my journey through the loss of my first son and the life of my second

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

baby boy

My dearest Trent,

I have missed you every day for the last 5 months.

I want so bad to see your little face again.

I want so bad for our story to be different.

I will miss you every single day of the rest of my life.

You have changed mommies heart.

I will never stop loving you.

I will spend my life making sure your life and death have an impact on this world.

Love,

Mom

Thursday, June 24, 2010

held

Music has always been a big part of my life. I can't sing. Well, I can sing along to the radio...when I am alone...Ken doesn't let me sing when he is in the car ;) Yes, I am that bad. But, I was in the band all through middle, high, and college. I played the flute. I played piano for a number of years. Songs have always spoken to me. I am the type of person that when I find a new song I like I just play the CD in my car over and over and over again. When the words touch my heart...I can't let them go.

While I was in the hospital I kept singing Mark Scultz "He's my Son" to myself over and over again. It was on my mind the whole time. We played it at his funeral because I couldn't get it out of my head. I felt it was very very fitting.

I'm down on my knees again tonight
I'm hoping this prayer will turn out right
See there is a boy that needs Your help
I've done all that I can do myself
His mother is tired
I'm sure You can understand


Can You hear me?
Am I getting through tonight?
Can You see him?
Can You make him feel all right?
If You can hear me
Let me take his place somehow
See, he's not just anyone
He's my son


It was written for a boy that had cancer. His mother's prayers were answered...he son survived. Mine did not. I have thought so many times what it would be like had he made it. How much better would my life be if my son was still on this earth? How much joy would Ken and I have had watching him grow into a man. How would I have reacted the first time he fell and hurt himself? How would I have handled it when he was up in the middle of the night sick? I would give my life to know the answers to those questions. I want him back more than anything in this world. Someone told me today that my heart will always hurt...scar tissue will grow over the gapping wound that is there now...but, it will always hurt. I just hope it doesn't hurt this much. I wouldn't change having him. I wouldn't change it...because I am more blessed by his 22 minutes than I can even put into words. Children change you...and losing a child makes you someone not even near the same as before. I know that my God could have saved him. I know that He could have answered my prayers. But, that was not His plan for my family.

There is a story in the Old Testament in the book of Daniel that tells about King Nebuchadnezzar and the fake idol he built. He ordered everyone to come and bow down and worship this idol. He said that anyone that did not fall on their knees and worship would be thrown in the fiery furnance. But there were three men that would not worship they were Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. They stood before the King and were asked if they would worship this is how they answered...

"O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up." (Daniel 3:17-19)


Did you get that...But even if He does not Even if God didn't rescue them they would not worship this false idol. Even if their prayers were not God's will they would still worship Him.

They were thrown into the furnance. But, they survived. They walked out without even a cinged hair on their head. When the King saw this he said

"Then Nebuchadnezzar said, "Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants! They trusted in him and defied the king's command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God. Therefore I decree that the people of any nation or language who say anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego be cut into pieces and their houses be turned into piles of rubble, for no other god can save in this way." (Daniel 3:29-30)

Their faith showed the King that their God was real. The idol was false.

but even if He does not

That is where I am. His will was not to save my son. His will was not to answer my prayer in the way I wanted him. But, I refuse to give up hope. I refuse to give up my faith.

The song that has been stuck in my head for the last few days is by Natalie Grant "Held" here are a few of the lyrics...

This is what it means to be held
How it feels, when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive
This is what it is to be loved and to know
That the promise was when everything fell
We'd be held

This hand is bitterness
We want to taste it and
Let the hatred numb our sorrows
The wise hand opens slowly
To lilies of the valley and tomorrow


This new life...this life without my son...this is what it means to be held.

The sacred has been torn from my life.

And I have survived.

I have found out through friends, family, and even strangers that only know me through my grief and loss...I have found out what it is to be loved.

And, more than that...my God is holding me.

This is what it means to be held...

and even if He does not

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

random

Some random thoughts...

I have had so much on my heart...and somedays no words to say it all.

Father's day was hard. But, every single day is hard. I wish it could have been a better day. I hope and pray that we will one day celebrate a father's day with a child living on the earth.

