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

Friday, November 26, 2010

normalcy

There is nothing normal about the life I live. Nothing. Normal is not defined by a parent who holds their child as he takes his last breath. Normal is not used in a sentence about a family who has to pick the music to be played at their child's memorial service. Normal is not someone who watches as the nurse wheels your child out of the room...never to return again. I don't care the age of the child...a parent should never, ever out live their child. This quest to be normal is crap. I don't know why I tried to find it so hard. My hands have held my sweet little boy...lifeless, cold, gone...I can never be normal again.

The horror, grief, pain and abnormality of this last year have been almost too much. I have learned how to deal with it most days. I have learned how to control the tears. I have learned how to talk about Trent without crying. But, yesterday proved to be too much. I can't explain why it hurt so much. I can't tell you why it mattered so very much that he wasn't there. Except...he will never be. As I woke up yesterday I kept thinking I should be getting him ready. I should be laughing with him, changing his diaper, feeding him. But, all I had to do was get me ready. I showered, brushed my teeth, fixed my hair...and laid back down. I didn't want to be doing it all alone...again. I wanted to be ... his mommy.

Thanksgiving...a day I have always loved. Food, family, fun...and of course thanking God for all that we have. But, yesterday I could think of nothing but what was missing. I tried to make the green bean casserole like nothing was wrong...but, I ended up back in bed in a puddle of tears. I hate myself for not being stronger...but, I hate more that my son is dead. I can't sugar coat it...he is dead.

These next few weeks will not be easy to say the least. Christmas is was my most favorite time of the year. The lights, shopping, gifts, family, friends, tradition, parties...but, I don't know if I can face it all with a smile this year. Ugh. In just a few days it will mark 11 months without Trent...followed by his first Christmas - in heaven...New Year's Eve will come next...the day I was admitted to the hospital...and we will end all the fun and merriment with January 5th...the day my world stood still. The day he was born. The day he died.

How do I do this? How do I become normal in the midst of this pain? How do I see God as merciful when less than a year ago I held my son as he died?

Lord, I am begging You to hold me.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

boy or girl?

No, we do not know the sex of the baby yet. I am only 11 weeks 4 days.

And, I want to preface this post with two things...1) if it is a girl I will be forever grateful for the chance to raise a daughter 2) I realize even if it is a boy it will never replace what I lost with Trent.

I want a son! I want this to be a boy so bad I can taste it!! I never thought I would say/think/type/wish that thought!! But, a boy is what I want. I want a chance to raise a son. I want the chance to train a boy to be a gentleman. I want the opportunity to raise a son that will one day be a man as amazing as his daddy. I want to give him the skills to be a loving husband, amazing father, a caring friend, and a God-fearing man. I want a son.

I want to have to learn to change a diaper without being peed on. I want to watch Ken try and teach his son to "aim." I want a house filled with blue, legos, dinosaurs, cars, dirt, and love. I want to watch my husband teach our son to hunt. I want to watch my son and his dad wrestle. I want to watch my son build castles, forts, houses, planes, and anything else his little mind can come up with out of blocks and legos. I want to know what it is like to have a five year old talking my ear off about Transformers (or whatever toy is popular in five years.) I want to step on Matchbox cars and army men as I walk to the bathroom at night (yes, I will yell at him for leaving them out.) I want the chance to raise a son.

I want the chance to watch as he drives away for the first time on his own after he gets his driver's license. I want to be there to hear about his first date, first kiss, first love. I want to be there to comfort him when that evil girl breaks his heart. I want to watch as he goes from teenager to man. I want a son.

I know a girl would be just as fun in an opposite way. I know I would enjoy pink and ribbons. But, I want a son.

I know this son will never give me what I lost with Trent...but, I want that chance. I want another boy.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

season of thanks

I have always loved the holiday season. But, this year that love is missing.

