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How can your entire life be so completely different in the span of just 365 days? So much so that it is almost unrecognizable when you compare it to before. It rained so much this time last year. Nearly every memory I have of the things we went through last year is surrounded by the smell of rain and the cloudy sky. I found comfort in that, it felt as though the angels grieved right along with me. When I entered the hospital it was raining, when I left 50+ hours later, it was still raining. It rained all the way to the funeral home. Only letting up some time after we got home. It is all so fresh. I have to wonder if the tactile memories of all of it will always be with me. I believe they will, afterall when I hear an alarm contantly beep for more then a minute I get incredibly panicky, just like in the NICU with Vance. Anytime I had to leave him there the contant hum of the nicu bells would ring in my head for the longest time. It was horrible. They didn't truly leave until we brought him home. I still remember those sights and smells and that wasn't nearly as traumatic as loosing Reese. I used to be so sad about Vance's birth, how hard it was to have him in the nicu and away from me, to not be able to have him all to myself that first week, to have to trust other people with him when I had never left my other babies until they where nearly a year old. Now it seems so trivial and silly. He was FINE, and he came away from all of it unscaved, for which I am more thankful then ever. I knew how close we came to loosing him, if I had stayed pregnant much longer we most likely would have. If my OB had been able to book the OR for a week later like she wanted...he most likely wouldn't be here. He is though, and Reese isn't..and I still am haunted by that. I still feel like maybe we asked for too much after everything we went through when I was pregnant with Vance...hypermesis and pre-e and bedrest for a solid month and his cord being wrapped around his entire body and my uterus being paper thin. With Reese everything seemed fine, I escaped hypermesis with zofran, I felt great, she was thriving and in an instant she was gone and I was actually comforted by her frantic kicks. Something that should have alarmed me, I had never felt that before, with any of my other babies, I thought she was just really active. I know nothing I could have done would have saved her, but I have to wonder. What if I had rolled over instead of staying still so Levi could feel her kick? What if I had gotten up and not layed down? I was exhausted, a full day at the pool...I pushed myself so hard every day to keep our other 3 happy and while I don't regret that...I still have to wonder if I had taken better care of myself...would she be here? I didn't drink caffiene and I never missed a prenatal vit. With my others I didn't avoid caffiene and I could never keep a prenatal down, they came straight back up and tasted horrible both ways! For some reason with her I was adament about them.
I've encountered more then my fair share of 6 month old babies lately. That is hard, it always will be hard, to see children the age she would be. It hurts...a lot. 7 month olds, 5 month olds...don't bother me...but 6 mth olds, it is too much. I don't ask how old people's babies are, but it seems other people always do. I can't imagine what life would be like if she was here. I used to be able to, but now I refuse to think about it. I miss the old me, and I really miss the old Levi. We are learning to adjust to our new selves but it takes a lot of work. I want to have it all be turned to good, and maybe someday it will be. Grief takes a lot of energy though, sometimes all of it. You don't just snap out of it. I can be fine one day, and distant and sad the next. Night is the worst, I still look up at her urn and it is hard not to be bitter that she is there...in that box..and not in our warm soft bed. I never got to know her. Would she have been a wild child like Alorah? Soft and calm like Faith? Loving and demanding like Vance? Or an ecleptic mix of all of them? Would she have been the one to get Levi's eyes?

I miss her. I miss who we where. I am still learning to cope. I am still learning how to live with everything from loosing her to almost loosing Levi to the possability that I still might loose my marriage. As much as I try to shake it, it's hard to have faith that we will be okay. I've seen this illness flop back and fourth with no warning so many times. It is so unpredictible. I have hope, but there is fear there as well.

The saddest part to me...is that she will always only be completely real to me. She was my joy and her death is my sorrow. No one else feels it quite like I do. I don't escape her for even a day, I wouldn't want to, but it is a LOT to carry. Levi doesn't have room, he has so much of his own stuff to cope with. The kids, well, they may remember bits and pieces but probably not much. In the end, I fought to have her, I lost her, and I have to heal. No one else can do it for me. No one else can reach in and make it better on the days when it is NOT good. I am the one that has to dig deep and pull myself up from my pit of sorrow and saddness. I do it, almost always, but it is never easy. The choice not to is always there. Thankfully I have 3 little sweet amazing souls that NEED me. I don't know if I would make the right choice if not for them...

11 mths down a lifetime to go...

and
"your baby is 6 months old, play it up!"
it is still amazing how a simple piece of mail can desolve me into tears. Do I have to be reminded of every milestone we should be meeting through freaking Huggies mailers? It occured to me that this will go on until the Pull-ups stop. 2 or 3 more years of the "should be, but not". I need to figure out if there is a way to make them stop. She would be 6 months old...today. Alorah was on the floor playing with Addison (7 mths) today, and making her giggle and laugh. My eyes filled with tears. She should be playing with her sister. All the year marks are coming up, some have passed...the day we concieved her, the day we found out, now the harder ones...the day she died, the day we found out, the day she was born. I still feel foolish that those frantic kicks reassured me, when really she was dying. It still haunts me. I don't think it will ever leave me.

