Well, I thought I'd end 2009 with some reflections on this past year. I really thought today would be sad for me because moving into 2010 would mean leaving the year that my angel was born. But, I'm feeling pretty good today. I have so much to be thankful for and I think I have finally come to the place where I would like to put my grief behind me. No more feeling sorry for myself. No more moping around being depressed. Yes, 2009 was the toughest year of my entire life, but it's time to start over.
So, let's relfect, shall we? This year was most difficult because I learned of my baby's fatal diagnosis on April 29th. I had to go another sixteen weeks carrying my second child, knowing that he would leave this Earth shortly after, if not before, his birth. Being pregnant was not emotionally easy. It was difficult to cherish every moment, every movement. It was hard not to be mad or devestated. I think in many ways my mind battled with my heart, in an effort to protect it. You want to be as attached to your baby as possible, because the fatality of your child doesn't make him any less yours. But, you subconsciously, I guess, try not to become too attached because you know the reality of the way this is going to end.
Birthing my son was also emotionally difficult. I think my last four weeks were the longest, just waiting for the day I'd actually go into labor. Potter's statistics told me that the average week of gestation for labor was thirty-two weeks. Therefore making my mind crazy with just when and where the birth would take place. I cried the moment I realized "this was it." I cried when I was checking myself into the hospital. I cried during contractions, not because of the pain, but because of the cold realization that today would be the day that my baby dies. Yes, it was the day I'd get to meet him, but it was hard to concentrate on the good.
But the good things that happened were plentiful. I made the best decision of my life realizing I would carry Gabe to term. I now know that Gabe understands my unconditional love for him because of the decision my husband and I made. That gives me much comfort. I am also very thankful that I was even able to meet my lil man - alive! I was able to spend two glorious hours with him, studying him, figuring out which features came from me, which from my husband. And, on top of that, most of my family got to meet Gabe, too! That days hold precious memories that will not soon be forgotten.
This past year also brought my husband and I even closer. We were warned on many occasions that when couples go through something like this, it either brings them together, or forces them apart. I am happy to say that Gabe made me love my husband even more. It also solidified my faith, and the faith of my family and friends. What a blessing.
Throughout 2009 I have been able to watch Joel grow into a curious toddler. I have mended and restored a broken relationship with my father. I have learned many things about life, death, and my precious savior.
I am staring the new year without self-pity, grief and depression. It is time to move on and let go of the pain. Gabe will never be forgotten, and I will concentrate on the fact that each day that goes by, brings me closer to the day I will be reunited with him again. I pray that all my Potter's Mommas will find joy and comfort in the new year. We all have much to be thankful for, and this will be where we find our joy. Much love, Meg
I am only typing so that I might feel better by getting my emotions out. I am so sad. I miss Gabe so much that it physically hurts. I have been weeping too long this evening and I just want to feel better. I want to hold my baby in my arms. I want to watch him sleeping. I want to be able to see Joel give him kisses. I want my whole family, complete with my two boys. I want to be exhausted because I've been up feeding my son, not because I'm emotionally drained. I ache.
I hate enduring this pain and hope that a bigger purpose will be made known to me someday. I know I am showing others how to have faith in hard times, but I just want to have my baby.
So many people tell me how much Joel looks like Kyle, but on a daily basis I see myself in him. He has my heartshaped face, my expressive eyebrows, and my complextion. His eyes get red when he's tired or upset. It just makes me wonder what Gabe would be looking like now. I think he looked so much like me. He had my nose. My exact nose is on that little boy's face. He would have been four months old this coming Monday. Getting chubby, I'm sure. I just miss him. Ok, done venting. Night, all!
I hope it will help you understand...
MY NEW “NORMAL”
Normal is having tears waiting behind every smile when you realize someone important is missing from all the important events in your family’s life.
Normal for me is trying to decide what to take to the cemetery for Birthdays Christmas, Thanksgiving, New Years, Valentine’s Day, July 4th and Easter.
Normal is reliving that day continuously through your eyes and mind.
Normal is every happy event in my life always being backed up with sadness lurking close behind, because of the hole in my heart.
Normal is staring at every baby who looks like he is my baby’s age. And then thinking of the age he would be now and not being able to imagine it. Then wondering why it is even important to imagine it, because it will never happen.
Normal is telling the story of your child’s death as if it were an everyday, commonplace activity, and then seeing the horror in someone’s eyes at how awful it sounds. And yet realizing it has become a part of my “normal”.
Normal is each year coming up with the difficult task of how to honor your child’s memory and her birthday and survive these days.
Normal is my heart warming and yet sinking at the sight of something special that my baby would have loved, but how she is not here to enjoy it.
Normal is having some people afraid to mention my baby.
Normal is making sure that others remember him.
Normal is after the funeral is over everyone else goes on with their lives, but we continue to grieve our loss forever.
Normal is weeks, months, and years after the initial shock, the grieving gets worse sometimes, not better.
Normal is not listening to people compare anything in their life to this loss, unless they too have lost a child. NOTHING. Even if your child is in the remotest part of the earth away from you – it doesn’t compare. Losing a parent is horrible, but having to bury your own child is unnatural.