I have said before, but will say again, I am the director of a soup kitchen. I love my job. It is an amazing ministry. At Christmas we provided Christmas gifts for six families. We are currently doing back to schol shopping for 25 kids. I love shopping...which makes it even more fun. However, shopping for that many pairs of shoes and all those clothes draws questions. At Walmart today I bought 102 items of clothes, socks, underwear...back to school stuff. The cashier asked, "How many kids do you have?" Why oh why....I said I have one son...before I could even say anything else she said "how old is he?" Ugh...I said "He is already in heaven." The conversation continued. She went on to tell me that in 1992 her 20 year old son was murdered. She said 18 years later she still cries for him, still misses him, still grieves for him. She said to me, "at least you know you are not alone...I know your pain." It was so very sweet. It is what we all want. We want people to know our children. People to remember them.

It has been almost six months. I wish I could say it is all easier. I wish I could say I have moved on. The truth is sometimes it is even harder now. I see babies his age and cry. I can't explain the grief. It is all consuming at times. It is part of my ever day life.

Today I got my nails done with my little sister who is visiting from Florida. The lady asked me, "Is she your daughter?" Umh, first I would like to say I am 30 and she is 16...hello I didn't even know how it all worked at 14. Do I look old enough to have a 16 year old? Anyway, she then asked if I had kids...you know the rest. She told me she had a baby that was 2 months old. I told her we must have been pregnant at the same time. Trent should be about that old now. She was born right around his due date. She went on and on about how cute she was, how much she loved her, how she feels when she holds her. I had to stop talking. Truth is I was jealous. I am not a jealous person. But, I was so jealous that she got to go home to her baby tonight.

I know lots of random thoughts.

But, this week I have been asked more times than I have in a long time "how many kids do you have?" It is so hard to answer.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

fathers day

I am so mad today. Mad, sad, depressed...all of the above. I guess I could just say welcome to the world of grief. But, today I am really REALLY mad. It is just not fair. It is not fair my husband is spending his first father's day mourning his dead son. It is not fair that not one card in the whole freaking card sections says happy f-ing father's day...you child is dead. It is not fair that everywhere today father's will get free drinks, haircuts, carwashes, icecream...whatever....if their child is with them. Should Ken carry his ashes around today. I am so pissed. I know I am normally trying to put on a happy face...but, today you will not get that from me. Nope, today I plan to wallow and be pissed...all day.

I struggled with the dating scene when I was younger. I had a few boyfriends here and there. But, nothing really serious until I started dating Ken. I am fine with it....but, when it was all going on every Valentine's day was a knife through my heart. Another day reminding me of my failures in love. Another day reminding me that my lonely heart was still lonely....another year later. It was a day I would stay at home. Not go out for dinner. I couldn't stand to see all these couples in love. I hated them all for it. Still, Ken and I celebrate valentine's day at home. I don't feel the need to go out and rub it in everyone's faces that I am in love. On our first Valentine's day Ken sent me the most adorable bear, choclates, and roses to work. The roses were one of those little pots with rose buds in them...so you could plant them and grow them. I loved that idea. I always told him I thought flowers were such a waste of money because they just died. But, all day at work that day my co-workers made fun of me. They had HUGE bouquets of roses on their desks. They were gawking at each other's ... the bigger the better. And, they all laughed at me. If only they knew how bad that hurt. I had waited my whole life to have a valentine and he had thought long and hard about what to send me. It was so very precious to me. But, I was laughed at all day long. I hate them for it. I hate all the times people laughed at me. It is not fair. And, today my anger rages for all the injustices in my life. I normally just bury the hatchet and move on. I try not to harbor feelings of hate. I try to forgive and forget. But, somethings hurt so badly there is not way to move on from it. They change you as a person.

The day my son was born...changed me forever. Holding that precious being that was Ken and I together. Was truly the most amazing moment in my life. He was perfect. He fought for his little life for 22 minutes. He wanted to be here. But, in the end he was too small and sick from the infection. I watched my son take his last breath. I held my child's dead body. I kissed his cold face. I will never be the same woman again. I can't. I can't get over it. I can't move on. I feel like so many people in the world keep expecting me to just move on. To just get over it. I feel like they are laughing at me the same way they laughed at my first Valentine's day. Here we are our first father;s day and our child is dead. The whole world pointing out the most painful thing in the world. The whole world celebrating a day that sticks a knife through my heart. The whole world honoring dads holding their children in their laps. My child is in an urn. My child is gone forever,