Keep Breathing Ingrid Michaelson

The storm is coming but I don't mind.
People are dying, I close my blinds.

All that i know is I'm breathing now.

I want to change the world...instead I sleep.
I want to believe in more than you and me.

But all that I know is I'm breathing.
All i can do is keep breathing.
All we can do is keep breathing now.

All that I know is I'm breathing.
All I can do is keep breathing.
All we can do is keep breathing now.

All we can do is keep breathing
All we can do is keep breathing
All we can do is keep breathing
All we can do is keep breathing.
All we can do is keep breathing now

Still, a year later, the pain has lessened, somewhat..it is still an empthy hole that swallows me whole if I allow it...but the intensity and horror are better. I really just loved and wanted her, and the shock of loosing her...it stays. I miss myself, still today, the part that died with her..I miss. I want the innocense I owned a year ago back. To think of everything that has changed since then is still too much.

I miss you Reese Noel. Yesterday, tomorrow, always. I miss you. you are loved my sweet angel.

10 mths

10 mths down
a lifetime to go

and more pain in my life then I can even begin to describe

George Canyon

My Name
Lyrics:
It’s cold in here feels like everything’s upside down
I can feel you talking but I can barley make out the sound
I been kicking around these parts, feels like a year
I’m gonna change this world if I ever get out of here
She wants to dress me in pink, paint’s my bedroom blue
And I just laugh to myself, cause only I know the truth
This love is my only emotion
Haven’t learned any fear any pain
It’s kind of funny with all this commotion
I guess they’ve got me, to blame
They don’t even know my name
They don’t even know my name

Well I’ve never felt so ready, think it’s finally time
Cause that big old world is waiting, and it’s mine all mine
Just then everything got real quiet, it got real bright
And a man took my hand said don’t worry, Mommas gonna be alright
Then he opened the gate, & I followed him in
Said you can wait right, here till it’s your turn again
And his love is the one true emotion
Heaven knows no fear no pain
I never got to set my wheels in motion
They loved me just the same
And they didn't even know my name
Didn’t even know my name
You loved me just the same
And you didn’t even know my name

Video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Ff5qJrPT7k

It's a little late...but 9 months down. A lifetime to go....

That was a really good day....

I can't believe it has been a year...
but this was such a GOOD day in our lives...
a really, really GOOD day...
http://dearreese.livejournal.com/2006/04/06/

I miss you Reese.

It hit me...

Today that you should be 3 months old now. You should be smiling and cooing and discovering your hands and toes. I have been printing off pictures of your brother and thinking about all that baby goodness. It breaks my heart that we are missing all of that with you. Not a day goes by that I don't miss you, think of you, long for you. I have accepted that part of grief will never go away. I'll never stop wanting you baby girl. It has been 8 long months since you went to heaven, and it seems like 8 minutes and 8 years all at the same time. We conceived you this time last year, and discovered your existence on April 7th. Life was so different then, so much easier in so many different ways. We'll never be those people again, we are forever changed by the many events that have occurred since you joined our family and left so abruptly. I really don't know how to process these next few months. Your angelversary. So many memories that I don't really want to think about, but find myself pondering often. They say time heals all wounds, and it does help, but I think healing is a stretch. Do you ever really, truly heal from loosing a child? Even if that child never breathed air, we still planned for you, longed for you, cherished you. The magnitude of all those things being whisked away so suddenly is overwhelming. I'll be driving and a song will come on and I still get hit over the head with grief. It still takes my breath away now and then. The sheer shock of it all. I still find myself shying away from pregnancy related conversations, babies even newborns don't make me sad. Pregnancy in general makes me sad though. Not bitter or jealous, just really really sad. I can't explain it. I hope it gets easier at some point. There is so much promise wrapped around a beautiful pregnant belly, the glow and joy, and to have that ripped away when you think you are safe...it just kills part of me every time I think about it.

Butterfly's are out and about now that the weather is changing. Every white one I see reminds me of you. When they flutter and dance around the kids, I imagine you there...playing with them. God, does this ever get easier? In some ways it has, in others it is still raw. I love you Reese, as much as your siblings, all the way to the heavens and back. I love you. I miss you.

Sisterhood....

Sisterhood of Sadness

Author Unknown

"I was once a member of the Pregnancy Club, my membership card consisting of two pink lines on a stick. I was eager to pay my dues, just like all the other members. Morning sickness, stretch marks, cravings -- I welcomed them all.

But they never came. And before I knew it, my membership was revoked. No real reason -- at least none I could discern -- other than bad timing, perhaps. Or, at least, that's what everyone's been telling me. That and "God's plan."