I just can't seem to do it. I can't seem to think of anything to be thankful for. My life is full of things that I am thankful for...my husband, a job a love, great friends who make me laugh, a family that loves me, nieces that warm my heart, nephews who make me smile, a beautiful place to call home, money to pay the bills, money to buy food, and of course a pregnancy that will bring hope and job back into our lives (God willing).

But, all of that seems to live in the shadow of his absence.

Last night Ken and I were talking about names for Sprinkle, again. He still likes Ian (and after last nights conversation Ian is the name of this baby if it is a boy!) I told him one of the reasons I wanted something other than Ian is I wanted a name I could shorten like Trenton became Trent...a nickname I could call this baby. He said call it "nubbin" for all I care. I laughed so hard...Nubbin? We both laughed and laughed. It was the first or one of a few "positive" thoughts about this new life growing within me. Most of our thoughts and conversations are about worry and dread. But, last night we laughed and laughed at the idea of calling Ian - Nubbin.

As the laughter faded I began crying...of course. I told him I didn't want it this way. I told him we should have a 10 month old boy ready to celebrate his first Thanksgiving. I told Ken I would have bought him an outfit that said "Baby's First Thanksgiving." I told him that we should be feeding Trent mashed potatoes, stuffing, yams, and even making him try cranberry sauce. I told him we should all laugh as he spits the cranberries back out because he doesn't like them...we laughed again at that thought. I long to share this Thursday with my son...but, it will never be. This is what makes me forget all I have to be thankful for. How can this be my life? How can my son really be dead?

I want to be thankful. I want to celebrate this new life within me...but, (and yes, I feel guilty for thinking this way) I seem to want Trent more. I love this Sprinkle...don't get me wrong. But, I feel like I have a different love for Trent...my first born. Will I ever learn to love this child for itself? Will I ever let the grief move out of the way and the joy of this new life take center stage? Will I learn to give this baby a chance at winning my heart?

I feel guilty for these thoughts. I feel guilty that I want my son here.
Somedays I feel like I spend more time thinking about the dead than the living...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

names

Ken and I have been trying to pick a name for this little one for a few weeks. We have/had decided on Ian for a boy and Jane for a girl. I have not committed fully to either name. I am driving Ken crazy! I lay in bed most nights looking up meanings of baby names. I feel like I want a name that is strong with meaning. We didn't do this with Trent. Ken picked the name and I was in total agreement. I looked up the meaning of Trent today, "journey across." I cried. (nothing new of course, I cry alot) But, did we name him prophetically? I know that is a silly thought. But, maybe just maybe we knew somehow. His name was so fitting. His little life was all about journeying to the other side.

I miss my little boy...

Monday, November 15, 2010

dreams

I hate not planning. I hate not dreaming. But, oh how it scares me!

It scares me to pick out names, clothes, diapers, anything.

It scares me to think that this time next year I will be holding my child.

Last year at this time I was 16 weeks pregnant with my sweet Trent. Last year I thought it would be my last Thanksgiving without my child. Last year I kept thinking about how fun it would be to have our son with us this year. It is heartbreaking to be facing the holidays...with empty arms.

Yesterday, Ken told me a dream he has about this child. A special something he wants to save for this baby. It brought tears to my eyes. He has been just as scared to get attached to this little one. We used to lay in bed every night and dream of all we would do with Trent.

I am 10 weeks and 3 days pregnant today.

Praying for Sprinkle.

Hoping to dream soon.

Ready to start planning for this little one.

Friday, November 12, 2010

broken arm

I was thinking today how much easier it would be to fix a broken arm than my broken heart. There is no surgery, no cast, no xray to see the damage of my heart. There is no medical help that can be given to insure that it heals. There is nothing. Nothing that makes any sense anyway. I have found that the constant love from my husband has healed in wondrous ways. The love and support we receive from our families is and indescribable form of healing medicine. The prayers, hopes, and dreams that are felt from friends that are new and old help piece this broken heart back together every single day.

Everyday I feel love and support from across the world thanks to the Internet. Everyday I fall asleep next to the man of my dreams. The man who has watched me fall apart and still live. Everyday I get phone calls, texts, emails from family checking on me and my heart.

