…. I guess that is about the best way to start this. I first want to say that I am so grateful to be able to connect with you all. It has brought me great comfort to be able to share and in turn to be able to be a part of your blogs etc.
If you have been following along.. The answer to the question is X . I was so hoping that it would be different. You see my due date would have been at a very special time of the year for us.
With that brings the story of my weekend. We were to attend a birthday party for the young man born 8 days after our son. Husband and I had a very hard time going. It was everything we had emotionally. They had rented a bouncy thing for the kids to play in. As we stood in the drive, Watching the kids, up the road you can see our son’s headstone. So there we stood, tears in eyes.. Wondering, how we are going to make it through going inside and presents etc… And then……. I hear my husband’s cousin and his girlfriend talking. They are due Dec 28th.. 2 days earlier than I would be if I had not had the X! It is constant. No matter which way we turn there is something, another reminder, another punch in the gut. At this time, I am currently fighting the urge to just turn around and leave. Get in the car and go home where it is safe.
No, I tell myself. You will be branded the a$$ if you do not go. You will be considered rude etc if you do not do what they want you to do. Why are we programmed to do EVERYTHING that others expect but never once take into consideration how much we can handle emotionally? I keep asking myself this question. I stayed! I went to another room. I did not watch presents, or blowing out the candle. I cannot handle it. But I stayed. I made the effort because I love them and want them to be able to enjoy what we cannot. Not once did anyone even bother to consider what it would mean for us to have to sit there knowing that 8 days ago we should have done the same thing for our own son. Not once did anyone in the last week say I am sorry you didn’t get to experience this. I am sorry you will never know what it feels like to have your 2-year-old yelling Mommy as he runs across the lawn. We are just expected to do whatever it is that everyone else wants……..
One book has special meaning for my husband and I. The day before Mother’s Day 2012, he took me to the mall to pickup a couple of things. One of which was the book “On the Night You Were Born” by Nancy Tillman. The next day, on my first and only Mother’s Day, I sat rocking my sick, dying son as my husband read this story. Each night we read this to him at bedtime in the NICU. It means so very much. My last memory of this was hearing my husband read it at his grave as they lowered his casket.
Last night, as I signed into FB, I see that our cousin (the mother to the boy above) posted the first page of this book on her wall. She knows what that book means to us. I know we do not own it or have exclusive rights. We are family. A very close one at that. She knows what it means. It is etched into the back of our son’s headstone. I responded to her post. I attached a picture of my son’s headstone with the comment “Great Minds think alike”. She hid my post.
I am tired. I am weary. I am grieving for my son. I grieve for the Father’s Day my husband will never have as he passed before that day. This weekend is Mother’s Day. I wear that title proudly. I am C’s Mommy. He is my precious son. I have sacrificed much to hold this title. I was the Mommy who held Daddy’s hand when the DR came to our room and wanted us to end his life. I am the same Mommy that said “He is our son. We are a family and we will allow him to tell us what he can and cannot handle. We will fight together! We will stand behind him!” He may have been 17 days old but that matters not. He fought hard for his life. He is our son!
Today.. I am saying the same. Today, I am C’s Mommy and I will stand up for my feelings and my emotions. I will not allow anyone, family included to abuse the love of myself or my husband. Nor, will I allow anyone to belittle our position in life. We are parents and we have made a huge sacrifice to earn that title. Anyone can give birth…….. But, not just anyone can be a Mother.
Wishing you all much love this week and on this Mother’s Day weekend. You all deserve to know that you are honored. You are thought of with love.
Today I struggle. Not unlike most days. I struggle because I cannot be who I am, I cannot feel how I feel. I must paint on that “makeup” of put together and go about my day. As, not to disturb anyone else’s.
I went to a machine quilting class I had signed up for some time ago. When I got up this morning I was no more interested in getting dressed and socializing with anyone. I packed my machine and away I went. I set up in the corner near, but yet away, from the others so that I could go at my own pace, whatever that may be. At times that pace was nada. At times it is hard to sit and listen. To Quilter A talk about x number of Grandchildren, and Quilter B is making her 10th baby quilt for so and so niece. I am happy and pleased that each of these families know the joy of a child. Emotionally I am not able to take it all in. Quilter C was talking about her 18 years spent as an NICU nurse. (I have never met this quilter. She is not from my guild. I most likely would have sat apart had I known)
After class I did whatever I could to avoid coming home alone.