I am mad. I am sad. I want a different story. I want to live a different life. I want these tears to stop. I want this pain in my gut to stop. I want to know what if feel like to be normal again.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

what if...again

The past couple of days I have really struggled with the "what if's" I had them really bad right after Trent was born. All the "what if's" about my pregnancy and those eight awful days at the hospital. But, I let them go after a while and knew I could not change any of it. But, now my what if's are, "what if Trent was here this morning..waking me up with that amazing sound of crying for his mommy" "what if we had him with us when we ventured to the mall" "what if he was here for me to dress and love and kiss" How much different would my life be today if I was caring for a newborn instead of grieving for one. Maybe it is because I had my little niece with us all last week. It was so different to have an infant in my house. I had planned on it and then put all of that away when Trent died. My house is always neat. The dishes always done. There are no toys laying around. There is not an endless pile of bottles in the sink needing washed. There is no need for diapers. There is no reason to have to take the really bad ones out to the dumpster. There is not the constant happiness that a baby brings. There is heartache. There are tears. There is pain. I want him here.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

out

Some days I feel like God picked the wrong person for this.

I think He thought I am stronger than I really am.

This road is a hard one.

This journey is one I would like to not be on.

When I was little my family drove from Atlanta, GA to Indianapolis, IN to visit family for Christmas. It was a long, LONG trip. We never believed in Santa because we opened our gifts from our parents a week before Christmas. There are many many disasters that I could tell you about...like the year my dad rented an RV and it broke down in the middle of the night about an hour outside of Indy. It was snowing and freezing and my dad was sure that we would freeze to death. I could tell you about the time we saw an accident on the way that a child died in. I could tell you the story of the time my dad didn't want to stop to let my mom go to the bathroom so she went in a cup and threw it out the window. (Yes, I am still traumatized by that one) But, I want to tell you about the Christmas of 5th grade. I was sick. Very, very sick. The drive is about 20 hours. I have one older brother and four younger siblings. However, in the 5th grade 2 of those were not born yet. It was a long, hard drive. I felt so miserable. I couldn't get out of the van at any of our stops. I couldn't eat or drink. I was miserable. I wanted to be anywhere but in that van. I wanted to be home in my bed...not in that van with loud little kids, freezing cold weather, and being sick sick sick. I wanted out. It ended up that I had pneumonia. I was out of school for 3 weeks when we got back home.

I feel the same way now. I want out. I want to be anywhere but here.

But, here I am.

I think God picked the wrong person.

I want my son.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

dreams

Life doesn't always bring the happy ending we were hoping for.

Remember the show "Full House?" They never ended the show with the problem still going on. Danny could always seem to fix it...the soft music would start to play...the girls would listen intently to their dad...and the show would end on a happy note.

I wish life was really like that.

I wish the first time I saw his little heartbeat on that ultrasound screen the joy I felt would have stayed.

I wish the dreams that Ken and I dreamed of him would still be.

I wish I could tie this story up with a nice little bow and move on to the next episode.

But, the truth is...it is over. His life is over. I will forever have his memory. I will forever have him in my heart. But, he is gone. My dreams for him are over. And, sometimes that is the hardest part.

When I was little I dreamed of being a teacher, a wife, a mommy. I dreamed of the perfect wedding day. I dreamed of the perfect husband. I dreamed of the perfect life. None of it has turned out the way I dreamed. I could not have dreamed of a man as amazing as Ken. I could not have dreamed of our life together. I could not have dreamed of the losses we would face together, the tears we would cry, the joy and pain of holding our first child. Those dreams are not meant to be dreamed. None of us dream of this. Sometimes what I dreamed of and what happens...the what happens is better than what I dreamed. But, with Trent the dream was so much better than this life without him. I pray that one day I will have my dream of being a mommy on earth. I know that if that comes true it will be better than I ever could have dreamed.


I love my little boy. I will always love him. I just wanted it to all be different.

my dreams...

Saturday, June 12, 2010

aubree lynn




I have family visiting from Florida this week. One of our visitors is sweet, precious Aubree Lynn.



This precious little one was born one week after my sweet Trent. Of course, Aubree was due first...but, Trent came first.




It has been so wonderful to have this little angel here with us this week. She is such a joy.





I have rocked her to sleep, fed her, bathed her, dressed her...all the things I would have done with my little one.



