May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face, and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again, May God hold you in the palm of His hand.
-Irish Blessing

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Everyone But Me

It's time, time for a "woe is me" moment that my oldest daughter has down to perfection.  The other night we were invited to a family gathering when something unexpected occurred.  One of my cousins was there, a very pregnant cousin, along with my aunt and uncle whose daughter was not in attendance but also happens to be very pregnant.  One of my other cousins is expecting a baby early this fall and myself and my brother just had babies in April and May.  So it boils down to a lot of babies being born in our family within about a six month period. Which got me thinking, unintentionally of course (because isn't that how it always works, these things just sneak up on us), that all of these other babies are firstborns, healthy little babies expected by very excited parents and grandparents.  That brings me to the Everyone But Me part.  My firstborn was not healthy and though we were excited it was nowhere near the excitement one experiences when expecting to bring their firstborn home from the hospital rather than knowing their firstborn will never leave the hospital alive.  There was talk of baby showers which I never had.  Preparations which I never made.  Just those words buzzing around me were enough to shroud me with that woolly black coat which makes me the black sheep of the family.  My little nuclear family is stricken by some apparently genetic anomaly which is medically unexplained and for us was undiscovered until our second son was diagnosed and died.  Just me.  Meanwhile life goes on around me and healthy babies are born to everyone else.  Including me.  Sometimes. As my moment of self pity fades away I am left with gratitude that those healthy babies will be born to families who don't intimately understand that pain that I am all too familiar with.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Still Running

Last year around this time I wrote this about running.  I had started running again post-Eli for many reasons.  To boost my mood with endorphins and to lose my pregnancy weight as quickly as possible, it also gave me a breather (so to speak) from my life for just a brief while.  Just a few weeks ago I began running again.  For anyone who is a Fringe fan (tv show) you will get this reference, but it seems like I'm on a parallel timeline.  Things are the same yet different.  The people are the same but the circumstances and outcomes are shifted.  This time I really run for one reason which is absurd in a way.  I am running to get back there, to where I was a year ago.  Not emotionally, mind you, physically.  Running last year made me strong, inside and out.  My body toned up as much as it could after having five children via five c-sections.  Add one more and again I find myself in need of strength and stamina.  My physical efforts via the Shred and running last summer brought me into this pregnancy mentally and physically strong.  So much so that I ran a 5k and finished a personal best while eight weeks pregnant!  I continued easy running and jogging into my fifth month when I switched to walking and pilates for the remainder of the pregnancy.  I missed running.  Especially the three days a week when I watched my husband close the door and head out for his morning run.  It really smarted for the six weeks after having this precious baby to not be able to do any physical exercise but walking.  I could not have been more ready for the six week mark.  For me the outer physique and inner physique go hand in hand.  When my body is strong my mind feels stronger.  So I still run.  It's not as fun or as easy as I remember but the sense of accomplishment after each mile completed is definitely as profound and rewarding.  This is just one of Eli's gifts to me.  He taught me that I am stronger than I ever imagined, even after finding life again after losing Wyatt.  Perhaps I'm trying to get closer to him, who knows,  so I'm still running. . .

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Buds & Blooms

"Six roses we now have.  Two will always be beautiful rosebuds.  The other four will bloom & fill our home with the sweet fragrance of children's love."

These are the same words that graced our first rainbow baby's birth announcement, only the numbers have changed.  Eight years ago when I first settled on this phrase after researching "subsequent birth announcements" I never imagined having any more than one rosebud even though I knew of other families with two or more.  I feared it but never truly accepted that it could become reality.  Now that it has become reality it is what it is.  I can't imagine things any differently.  

I like how these words gracefully announce the birth of a healthy living child while at the same time gently reminding others that there is and will always be two more children in our family and memories.  For us it is impossible to welcome one without missing the others even more than ever.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Nine Years Come and Gone

Wyatt's birthday was nearly perfect.  The only hiccup was the wind which forced our picnic to happen in the car rather than alongside Wyatt's grave.  He got his birthday present, cupcake and even some bubbles blown courtesy of Mother Nature's gusts.   My husband is made the day even more special in the small things he said and did which meant so much.  Every year he takes the day off work for Wyatt's birthday just as he does for each of our girls.  Birthdays in our family are almost sacred.  A day to remember the miracle of life and celebrate it no matter how short.  My parents also added to the day by sending a very touching e-card which was the only family remembrance but also more than we received last year.

A picture colored for Wyatt by his second oldest sister which is surrounded
by birthday gifts from years passed.

I realized that this is it now.  We've always celebrated Wyatt's birthday with our girls in the same fashion each year but it all changed after Eli was born.  The girls began to know Wyatt through experiencing Eli's birth and death.  He became real to them in a way he wasn't before.  Sadly, baby will never know her brothers like they do.  She will only know them through pictures and video.  She will have been spared the pain of their deaths but will never really understand the joy in their brief lives.  As I was putting them to bed the other night our second oldest (six years old) told me that she still remembered when Eli died and how she and her older sister cried when they were told that he was dying.  She was only five years old at the time (just turned five) yet it made such a huge impression on her.  Her words were precious.  I responded that I hope she always remembers that day and how she felt.  I never knew such sadness as a child and have no idea the long term effects such an experience will have in her life.  I can only hope she will carry her brothers in her heart as
I do.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Right Around the Corner

Wyatt's birthday is now just days away and I find myself overwhelmed with sadness.  A sadness that is anchorless almost.  It's not tied to anything, just floating adrift within me.  A sadness that I can't escape, can't swallow and definitely can't embrace.

I'm tired.  I'm madly in love with our newest daughter but she is demanding.  She is a big girl and eats a lot.  Most evenings she cries - a lot.  Thankfully at night when she's not eating she sleeps but I could use more sleep - you guessed it, a lot more sleep.  Combine sleeplessness and the constant demands of three other young girls, two of whom just began their summer break and aren't used to be home all of the time with a needy infant who only seems to want to sleep in someone's (my) arms or when out and about (which is not always easy considering that one or more of the girls usually "doesn't want to") and I'm overwhelmed to an extent.  It's not awful.  But it is definitely magnifying the helplessness which is accompanying Wyatt's upcoming birthday.

I spoke in my last post about choosing a birthday present for Wyatt and how this simple thing cripples me each year.  It is something I simply cannot face alone.  So yesterday we all traipsed off to a big box store to make that special purchase.  This year it is a batman figurine, the original batman since we are old-school purists.  I hope that he smiles down on our choice tomorrow and can appreciate the thoughtfulness put into such a small and inexpensive yet so very important gift.

I went to my last OB appointment today, from now on I am officially in the GYN category.  I initially cringed when I saw that this appointment had been scheduled today, the day before my first baby boy's birthday.  I wonder if they remember that day nine years ago.  I know that I have seen and experienced things in my life and witnessed things in others' lives that have left indelible imprints within so I can't help but ponder whether that moment in my life left an imprint on someone else's.

Cupcakes - check, birthday present - check, balloons - check.  Now all that is left is another birthday celebration without the birthday boy.


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