Wednesday, June 25, 2008

There are so many times that I think about him, that I want to write about him, that amazing thought I know should get written down and then life gets in the way, I am not near my computer and it slips away. So, when I do sit down to create an entry, I feel at a loss.

And while this blog is not about her, it is. It is about loving her and loving him and how they both fit into my life. This blog started long before her but I let it just sit, pretty much empty. It was after her arrival that the feelings came pouring out and I decided I need to continue to write.

So, she is 7 months now and all of a sudden two teeth appeared. I apparently have the world's easiest baby because I had no idea they were about to show. She was kind of cranky one day, but it was on a day where just daddy was in charge and mommy was out charging herself, if you know what I mean! :) I just figured her schedule was out of whack because of the difference in ways of doing things.

So, all of a sudden, a few days later, there were these teeth! I was so excited, I called Hub and told him. She has two teeth! Bottom, front. I dug around her mouth more, feeling their sharp edges...noting on her "first year" calendar the date of her first tooth.

Then I sat on the floor, held my head in my hands, and let the tears fall. With *every* joy surrounding her (which are thousands) comes absolute sadness. Not just because we should have been through this already. That is a big part of it, everything we missed out on with him, we get with her and that is hard a lot of day.

But....because it is already going by way too fast for me.

For the better part of 18 months, I was just wishing time away. I wanted nothing to do with the present and only wanted the future. Well, I got my future. And I have tried, desperately, to put the brakes on. Ever since she was born, I am trying in vain to slow things down. I really think I do a good job soaking in the moments. Laying with her on the floor. Letting her pull my hair, stick her hands in my mouth, making her giggle. Talking long walks with the stroller, dressing her in cute outfits, splashing in the baby tub... but it is all still too fast. I am afraid of it all slipping by. I have wanted this for *so* long, I was robbed of it in the last moments of my pregnancy with him, and I am *not* taking it for granted with her. But why can't I just slow time down? She will not be by baby forever.

What is sad, is I do have a "forever" baby. He will always be my tiny little dude, with sandy blond hair, tiny baby feet, tiny baby fingers.... I so badly wanted to see him grow up. Now I get to see his sister grow up and it all seems too much, too fast.

Talk about confusing, conflicting emotions.

Friday, June 20, 2008

For a long time; it was his room. When I got pregnant in the fall of 2005, one of the first things I did? Bought bedding for the room. I fell in love with a discontinued bed set, so I stalked eBay for random pieces to complete the set. I think I had the main pieces by the time I was 7 weeks pregnant. Crazy to think about, but I was really excited about that room.

So, my entire pregnancy with him was spent doing little things for that room.

It was actually in that room that I had my first weird, deep, gut feeling that he wasn't coming home. It is a weird thought I had when I was about 35 weeks along, not a paranoid thought, but a matter of fact thought. That is a subject for a different blog post though.

So, back to the room. After we lost him, we threw everything baby related around the house (swing, bouncy seat) into that room and closed the door. But the room was never off limits. I went in there often, to look around. To touch the crib. To remember and grieve. It also became a "catch all" for other random stuff, like a bed frame or a dresser we had no space for anymore.

But it was always HIS room. Blue and yellow. With cheerful bugs and turtles marching up and down the wall. "It is a turtle! With a party hat!" I exclaimed cheerfully.

When I got pregnant again, I knew I would redo the room. Regardless of gender. The bugs and turtles were his theme. I would use the furniture again, obviously. The bouncy seat and swing were brand new. But I wanted new bedding, wall art, a new paint job. Getting pregnant with a girl made that decision even easier. We would go from blue to pink, pink and more pink. In fact, in an effort to find joy in a a very scary pregnancy, I looked at crib sets at the very start. Focusing on picking out a set I loved made me smile and get excited again.

Late in September of 2007, my mom came over and started painting over his room to turn it into her room. She did a wonderful job. Her huge gift to our daughter. After she completed the pink and tan paint job, I got to work. Hanging the valance (that, once again, I had to stalk eBay for because I fell in love with a clearanced bedding set!), ordering pink and brown baskets, scouring the internet for a brown changing pad and on and on. There were those thoughts "What if I am doing this all again for a baby who doesn't come home?" But, to be fair to her and really, fair to myself, I pushed ahead.

Then, the room was complete. still looked like his room. Despite the pink and brown and the clearly girly bedding with cupcakes and ice cream cones...when I walked in, it still looked like his. The furniture all in the same place. I could see a little blue paint peeking out from a corner that had been missed in our pink painting job.