At times the grief has over taken me. But, mostly I am loving Aubree for being her.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Veil

Grief pulls a veil over your eyes...

And you never see the world the same way again...

Some days the veil is so thick I can't see anything but the pain...

Other days I can pull it back and move a few steps forward...

Today is a thick day.

Friday, June 4, 2010

the way it is

Another sleepless night...but, I got a lot of good thinkin done ;)

I posted the other day about the woman who asked if I was over it yet...and Paige responded to me that most people don't know what to say and how we feel. I have thought a lot about that for the last five months...but, last night around 3 am I figured out how to look at it...

When I was in high school I was very active in the youth group. After high school I was in full time youth minstry as I put myself through college and have been in some sort of ministry postion every since. In my youth and days leading youth I did A LOT of mission trips. (A mission trip is when you load up the van, bus, airplane, ship (yes, I even took a cruise to the Bahamas on one mission trip), whatever and head out to help people less fortunate than yourself. The things is I always came back with more than I felt I had given. These trips are truly life changing. I travled to the Bahamas, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, and (well no sleep and no coffee yet are preventing me from remembering the rest) doesn't matter...not the point. My point is...when we arrive in these places...some just hours away from our homes. I saw conditions that I didn't know exsisted in the United States. In the Bahamas everyone thinks of it as a tropical paradise but we saw families of four, five, six, seven people living in little huts with no floor and no water and no power. In Atlanta we saw houses that the subflooring had fallen out and the people who lived there just stepped over it. In one of the places the family used a pickle bucket to go to the bathroom...and then took it out and buried it. This is right here at home. Conditions that would amaze you. Things we didn't know happened right here in the United States. People living in poverty. People living in filth. People living without hope. On one trip we built a wheel chair ramp for man who could not get out of his house because it was all steps. The list could go on and on...but, my point is. I sit here in my airconditioned house, on my computer, my coffee soon brewing, I just had a hot shower, and again I could go on and on about my comforts. But, there are people this morning ... our neighbors, people we may even work with...who have nothing. And we can't understand. Yes, I know many people make the choice to live that way. I am now the director of a soup kitchen and every single night I see people come in who can't eat any where else. Kids, adults, elderly, families, single people, homeless people. And every night I can't understand how it can get that bad. But, we feed them. And this is right here in my home town...100 people a night on average. I don't get it.

Here is my point. In this new life...the life after you lose a child. People can see you. They can try and help you. They can walk away from you changed by what they see in you...but, they can't understand. They don't what we feel. They don't know what we have seen. They don't know how it feels to pick out your child's urn or coffin. They don't know what it is like to sign your child's birth and death certificate in two days time. But, we do. And, the truth is I don't want them to know. I don't want anyone to join us.

I think you see my point...we live in the midst of people every single day who don't have the basic needs of life...and because we have never walked that road we can't understand what their life is like. And we walk among the living and think about the dead. People pass us in the stores, honk at us when we get lost because we have forgotten our way again, get mad at us when they have to fill in at work because we couldn't make it out of bed...they can't imagine...they can't understand. But, they come by bus, car, plane, boat to comfort us. They are here for us...in the only way they know how.

At the end of each trip I got to go home. Wash my clothes and get back to life. But, I left those people there...still searching for meaning. It is the same with us...people are loving us back to life, helping us, caring for us...but, at the end of the day they will go home, hug their children...and we will be here still searching.

So, I will try not to be offended by people...they have never been here.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

deep end

My husband HATES the TV shows I watch...I love to watch all the shows about hoarding, OCD, mental issues, (I used to watch baby shows) ((not anymore)). Tonight I have watched a marathon of VH1's OCD show. I noticed tonight that all of these people suffered a great loss in their lives. Some it was a loss of innocence through sexual abuse and others lost family members.

Bottom line: I will do everything in my power not to be one of them!

Let's face it when you lose something so precious in your life you feel like you have lost complete control. I can see how OCD would give you the feeling of control. I think that my grief counseling and support group really help me not become OCD.

Yes, I take 3 different kind of anti-depprsants and 2 anxiety pills...but, I am hoping not to be here forever.

I have set goals after my loss...my first was not to become bitter with my life. I think this will be my second...don't go off the deep end...

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

are you over it?

