  When questioned why I stated “He is to have limited visits and we are choosing to comply with those wishes for his health and well-being.  We will not be over anytime soon.”

We are doing our best to convey congrats and to protect our selves emotionally.  Within all of this our own family cannot understand why it would be so difficult to go and visit a child that was born 5 days older than our own son and he was able to come home.  We want what is best for their family and for their son.  We have sent love, congrats and well wishes and continue to pray that all will be well.

But we must do so at a distance.

Headphones

Each and every day I make that trek from my side of the bed to the shower, then off to the car and head for my little corner at the office.

In recent years, I have taken to wearing headphones at work.  Music, the radio, whatever might suit my fancy that day to drown out the office talking, gossip and noise.  It has become a necessary reality.  By doing so I can truly answer a coworker when they say did you hear?   Or who said that?

I can always safely answer “I have no idea”.  This has allowed me in many ways to have less stress.  (Yes, there is still plenty of that to go around) I am not taking in all of the negative around me.  It also allows me to have something other than my own thoughts to occupy the background noise in my head.

I am going to need the headphones in the weeks ahead.  The department next to mine has 2 who recently left for mat leave and 5 more expecting.  I am so very happy for them all.  To protect my emotions I am going to need to wear my headphones.  Otherwise, I will be the usual emotional wreck.

Best wishes to all of the baby bumps in the world.  May all stay safely nestled where they belong until their time.

 

 

 

4th Anniversary

Four years ago, I was at home preparing to go to my son’s funeral.  I have been up most of the night.  I just returned from getting my hair done.  I have thick, straight, baby fine hair.  It does what it does and I have the best hairdresser, that made the day far less stressful.

The day mostly is a blur.  Arriving at the funeral home.  The drive and surrounding drives were packed with cars.  My pastor was warned.  There could be 10 or there could be 100.  As it was, I believe there were 170+ people there that day.  Our pastor had married us 8 years previous and used many of the same scriptures from our wedding day.  It had great meaning for my husband and I.

We then made the 10 minute drive to his grave.  We had internment followed by my husband reading his last bedtime story.  Then it was over.  There we stood hand in hand.  Looking into the grave of our only child.

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This photo is etched into our son’s headstone. 

Today feels much the same.  The weather is a bit darker.  However, there is a breeze.  The emptiness, dread and sense of nothingness has not changed in 4 years.  No matter, the time, the space, the distance.  A grieving parent cannot outrun, out travel these thoughts, these feelings.

Today, I thank God I had 19 days with our beautiful son.  Today, I am grateful to be able to call myself his mother.  Today, I feel like the single biggest failure.

You remember those moments.  Those thoughts. Those dreams.  You remember each and every wish and demand.  I begged God to take me instead of him.  I begged him to protect his life.  I begged him for my husband’s sake to protect his only child.  When you have sat vigil at your child’s side watching and protecting them.  Begging for their life only to have to beg God to take them from this world so that they will suffer no more.  Time does not matter.  Whether, they lived a day, a week, 19 days or 20 years.  It is your child.  Your life.

On the weekend, my husband and I went to town to get my summer flowers.  I have many perennial beds and I do up a few pots for around the drive.  In the 2 hours we were in town, we came across 3 different families that were in our prenatal class with us.  Each of them now have 2 children.  The reminders, the constants are always every present in our lives.  It was difficult.  I told my husband that I was ready, I needed to go home now..

These past 6 weeks much has taken place.  Our cousin that was expecting.  She had started contracting at 20 weeks 5 days and was hospitalized.  She got ill the first week of April and delivered at 28 weeks 5 days.  He weighed 3 lb s 3.08 oz and 15″ long.  He has done well and is over 5 lbs.  These weeks watching and knowing from afar have not been easy.  They are most fortunate.  No infections, no assisted breathing from day 1.   One hopes so much they truly do understand just how fortunate they are.

I will be having a nephew come September.  My sister is doing well.  I knew in my heart it was a boy when she told me 10 weeks ago.  It seems I am correct.  All tests are great.  She is nearing 39 and opted for amnio.  Now, I mentally just look toward the markers, week 28, week 32.

Tonight, I will drive up the road to his grave.  I will say goodnight and blow him a kiss.  I will tell him that I love him so very much.

