Motherhood is slightly different for me. Yes, I have the poopy diapers, spit up, late night feedings, over whelming love, and joy that comes with a 5 week old baby boy. But, I also have something a little different than other moms.
My life was filled with death...not that long ago. My world came crashing down around me and I had to figure out how to pick up the pieces and walk forward. Most days I feel like I have figured that out. Most days this "new" normal of being a baby loss mom and a mom to a living child work for me. Last night I had a "my life sucks" pity party as I laid in bed. I just couldn't help but think what my life would be like with a 17 month old and a 5 week old. I pictured Trent loving and kissing on Ian. I pictured him being the big brother. I dreamed of years with my boys. I wonder when those dreams go away? i wonder when I will not wonder what could have been.
I started blogging 5 weeks after Trent died. 5 weeks and I felt like the world was spinning out of control. I felt like I would never feel normal again. I don't think I would even recognize myself then if I could go back in time and see me. I was a zoombie. Ian is 5 weeks old. What a different experience 5 weeks with a living child is! I know every inch of his little body. I know what position he likes to nurse in. I know what faces he makes when he nurses. I know that he hates the Tommy Tippee pacifiers and loves the Avent ones. I know that if I put him in his swing he will say quiet and content if I have the bird sound on. I know that after his 6 am feeding he doesn't want to be put back in his crib, he wants to snuggle mommy. I know that when I strap him in his car seat he is going to scream. I know that when I take him back out of his car seat his hair will be all sweaty. I know that he hates to be swaddled. I know that his little hands are pudgy and just call out to be kissed. I know that he will pee on me if I take 3 seconds too long to get his diaper back on. I know that he hates it when the dogs bark. I know that he loves music. I know that his favorite way to fall asleep is on my shoulder as I pat his little butt. I know that around 6pm he is going to be fussy for an hour or so. I know that when we wake up at 3 am to eat he doesn't want any lights or talking...just food, diaper change, and back to sleep. I know that he loves to stretch his toes out. I know that when he looks into my eyes he knows I am mommy. I know that the sound of his daddy's voice calms him down. I know him...better than anyone else. He is my son. My second son.
I hate that I don't know any of these things about my Trent.
5 weeks after Trent was born I just started to venture into the world of baby loss moms. I found that one of the most common things is to have people create your child's name out of objects for you. I loved seeing Trent's name. It brought comfort to my broken heart to see his name in different ways. I took Ian to the doctor today. As I left and dropped of his prescription (he has thrush) I thought of how different it is to see his name on "real" items. His name on the doctors chart, his name on the insurance card, his name on the prescription, his name on the bottle of medicine. I left the pharmacy with the biggest grin on my face. I now have a child with a name ... not a name to remember him by ... but a name to live by. God is so good.
I love this little boy. I wish that my journey had been different. But, Ian is very worth it all.
The moments are sweeter than anything I could have imagined.
It seems that one sentence could sum up everything I want to say and more.
There have been moments in my life that are stuck in my memory forever.
4th of July, 2005...Ken and I danced at the top of the stairs at my parents house while my dad played the piano downstairs. The rest of the world didn't matter...in that moment it was just Ken and I. In that moment I knew I would spend forever with him.
January 5, 2010...the last moment I held Trent before I laid him down one last time. I had just sung him the songs that were to be sung at his funeral and kissed him goodbye one last time.
May 23, 2011...the moment they handed Ian to me...
his chubby little fingers...
his eyes locked on mine while he nurses...
his little farts...
his long eyelashes...
every single moment with this little boy steals my heart a little more.
I don't think I could have fully understood the love and devotion I would have...there was no way to know. I didn't truly realize all I missed with Trent until Ian was here in my arms.
Being Ian's mommy is more amazing than I could have ever imagined.
I want to freeze time and just have him right here, right now forever. I want him to be this precious little thing forever. I know it seems silly...and yes I do want to watch him grow up...life just seems so perfect now...I don't want anything to mess it up. I know it is not possible and we will continue to move forward every day as he grows bigger. I just love who he is right now. I guess I just can't imagine him any other way. I can't picture what tomorrow will hold so I want to hold on to today for as long as I can.
Tomorrow he will be one month old...truly the best month of my life.
My little man is 17 days old! WOW! I wish I could stop time and just keep him teeny tiny forever! Yesterday I put the outfit he wore home from the hospital on him and it was a tad snug...I got a little teary eyed. All the rest of the newborn size clothing is still fitting fine. Life is so very different with a living child!
After I gave birth to Trent there was no physical evidence of him for the world to see. There was no way to show the world my broken heart. I am sure I looked like a normal person to everyone who saw me. There was no explaining the pain. NOW, I have a beautiful, adorable, sweet, cute, loving baby boy in my arms. I am NOT used to the attention that comes with that!!! I had a doctor appointment today to have two warts removed from my foot (GROSS!!) ((they grew while I was pregnant and they were painful so I was very ready to have them removed)) Ian came with me because Daddy was working. The ENTIRE staff had to come and ohh and ahh over him. It was very stragne! I just can't get used to the attention that having a baby with me brings!