1. Went to hardware store to pick out solar lights
2. Stopped at take out restaurant for a pop
3. Stopped at Dad’s for a dozen eggs to bake cake
4. Took long way home to drive by C’s grave
5. Stopped by Aunt and Uncle’s for a visit
While visiting, not one person mentioned what tomorrow is. No one………..Stories about cousin’s boy and his impending birthday. It is like my child has been erased. Increasingly, I find it harder to swallow, that I have to justify that I am indeed a Mother. I can, if needed, take off my pants and introduce you to my C-section scar. Or take you to see his headstone. The one that reads “Precious son of Husband and I”.
I guess most of all today… I am sad, scared, angry, broken, spent, empty and lonely. I am Cr`s Mommy. I am the one that gave birth to him. I am the one that sat, holding hands with my husband guarding his bedside, protecting him as I could. I am the one that had to tell my husband that we are going to lose our son. That he as not going to make it. I am the one that had to watch the fear, heartbreak, and grief on his face and know that there is nothing I can ever do to change that. I am the one that held him in my arms as the DR pronounced him. I am the Mother that bathed and dressed my son for this first time after he was gone.
I sit here on the eve of my son`s 2nd birthday. I am sorry if you are a new member of my “club“. My heart breaks for you as I have been there. I am there. The most important thing for you to remember is that it is ok to feel. Whatever you think, feel, want or need. It is ok………………No mater what anyone tells you, It is normal. It is your normal.
Different events in our life make us different people. Today, I am a Daughter, Sister, Wife and Grieving Mother.
I leave you with the final words from the book we read him each night. “On the Night You Were Born” by Nancy Tillman
For never before in story or rhyme
(not even once upon a time)
Has the world ever known a you, my friend,
And it never will, not ever again…
Heaven blew every trumpet
And played every horn
On the wonderful, marvelous
Night you were born.
Today is April 23rd. Four days from today would be my son’s 2nd birthday.
The anxiety is greater, the pain is ever-present.
Crying happens often.
The constant thoughts, wishes, memories flashing by as I sit at my desk.
Hearing my husband whisper in my ear “We have a son.” His first cry. His eyes as he searched for me, looking at me, when they wheeled him in his isolette to the NICU. Less than 2 minutes after his birth. My husband showing me his picture while I was in recovery. How his little hand felt when he wrapped his figures around mine for the first time. He was 3 1/2 hours old. Watching him open his eyes and stare as his father each time he heard his voice. The way his head felt next to my cheek, the first time I held and rocked him. The way Husband’s face shone the first time he held him. Rocking him to sleep for the last time.
Ok. I began my blogging in journey in January. For sometime I had been searching for, needing more out of my connections with other families in our situation. I was not getting those connections from the sites that I belonged to. Just in the short time I have been blogging I have found more help, support, information, friendship etc than one could have imagined. Thank you all so much.
But in saying that I still feel timid and at times feel that my inner most thoughts could potentially scare someone! Hahaha.. Yes, I know the ordinary person reading this who has not experienced the loss of a child would not be able to in most ways relate.
Today I am going to bare all. I will give a run down of my weekend.
April brings with it many good and wonderful things in our home along with a number of sorrowful things.
My grandfather was born April 7th
My husband’s Grandparents were married April 15th
My husband’s uncle (one that he holds most dear) was hurt in an accident 4 years ago last week and came home from the hospital on the 10th of April that year.
My husband’s Grandfather passed away on April 20
Our Son’s birthday is April 27th
Having said all that you kind of know what we are facing this month. Last Thursday evening, my husband’s aunt (sister to my MIL) was admitted to the hospital and is currently in ICU. In the morning, yesterday we were told that she is critical and at this moment are awaiting results of tests that were performed this afternoon. Friday evening I worked until 7 pm, I then went to the hospital to sit with our cousins. I got home at 9:30 that evening to get my husband his supper, and say goodnight as he was working this weekend and had to be up at 3:40 Saturday morning. I spent the rest of the evening working on making wedding invitations for my sister.