Normal is trying not to cry all day, because I know my mental health depends on it.
Normal is realizing I do cry everyday.
Normal is being impatient with everything and everyone, but someone stricken with grief over the loss of your child.
Normal is a new friendship with another grieving mother, talking and crying together over our children and our new lives.
Normal is not listening to people make excuses for God. “God may have done this because…” I love God, I know that my baby is in heaven, but hearing people trying to think up excuses as to why babies were taken from this earth is not appreciated and makes absolutely no sense to this grieving mother.
Normal is wondering this time whether you are going to say you have two children or one, because you will never see this person again and it is not worth explaining that my baby is in heaven. And yet when you say you have one child to avoid that problem, you feel horrible as if you have betrayed your baby.
Normal is knowing I will never get over this loss, in a day or a million years.
And last of all, Normal is hiding all the things that have become “normal” for you to feel, so that everyone around you will think that you are “normal”.
This month has been so crazy, but I wanted to get on here to vent and chat. We have had lots of Gabe memorial functions to attend lately, which has been nice, but difficult as well.
Our Labor of Love group had a Candlelight Service at a local church instead of our monthly meeting. Then, we attended the Washington County Hospitial's Tree of Lights Lighting Ceremony (not sure if that all needs to be in caps, but whatev) because my dear grandmother paid for a light to be lit in memory of Gabe. How precious is that? Then, this Friday there will be a Candlelight Walk in the cemetary where Gabe is buried. I guess because this is all so fresh and new for us, these events have been quite exhasting for Kyle and I.
Add to this, a new baby has been born in our close circle of friends. It's the weirdest thing - feeling so happy for the very deserving couple, but so sad that we have lost our own baby. They are now the proud parents of a gorgeous daughter, a precious bundle of joy to love and cherish forever. But, this unfortunately is just a reminder that we should also have a baby right now. We, too, deserve our precious little man to cherish.
As some of you know, my nephew was born the day after Gabe arrived and left this Earth. While I was pregnant, I was so upset at the thought that he would be a constant reminder to me of where my Gabe would be developmentally. A good friend of mine mentioned that maybe I would have an extra close bond with my nephew because of how close he would be in age to my own son. At the time, I remember thinking, "Well, that's a nice thought." But, sure enough, that is exactly how I feel about my nephew. I have to hold him if I'm around him. It's the only thing I know to do. Hold that baby and rock him to sleep. As sad as it is, I love to cuddle him and see my amazing husband run after my firstborn and think to myself, "This is what it would be like if Gabe were here. This is how it should be."
I have also been dealing with the births and deaths of other Potter's babies born to Potter's mommas, some of whom I have become very close to online. It has been lovely to get to know these ladies and help answer questions. And it is amazing to have these women when I need someone to understand the pain that I am feeling. But it is so hard to re-live my own experience when another momma has to give birth to an angel. It has made me wonder if I did enough with Gabe while he was here on this earth. Did I hold him long enough? Did I whisper that I loved him? I don't even remember. Should I have spent the night with him while I had the chance? I can't go back and change anything. I can only wait until I have him in my arms again. But the weight of these empty arms is overwhelming at times. (All us Potter's Mommas are hoping to be able to meet in person someday. Wouldn't that be amazing?)
I guess I'm writing all this to say that my life is good right now, but it is hard. I have many things to be thankful for, many amazing people in my life surrounding me with love, but I still have a huge wound that I cannot mend. I am still so very sad for the loss of my son.
Hello all! So, after my Hospice counseling session yesterday, I realized that I need to be blogging a lot more often! It really helps to get things out!
I think I haven't written since last time because I have become friends with other Potter's mommas and, I guess, I'm trying to protect them by only wanting to express positive thoughts. But, let's be honest, that's not very honest! Ha. So, I really want to get on here and express myself, regardless of how it may seem. Because, from what I've learned, grief is very much like a rollercoaster. You have your good days, and you have your bad days. Or like me, you have lots of mediocre days. You think we’re doing really well, and then BAM, you’re feeling awful again. And, that's okay. It's all okay, really. Because we're all different and will act and react in our own ways. Okay, enough of that...
So, how am I doing? Well, I'm sad. A lot of the time. I miss my Gabey so very much. I hate that I don't have "my boys." I wish I had my little angel here on earth with me. He'd be three months now, starting to sleep through the night, if he was like his older brother. Joel has become very lovey, especially towards babies and other children. So, I think about how he'd be as on older brother, giving Gabey sweet kisses.
I go to Gabe’s gravesite and I talk to him. And I make sure that his stone is cleaned off and that everything looks nice. And that does help. Because, that’s really all I have.
The good news: As sad as I am, I can totally see how I’ve improved. I don’t wake up and have Gabe’s loss as my first thought. I don’t cry everytime I tell a stranger about him. I am no longer grossly afraid of getting pregnant again. In fact, I think that having another healthy baby will be the closest thing to closure that I will have. Now, let’s all start praying that God gives me a baby girl! J