In so many ways this is all better than a cast could ever be. if the doctors would have put a cast on my heart it would have been hidden away for months as it healed myself. But, I know they would have taken that cast off and my heart would have fallen out in pieces still. My heart has been open for the world to see the pain. And, the world has helped put it back together.

I will never be "over" my sons death. I will never not have the scars from the broken lines. But, I will have a heart that is stronger because of the love I have been shown.


I have a request to share some of the love I receive with a dear friend. I have a friend, who has been TTC for many years. She and her husband tried for 7 years. She has since divorced, had surgery for her endo, and now has a wonderful new man by her side. They are ready to start this TTC journey again. I am scared for her. I know the pain that comes with the hope that is destroyed month after month. Ken and I TTC for four years before Trent. It is not an easy road. Please pray with me for peace. Please pray that she finds the strength. Please pray that there is a new baby in her near future!!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

sprinkle

here is Sprinkle...



8 weeks 4 days...tiny little arms and legs!

I am 10 weeks tomorrow.

I am beyond blessed to be carrying our rainbow baby...

(this picture is just for you lis)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

wordless wednesday

Monday, November 8, 2010

4 letter words

When you are little the "bad" words are the cuss words...

but, I think they lied to us...

to me the "bad" four letter words are:

dead
died
lost
over
mine
gone
baby
loss
pass
away
cold


You can mix and match these words and make good things out of them...but, if you use any of them in the context of your child dying...they are the bad words. They are the words that haunt me. They are the reason I don't sleep. They are the reason I don't dream of the future. These words are the ones that have me in the corner...not because my mom put me there for saying them...but, because I am too scared to come out and face the world.

Friday, November 5, 2010

meds

The day we held Trent's memorial service was also the day I was discharged from the hospital. They doctors had taken blood that morning and the infection was gone. My white blood cell count was fine. The nurse came in before the service to give me my discharge orders. I can't remember any of it...except that she asked if I needed any pain meds. She wanted to know if I had pain any where. I told her I would take something for my heart not to hurt so much. She just stared at me. She told me she would ask the doctor what kind of pain meds he could prescribe.

We had a beautiful service for my son. His whole extended family was there. We all cried for him. We all prayed and sang and wept. It was the most perfect service...if you have to plan a service for your dead child...this one was pretty good.

They let me walk to the service. They wanted to push me in a wheel chair. We had his service in the hospital chapel. It was beautiful. I was on the ICU floor and the chapel happened to be on the L&D floor. We had to walk through the L&D lobby to get there. I had given birth on the L&D floor but was soon moved back to ICU. We had to walk through families bringing flowers and balloons to the new moms. It was not fair.

When I was back in the room another nurse came in to see if I needed any more pain meds before I was discharged. Again, I asked for something to make my heart not hurt so much. Guess what?? There is not a drug for that. They don't make it.

In the months since his birth and death I have seen and heard people do awful things. I have been on the receiving end of cruel words. I have watched people avoid me so they don't have to talk about it. All of it broke my heart anymore.

But, more than anything I have been loved. I have had people email me, text me, stop me in the halls...just to show me love. I have had people...friends and perfect strangers who hear my story...stop to hug me. I have had people send me care packages, special gifts, stories of how my son's life has changed them. I have become friends with people that I never should have crossed paths with. I have been loved by people who I thought had forgotten about me years ago. I have been prayed for countless times...that I didn't even know about. I have been touched beyond words. You have been my medicine. You have been what has healed my heart. The doctors could give me nothing for the pain that was/is in my heart. But, friends...new, old, far away, close, ... family ...they/you have helped mend my broken heart.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

10 whole months

10 minutes after he died the delivery room was still full of activity. The nurses took him back from me to dress him, take his foot prints, take pictures, and clean him up. The doctor was helping to deliver the placenta. It was pure chaos...and the only thing in the room that mattered to me was that sweet boy that just died.