Saturday morning, I had an appointment in town for 9 am. I came home to wait for phone calls in regards to our Aunt. I did some laundry, got my husband his lunch. I was on the computer searching for a number of items when my Mother called and had a meltdown on the phone, giving me more stress about this wedding. I am not the bride. I am the sister. Just trying to help and I might add… I am the sister who has enough stress without having more dumped at my door. Words were exchanged in regards to that with my mother….. We received word at 1 pm Aunt was being taken into OR for a procedure. I headed to the hospital to sit with family until 9 pm that evening. During this time one of the cousins (mother to the boy born right after C) is talking about the birthday party and what she will do and it is an all day thing etc etc.. I just smile. I cannot answer. How do you convey that is nice and not look like an ass or FREAK out at this point as you cannot handle it? Later on I fell asleep on couch and woke up at 3:20 AM just before husband was going to get ready for work.
Sunday AM. Parents came to our place to eat lunch. Got phone call from Cousin at 1:15 pm things were critical and waiting for word to have her moved to another hospital 3 hours away. I went to hospital at 2:30 to sit with family. Was at hospital until 7. In the end they did not send her, she was scheduled for a test this AM at another hospital 1 hour away. It was also our Cousin’s anniversary. So I rushed home, picked up supper on the way. We got ready and went to visit cousins for cake. This cousin is the Grandmother to the baby that was born 8 days after our son. So given that over the course of the weekend there have been conversations of 2nd birthday parties, what to do and what the Easter Bunny is bringing. ETC. At times I am sure I look indifferent but that is what I must do to maintain not breaking down… Last evening she sits beside me on the couch with her tablet.. It has hundreds of pictures and videos of him on it.. She proceeds to begin to show me all of this. I cannot handle it. I am getting stressed. I smile, say that is nice, nod and keep thinking in my head I NEED OUT OF HERE NOW! I turn to my husband. “We should be going as I need to finish those invitations..” I wait a couple more minutes. Now I am desperate.. “We really should go, now. I need to get those done tonight.” I am thinking everything anything to get me out of here. Whew… He takes the bait. We are putting on our coats and heading home. THANK GOODNESS!
When I got home I spent two more hours finishing wedding invitations and finally it is 12:10 Monday morning and time for bed.
Also, while at the hospital I ran into a friend from work whose husband is dying of cancer. It is nearing the end. It has been a long road. We talked several times in the hall this weekend. Saturday she was telling me about a friend of her’s who is 41 and going this week for IVF. We chatted about that some and I told her to tell her good luck from one infertile to another. It will be a hard scary road but nothing she cannot handle as she is one of us and already been through LOTS!
Who knows if I was able to maintain the air of caring and sharing. Not that it is intentional but each and every cute video I see of this child rips my heart out. I should have a few of those of my own to show and brag about.. I should be doing any and all of this. I want and need so very much for their family to enjoy EACH AND EVERY second of him because they really do not know just how very lucky they are to have any of these times. She was saying how tired she was yesterday as he got up at 6:30 in the morning. Awesome! I would give my life to be able to get up at 3:30 and play blocks with my son, to watch TV or cuddle with him until he falls back to sleep.
Our life is not very exciting. At times mostly random. I will be honest MANY times this weekend I wanted to scream WAKE UP and at times BE QUIET. I know not very nice of me. But as I said earlier in this post. I will be completely honest. That is exactly how I felt! Last night while looking at those pictures I so very much-needed and wanted to say……………….”Do you have any idea whatsoever how very hard it is for me to just sit here and look at 1 or 2 pictures let alone a complete album. My son is buried 100 feet from this house. I am not taking him home with me tonight. I am not planning what cake I will order for his 2nd birthday. He isn’t here eating cake with your grandchild. I most likely will not be to the party. I cannot sit there and smile and eat cake and pretend to be happy. I am not. I am sad, I am pissed off, I am angry, I am in pain.”
Hahahahaha probably would be better to keep that to myself right!