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

Monday, July 23, 2012

Filling the Closet & the Clothes

This post will embody the bitter and the sweet.  Baby girl is growing like a forgotten weed in the garden.  She's getting big, tall and strong.  Which of course means I am spinning my wheels trying to keep her clothed.  She was 9lb 5oz at birth and at her two month checkup already over 13lbs!  She's in the 90+ percentile in both height and weight as of her two month measurements.  That was when she was in 3-6 month clothes.  Now she's three months and already filling out most 6-9 month clothes.  This is both exciting and disappointing.  Babies collect so many cute clothes and often just don't get the wear out of most of them so it's always a little sad to pack them away again when they're outgrown.

It wasn't the packing that got me this time though.  It was the unpacking.  Because I discovered hopes and dreams in that bin of 6-9 month clothes.  Three adorable little safari sleepers, boy sleepers, along with safari onesies and the cutest little blue striped sleeper adorned with hippos.  Those were bought at least two girls ago in the hopes that one day a little boy would wear them.  Now it seems that little boy will not be ours.  My second oldest was picking out baby's jammies a few nights ago and saw the striped sleeper.  She immediately selected it and said, "Mommy, these were Eli's".  You see, after we bathed Eli during my husband and my time alone with him we dressed him in a little preemie blue and white striped sleeper very similar to the one that she had selected for baby's jammies.  Over a year later and the little girl who was barely five when Eli died remembers the outfit he wore.  

So there you have it, the bitter with the sweet.  A beautiful healthy robust little girl in my home and two little boys who will never wear 6-9 month sleepers in my heart.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Living With Death

When I look in the mirror sometimes all I can see is death.  Death and sadness reflected in my eyes.  Living with death - it's more of an oxymoron but it's also something I am quite adept at.  I've carried two precious boys in my body for about eight months of my life between the two pregnancies knowing that at any second there was a very real chance of my babies dying.  Wondering if that day would be the day, or the day after, or the one after that.  It has now been one year and four months since the last day I have had to wonder and I will never have to wonder again because my childbearing years have finally come to a close.  Now I'm left wondering about many other things.  What the long term impact of those months is for myself, my husband, my marriage and my children.  I don't believe our children will have a long term impact resulting from our decision to carry Eli to term, his death and absence have made a far bigger impact.  My husband is a rock and like most rocks, he doesn't talk much.  So I honestly don't know what emotional effect watching his wife carry two babies that we knew would not survive has had on him.  I don't know what seeing the sadness on my face or the tears in my eyes did to him.  I imagine the impact is probably more than I could guess.  Our marriage has been strengthened in a way that most couples will never experience.  A great amount of stress on such a bond can do that, either it'll break under the pressure or find a way to stay together.  We have done the latter.  Yet I still wonder if the experiences will produce side effects in the future when we least expect it.  Myself, who knows?  Most of the time I am fine.  As fine as any one woman who has given birth to six children yet watched two die in her arms hours or minutes after their birth can be.  I doubt that anyone who doesn't know this little gem about me would ever be able to guess.  There are no visible scars.  So I go on living with death.  I am blessed to have given birth to both of my sons alive and to not know what it is like to truly carry death.  I just carry the fear and realization of death and those did not leave my body nine years ago nor one year ago.  I just go on living.

Monday, July 9, 2012

A Son By Any Other Name

I attended a baby shower last night, the first one that I have actually ever attended since having children of my own (weird, huh?).  Anyhoo, the mom-to-be doesn't know the gender of her child which for some reason affected me more than I could have anticipated.  It's that whole boy thing again.  I realized how blessed I have been emotionally within my own family circle.  Five months after Wyatt was born my sister gave birth to a little boy.  I held him and never wanted to let go.  Then about seventeen months later she gave birth to another little boy.  Those little boys are now eight and seven years old and they don't bother me (emotionally) like they did as babies.  Because really, that's all I know of my boys, just babies.

My brother and sister-in-law have had two little girls.  My brother and his wife just had a little girl.  I can handle girls.  In fact, I have exhaled sighs of relief upon their births when their genders were given a finality and there could no longer be any little boy surprises.  But now my cousins are also embarking upon starting their own families and inevitably some of them are having little boys.  That realization grips my heart with an unexpected panic and sadness.  I have my girls, four to be exact, and with baby girl's birth I also have the knowledge and satisfaction that my family is complete on earth.  There is no question about it.  But with that knowledge I find a dull ache in my heart because before there was always a possibility.  Always a possibility that we would have another child and that child could be a boy.

I will need to find a way to soothe this ache.  Because I also know that if I don't it will eventually eat me up.

Friday, July 6, 2012

She'll Never Know

As I look at my newest baby girl I realize that she will probably never realize what a special baby she is.  She is my fourth rainbow baby but a rainbow has not shined brighter in this house.  After weathering two storms this rainbow is especially brilliant.  Nothing against my two other rainbows but the two rainbow babies born right after a loss seem different somehow.  Both of my "right after rainbows" (RARs) were born just a little over a year after their brothers and as many of us know, carrying a baby after a loss, especially soon after a loss, is so very difficult physically, emotionally and mentally.  I hope she never understands that when I see her sleeping and her eyelids look purplish I immediately check to make sure she is breathing because at that moment I can only see her almost lifeless brothers.  I hope that her childhood is not tinged with the protective and fearful emotions left behind after her brothers' deaths.  Yet I do hope that someday in the future she can appreciate how special it is that she was born at all.

This poem, "A Different Child" written by Pandora Diane Waldron seems appropriate.

A different child,
People notice
There's a special glow around you.
You grow
Surrounded by love,
Never doubting you are wanted;
Only look at the pride and joy
In your mother and father's eyes.

And if sometimes

Between the smiles
There's a trace of tears,
One day
You'll understand.

You'll understand
There was once another child
A different child
Who was in their hopes and dreams.

That child will never outgrow the baby clothes
That child will never keep them up at night
In fact, that child will never be any trouble at all.

Except sometimes, in a silent moment,
When mother and father miss so much
That different child.

May hope and love wrap you warmly
And may you learn the lesson forever
How infinitely precious
How infinitely fragile
Is this life on earth.

One day, as a young man or woman
You may see another mother's tears
Another father's silent grief
Then you, and you alone
Will understand
And offer the greatest comfort.

When all hope seems lost,
You will tell them
With great compassion,
"I know how you feel.
I'm only here
Because my mother tried again.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...