10 days after he died I was laying in bed with a pinched nerve from labor. My mom was in town to help take care of me. I had so much milk my chest ached. I was in so much physical pain at some moments I forgot how much my heart hurt. I couldn't walk, talk, eat, sit, sleep, anything without crying. I couldn't imagine living. I didn't want to. I didn't understand why God chose to keep me here and take my precious son.

10 weeks after he died I was back to work. I was trying to be "normal." But, the grief was so powerful I felt like I couldn't breath most days. My chest was heavy. My heart had been shattered and my body could barely hold it in. I cried all the time. I tried to hide it. I tried to be strong. I failed. I was deep in guilt for failing him. I was beyond broken spirited. I had nightmares of those days in the hospital. I had dreams of the son I was supposed to be raising. I had a husband that didn't recognize his wife anymore. I had a life that didn't feel worth living.

And, tomorrow it is 10 months since he died. If you just glanced at my life you wouldn't know the pain I have seen. If you were a stranger you would just see a pregnant woman...and it must be my first since I have no other kids in tow. If you were on the outside looking in you would see a woman how laughs, jokes, loves, and lives. You would see a woman who took the grief and decided to change herself...lose 90 lbs, delete all negative people from her life, care more deeply, love more genuinely, listen fully, and more than anything give her sons life meaning. But, in these 10 months I have fallen apart more times than I have had it together. I have cried more tears than I have in the whole rest of my life put together. I have questioned God more times than I wish to remember. I have given up hope. I have wanted to end it. I have yelled, screamed, cussed at God for taking him. I have hated the people around me who get to have a child with "ease." I have felt jealousy for those who don't know this pain. I have hidden from social events that I knew would hurt too much; birthday parties, baby showers, wedding showers. I have offended people by mentioning my sons name. I have ran people off because they can't deal with the "new" me. I have learned a new reality.

But, more than anything else...I have missed him.

I have missed his first bowl of oatmeal.
I have missed his first bath.
I have missed his first time peeing on daddy.
I have missed kissing his face.
I have missed hearing him cry.
I have missed every second of every day that he should have been here.

I miss him.

What about 10 years from now?

I believe I will still miss him. I know that I will never be the same person I was before he came into my life. I will have other children (hopefully living ones) But, he will always be missing.

And, the only real comfort in any of it is to think that in 100 years I will be there with him.

And, then I will never have to say good bye again.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Life

There are so many things I will never understand in this life. And, in my human mind I can't even for see being able to understand them in the after life.

Why is life so very cruel?

Why do dreams end?

Why do children die before parents?

Why me?

Why my son?

I wrestle everyday looking for truth in this mixednup world. I have learned how to bury the pain enough to function on a day to day basis. But, it never goes away. Yesterday, I saw my high risk OB. I had to give a detailed history of Trent's pregnancy, birth, and death. The doctor had my file from the hospital and ob...but, I had to tell him everything again. It was not an easy task. Most of the time I retell the story with just the feelings and emotions that went along with the ordeal. But, yesterday I had to retell all the gruesome medical details. I had to tell of the blood, the amnio, the ultra sounds, the cervical checks, the contractions, the infection, the infection, the infection. I guess chorio is pretty rare (the nurse could not even remember how to spell it). The doctor wanted every detail I could remember of it. I was pretty fuzzy after about 3 am....that is when my temp was rising and the doctors were throwing the words like "septic" "losing you both" and"death" around. I do remember the smell. As I described the smell and the puss I cried. The doctor and nurse just nodded in agreement. They knew the smell. But, did they know it like I did? Did they know what it was like to hold their son and only smell the sickness? Do they know that when I open the bag with his clothes in it I can still smell that awful smell? It will always be the smell of death to me. It was so hard to relive it all again.

But, so very important so that the doctors can do everything in their power to prevent it from happening again.

Life doesn't make sense. Life hurts. Life is fragile.

I pray that in june of 2011 I will once again believe that life can bring joy, hope, laughter, and love.
 
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