So, I got to work again. I rearranged the furniture. I moved the rocking chair to the other side of the room, the bookshelf which can be placed two different ways, got laid on it's side against a wall instead of in a corner. The dresser went into the other corner.

I left the blue paint, however, peeking out. Not that I needed it, but a reminder of what used to be.

When she was born, she looked so much like him. At certain angles, it would catch me off guard. Her, with him peeking out, reminding me of what used to be.

Now that she has grown and changed, I don't see him in her every time I look anymore. I go into that room and my first thought is not "his room" like it was for 2 years. It is now her room, with burp cloths thrown on the floor, the baskets in disarray, the closet a mess....the room is lived in.

But that blue remains, and it catches my eye every now and again. Peeking out.

And with her....well, she is my 7 month old. With full cheeks. Chubby thighs, and no longer my tiny baby.

He is forever that newborn, and she is now a full blown baby. But....every once in awhile, while she sleeps, I catch a glimpse. I see both of my children. Peeking out behind those closed eyes.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

So, it is Father's Day today. It is our first Father's Day with a living child.

In 06, I had just given birth to our son. In 07, I was pregnant with our daughter.

But, in 2006, I had a stack of Father's Day cards in the drawer. Being that I was due so close, I had stocked up on cards for grandpas, and great grandpas and daddy in advance. I didn't know what life would a 1 week old would be like, so on the day before my son was born, I bought 6 cards.

The next morning, I learned he was gone. What is sad, is while I was happily picking out Father's Day cards, my son was dead inside of me. And I had NO IDEA.

Looking back, I know he never moved that day, a Tuesday. I now figure he died sometime Monday night since I know I felt him that Monday. So Tuesday, I went to work, I picked out Father's day cards, I took a walk with my husband. I played with my dog. I emailed my friends. I talked to my mom.

The whole time, my son was dead inside of me. And I didn't even notice.

I cannot tell you how much the thought of this guts me. I was happily living my little life. And I didn't even know the worst thing to ever happen to me, my son's death, had already occured. Inside of me, no less. This haunts me every single day. There are a lot of other things that haunt me.

Like the image of him being laid on my chest right after he was born with his closed eyes and his daddy's nose. Looking so much like a sleeping baby, but so much like a dead baby as well.

Then when we finally decided to have the nurse take away his little body. Handing him to her and watching her walk away with him, wrapped up in a hospital blanket with his "Thank Heavens for Little Boy" onesie on.

These two images haunt my dreams, my waking moments, and every breath I take.

We wanted to take him home. I wanted to give his dad and grandpa those silly, cutesie Father's Day cards I picked out. But he died. And I left with haunting images of our short, much too short, time together and Father's day cards sitting in a box upstairs mixed in with all the other special things we had planned for his life.

I am sorry, to my dear dear husband. I am sorry I couldn't get him here safely. I am sorry you don't have both of your children to hug today.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

So. His birthday came and went with little fanfare. Last year, last year it was a Big Deal. I got cards. I got letters. People remembered. This year. Not so much.

Now, I DO understand. And there were people that did remember. But compare them to the numbers of last year and it is hard not to feel slighted. Not that I am counting but last year we probably got 20 some cards, this year we got 3. And the 3 were from people you wouldn't even expect to send one.

I have to remind myself that he is *my* son. Not theirs. It is up to me to remember him. If he was alive, it would be our family's deal and not anyone elses. So I cannot get upset when a friend asks me to watch her dog that day or when friends casually invite us out for drinks.

But, that day. His birthday. He should be 2! Two!!! He should be holding up two fingers, mouth full of cake and saying "Imtwo!" all muffled like. Instead, Hub and I sat out on the deck of the condo we were staying in and drank beer and each ate a cupcake and talked. And talked. The could've and should've and would've. We went through them all. The guilt. The heartache...and the happy stuff.

Hours before we were in the pool with our 6 month old daughter. We were talking about what swimming would be like when she is older and imagining the "daddy! Watch me!" as she jumped off the side of the pool. Just them, a family of 3 walked in the door. A dad and his daughter, who was about 6, jumped in the pool together. The dad was teaching her how to swim, had her laughing so hard she could barely stay afloat. It was a nice scene, it was nice to look at a family and know that is our future. For so long, we would see parents and a little boy and look at them and know that should have been our future. It was a nice little gift on a hard day.