I think one of my very favorite parts of being a mommy right now is breast feeding Ian. I love it! I love the bond it creates between him and me. I love the faces he makes when my breasts are so full and he gets a little milk shower :) I love watching him as he nurses. I love listening to him gulp down the milk my body is making to sustain his little life. I love knowing I am doing the very best I can for him by nursing. I had a rough day yesterday because it was my first full day back to work. I had brought him with me earlier in the week but brought pumped milk so I could feed him. I was out of pumped milk yesterday and just opted to nurse him in my office. It was a bit uncomfortable for both of us and I got frustrated. I had to remind myself how much I love nursing! I have to do that at the 3 am feeding too when I can barely keep my eyes open!
It is truly amazing watching him change and grow every day. I thank God daily for letting me be his mommy!
I am working my way through the baby wise theory with Ian...to help him (and me) sleep through the night. The book recommends eating, wake time, sleep time. The first 10 days of life I focused just on feeding and getting him to nurse a full meal each time. My life seems to revolve around boobs and three hour time frames...but, I love it! Back to my moment...the book says to keep the baby awake after he eats. This is not always an easy task for a brand new baby like Ian. The book gives a list of things that mommy can do to keep the baby awake...one of which was talk to him. It says something to the effect that you can bear your soul to the baby ... he is a good listener and likes the sound of your voice. So, last night I told Ian about his big brother...through broken sobs. I told him his big brother was already in heaven because mommy's body is broken. I told him his big brother went to heaven to show the doctors how to fix mommy so he could live. I cried and cried. I realize Ian will not remember this. And, I really think that is for the best. I don't want his life to be lived in he shadow of Trent's death. I never NEVER what him to feel like he is only here because Trent died. Ken and I have agreed that Ian will live Ian's life and we will not focus on Trent's death with him. We will "celebrate" Jan 5 every year as a family. We will remember our son but not make Ian feel like second best...like our consolation prize because our real prize is already gone. He is none of those things. He is who God created him to be. Trent's days were numbered by God just like Ian's are. Ian's life has a different purpose than Trent's. But, I think I needed to talk about it with him...for my benefit not his. Tomorrow is 17 long months since I held my first born. I the beginning the 5th of each month seemed to crush me. It is not has hard to face anymore.
I still have trouble with the "is this your first?" "is he your only?" questions. I am not sure why people ask the question so much. I wish they could just see Ian and be done with it. I hate saying "yes" and I hate saying "no." Does that make sense? If I tell them yes, he is our only or our first I am leaving out a very important part of my life. If I tell them no, I have another son who passed away shortly after birth I get the pitiful look or an uncomfortable silence. One day I will learn how to answer this question...one day.
I love being Ian's mommy. LOVE it. I love that I have joined a new club...a club that is much more fun than the other one I am a member of. I love that my title as mommy is very evident as I carry my son with me in my arms this time. I love that I get to be part of the mommy club without the sad looks. It is a strange new reality...and I am loving every second of it.
I didn't know I could feel joy like this! I didn't think I would ever be this happy again. My heart is so full!! I woke up this morning with my little guy crying and just smiled. I love him. I love nursing him. I love being his mommy. When I look down at him I can't even understand the full love that comes from within me. Ken keeps saying, "when is the rental over?" We have babysat tons of nieces and nephews in our six years together and at the end of the stay have to give them back to their mommy and daddy. This time we don't!! It is hard to understand he gets to stay! WE are mommy and daddy!!
I was just washing and changing him for the day dreaming of all we get to do together over the next years of our lives. I can't wait! Actually, if I could freeze time and keep him this teeny, tiny newborn I would! I love his smallness. We had his newborn pictures done on Wednesday and went into a sandwich shop to get a sub to go. We are trying not to have him out in public too much until six weeks, as ordered by the doctor. The poor little guy already has pink eye :( so, I would like to keep him away from as many germs as I can. But, while there he was oohhhed and aahhed over. It was a first for me. I am not used to the attention. I was filling my drink cup and he was in his carrier. A table full of women started just swooning over him...asking me all kinds of questions. When we got in the car Ken said, "stop talking to random people." I told him they started it and were admiring his son. He didn't realize! He thought I was just running my mouth (which I am good at). It made my heart so happy. I have oohed and awhed over a million babies and now it is my turn!!
I think about a year ago and can't believe where we are today! In fact if I went back and read my blogs from then I would not believe this would be me here and now! I am SOO in love!
I am married to an amazing man. We have two sons together, Trenton James, our sweet first born was born too early due to my incompetent cervix. We had 22 minutes this side of heaven with him. I ache for him but, I know the next time I see him I will never have to say good bye. Our miracle baby was born on May 23, 2011. Ian James was born full term thanks to a cerclage placed early in pregnancy. He is a joy!