24 Hours Later

Today, I sit. I think, I wonder.

It is so very hard to express to those around you what this means.  She is not my co-worker, she is not my BFF, she is not a random woman at the grocery store.  She is my sister.  The one who I grew with.  The one I fought with.  The one who will never know how much I protected as a child.

Our father left when I was 4 and she was 2. All of the anger, and fall out, fell upon me over the years.  She was protected.  She lived in a bubble.  I have always felt my sister lived the charmed life.  She has always been obvious to that around her.  Just worried about herself.

This is in no way a judgement.  I am only making a statement.  Each of us are different and in how we deal with that around us.  I have always allowed too much of the outside to the inside of my bubble.  It has dominated my life.  My husband’s.  So and so needs this done or wants us to do that.  I have never been able to draw that line in the sand.  My sister always did.

We may live 14 hours apart and see each other rarely.  We do not talk enough.  However, she is my sister.  I would do anything in life to protect her and always have.  The night I called her to tell her she had better come to see “C” as things were getting worse.  She was dating her now husband.  She worked night shift as a bartender.  She called for him to bring the computer to work to book a flight.  She worked until 2 am and was on a flight home by 6:30.  As she was booking the flight he said to her “I didn’t think you were that close.”  She looked him in the eye and said “She is my sister! She called me to come. I am going home.”

I want to think good thoughts.  I want the best to happen.  In 24-28 weeks,  I would like to meet my nephew or niece. There is something to be said for ignorance.  Unfortunately, I am not able to fake the ignorance.  I know the stress of a high-risk pregnancy.  I know the joy of getting to the next goal.  I would spend the next 9 months in bed if that is what it took for me to be in the same boat.  However, it is unlikely that will ever happen.  40 has come and gone.  Just like clockwork mother nature calls to crumble my world every 24-28 days.

I send prayers that all will be well.  That  there will be few to no bumps in this road.  That he/she is as stubborn as their cousin “C” and will fight the fight.

I am happy for my sister, but my heart is still shattered.

There is no way to explain all of the emotions.  Only those in this “Club“, ever truly know.

Aunt

I have been awaiting this bit of news for awhile.  When my little sister was home this past summer, she was trying to kick the smokes.  She was celebrating her 1st anniversary and her 38th birthday was ever looming.

She was to have surgery today.  I sent a message last night that I hope all went well.  I heard nothing back.  I questioned my mother yesterday on the time.  No response.  I knew.  An hour ago I called to ask my mother what time her surgery was.  She did not know.  I asked when is she due.

September 21st.

I send my sister much love and good thoughts.  However, I cannot deal with it all today.  I have already erected my safety walls.  I am now in my bubble.

My intuition tells me I am going to have a nephew.

My mother asks ” Well you are happy for her?”  What a stupid question.  I will be completely honest.  WHAT A STUPID QUESTION.  So to answer the stupid question my response “No, I am not happy for her.”  Stupid question, stupid answer.

The people who are most close to you.  The ones that should realize what this means and how it impacts your life.  They are the ones that should have some sort of understanding.  They are not.

Yes, I am happy for my sister and her husband. She is my little sister.  I am scared out of my mind.  I will spend the next 22 weeks praying every morning and night that she makes it through another day. I will mark each milestone with a sigh of relief.  Viability, 28 weeks.  32 weeks.  Pray that worse case he/she comes after 34 weeks.  We are high risk.  40 weeks is unlikely as is 37.  Fingers crossed.  These are the things you cannot express or discuss with others.  The realities.  The knowing.  I have lived this life.  I live it everyday.  I know what happens each week.  I know the risks.  I am the risk.

Wednesday marks the first milestone.  Start of the 2nd trimester.

 

 

 

rememberingrylan

This blog is my diary for the world to see. Through it, I will share with you my personal Grief Journey as a Bereaved Cancer Mom. On September 24th 2015 my 8 year old Son, Rylan passed away from Brain Cancer and I've since made it my ultimate goal in life to better educate others on the utmost importance of bringing more awareness to Childhood Cancer and to help shed some light on life after Child Loss and the profound ripple effect their death causes for the families they leave behind. I hope my blog in some way will serve as a reminder that death keeps no calendar. Our lives are not owed to us. It's a gift given and everyday we are living on borrowed time.

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