Last week I had what can only be called a nervous breakdown. I could not function. I could not do anything. I went back to my doctor and he changed my meds again. I am feeling more and more like my old self again. Thank goodness!!! I work with kids at the church I attend and missed three days last week. One of the ladies said to me today when she saw me, "You aren't over this yet?" Thank goodness for the new pills or I may have slapped her!!! NO, I will never be over him. I wanted to ask if she was over her children...they are 30 and 35 (I think). You don't get over your kids. You don't ever forget them. Yes, I know the pain will be easier. Yes, I believe we will have other children. But, NO I am sure as heck not over it yet!!!

I found this on another baby loss momma's page and thought it is so fitting. People have said some hurtful things on this journey. And as I read this list I could see the faces or hear the voices of all the people who have done and said these things to me. I know people mean well...but, this is a pain you could never know...unless of course you are one of us. I do think that most people have no idea what to say to us. Here are 20 things...

1. I wish you would not be afraid to mention my son. The truth is just because you never saw him doesn't mean he doesn't deserve your recognition.

2. I wish that if we did talk about my son and I cried you didn't think it was because you have hurt me by mentioning him. The truth is I need to cry and talk about my baby with you. Crying and emotional outbursts help me heal.

3. I wish that you could talk about my baby more than once. The truth is if you do, it reassures me that you haven't forgotten and that you do care and understand.

4. I wish you wouldn't think that I don't want to talk about my son. The truth is I love my son and need to talk about him.

5. I wish you could tell me you are sorry my baby died and that you are thinking of me. The truth is that it tells me you care.

6. I wish you wouldn't think what has happened is one big bad memory for me. The truth is the memory of my baby, the love I feel for my baby, the dreams I had and the memories I have created for my baby are all loving memories. Yes there are bad memories too but please understand that it's not all like that.

7. I wish you wouldn't pretend that my son never existed. The truth is we both know I had a baby growing inside me.

8. I wish you wouldn't judge me because I am not acting the way you think I should be. The truth is grief is a very personal thing and we are all different people who deal with things differently.

9. I wish you wouldn't think if I have a good day I'm "over it" or if I have a bad day I am being unreasonable because you think I should be over it. The truth is there is no "normal" way for me to act.

10. I wish you wouldn't stay away from me. The truth is losing my son doesn't mean I'm contagious. By staying away you make me feel isolated, confused and like it is my fault.

11. I wish you wouldn't expect my grief to be "over and done with" in a few weeks, months, or years for that matter. The truth is it may get easier with time but I will never be "over" this.

12. I wish you wouldn't think that my son wasn't really a baby and that he was just blood and tissue or a fetus. The truth is my son had human life. My son had a soul, heart, body, legs, arms and a face. I have seen my son, I have held my son, I have kissed my son . My babies were real people - and they were alive.

13. My son's due date was May 9th, Mothers Day, celebration times, the day my son were born Jan 5th, are all important and sad days for me. The truth is I wish you could tell me by words or by letter you are thinking of me on these days.

14. I wish you understood that losing my son has changed me. The truth is I am not the same person I was before and will never be that person again. If you keep waiting for me to get back to ""normal" you will stay frustrated. I am a new person with new thoughts, dreams, beliefs, and values. Please try to get to know the real me-maybe you'll still like me.

15. I wish you wouldn't tell me I could have another baby. The truth is I want the baby I lost and no other baby can replace them. Children aren't interchangeable. Besides, you do not know whether we have fertility problems too. (which I do)

16. I wish you wouldn't feel awkward or uncomfortable talking about my son or being near me. When you do, I can see it. The truth is it's not fair to make me feel uncomfortable just because you are.

17. I wish you wouldn't think that you'll keep away because all my friends and family will be there for me. The truth is, everyone thinks the same thing and I am often left with no one.

18. I wish you would understand that being around pregnant women is uncomfortable for me. And always will be.........

19. I wish you wouldn't say that it's natures way of telling me something was wrong with my baby. The truth is my baby was perfect to me no matter what you think nature is saying.

20. I wish you would understand what you are really saying when you say "next time things will be okay". The truth is how do you know? What will you say if it happens to me again?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

21 weeks later

21 weeks ago today I held my baby boy.

21 weeks ago today I kissed that sweet little face.

21 weeks ago today I said goodbye.

21 weeks and 2 days into my pregnancy I had him.

in two days ... I will have been without him longer than he was with us.

I never thought I would get here.

I never thought I would survive this.
 
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