Miscarriage is a terrible word. As if one has dropped something, or carried something incorrectly. Similar to "mistake" or "misunderstanding." How I longed for it to be either of those things when I learned my baby was gone. Surely, it was a mistake, I prayed. If they would just look again, they would learn it was all a simple misunderstanding.

But the ultrasound screen showed otherwise.

1 out of every 5 pregnancies ends in miscarriage, say the books. That statistic terrified me when I was pregnant. So many lost babies, I thought. How can I keep mine from being one of them? But now that mine is one of them, that 1 out of 5 seems awfully small.

Or, at least, it did. Until soft-speaking female voices started whispering to me in my grief, "It happened to me, too." Their eyes told me the stories of the pain that we shared, the pain that only a woman who has carried a child - and lost it - could know. For some, it was fresh pain. For others, it was dulled by healthy babies since born.

A sisterhood of sadness.

It's a silent group, this new club of which I have recently become a reluctant member. Our membership cards are the scars we will always carry on our hearts. Our dues are paid in blood and tears. It is a painful initiation, and one never ceases membership. Because one never forgets.

I am joining, not because I want to, but because I wasn't given the choice. But at least I know I'm not alone. At least I know there are hundreds of thousands of women with me, however silent and invisible, quietly holding my hand."

Tomorrow is the 6 Month Mark....

I finally got the nerve up to tackle the "baby closet" and Reese's room. I haven't been in there for more then a few moments to dump something in there in months. We stored all the kids Christmas gifts in there, and we had all our Goodwill goods in there to donate. We took an entire van-load to goodwill this morning, tons of stuff we where going to garage sale and then thought better of and decided to donate instead. Like we have time or patience to garage sale and I can't have that room a disaster until Spring.

I went to Target today with the kids and we got 7 18gal Rubbermaid storage containers. I went through Vance's room and weeded-out all of his 12-24mth clothing that no longer fits, I had drawers and cardboard boxes (you know, the ones diapers come in) full of clothing for him that he has outgrown. His clothes and shoes alone took up 2 containers. I finally went in that closet and packed away all of my maternity clothes, that was another bin, all the baby toys, that was another bin, and then one bin of misc. stuff from pacifiers to receiving blankets. It is all neatly put away and ready to move out to the storage unit. We have to wait until the snow melts more and then ground dries, it is just too much of a hassle to try to get everything back there right now because we need to make room so all the boxes are still in that room but I don't have to look at all of it. The highchair, bouncy seat, Leap Frog walk-behind, Vance's incredicube, and his infant rocking chair are all visible, but the really painful stuff isn't. The reminders of 6 months ago. It was exactly 6 months ago that I was getting that room ready for Reese. Getting it ready so that when we found out the sex (won't do that "next time") we could make the room ready before she was born.

I can't live my life waiting to get pregnant. Having all of those items there waiting for another baby is to painful. Having a 4th bedroom sit vacant and messy seems absurd as well. Hopefully we will get to make a nursery. Now that Faith is approaching 7 and wanting her own space I think we would probably have a new baby share with Alorah or Vance, but at this point I haven't given it too much thought. Faith's room is big enough to share, as is Alorahs'. Vances' room is so small it would make an ideal nursery, it is very cozy and super close to our room.

Tomorrow we are going on a much needed date after the Christmas break that would NOT end! We need to just be together and do something fun. I can't believe it has been 6 months since my world fell apart around me. Again, it isn't as painful as I thought it would be. I feel like part of me has really embraced MYSELF and being an individual apart from parenting, last night helped prove that. I went out with friends without kids and it was so wonderful to sit and talk with adult woman and laugh our asses off. Sure, the newborns where there and it was awesome to see other peoples' babies, but I didn't have any longing for one of my own. I'm not even temping this month, I just don't give a rip if I concieve or not. My life cannot depend on another pregnancy...and no infant deserves to come into this world with a job. I am healing from the inside out without that being the determining factor in my wellbeing and that is incredibly freeing. A few months ago my thought process was "I'll be fine IF we have another baby" "IF God proves to me that we are still loved by Him" How ridiculous. His love for us isn't measured in the amount of lives we are given to care for. If anything I feel blessed He trusted us to be the parents of Reese. There are no accidents. I've come a long way esp. in the last 2 months. I feel awakened within myself. I feel like I will be okay, like life will be okay. Reese's time with us was short, but her impact was bigger then all of us put together.

6 months down, a lifetime to go. I feel the ground beneath my feet again, and I'm planning on keeping it there.

I miss you baby girl, I miss you more then anything in the world. I love you. My heart aches for you every day. I know your purpose was more though, and I'm getting it sweetheart. I'll make you proud. I promise...

It is 2007...........

It is just 4 days until the 6 month mark since she was born. She should also be almost 1 month old. How is that? It is such an unsettling feeling to know that she would be here and she would be perfect and beautiful in her newborn goodness. Yet, at this point, with how life is right now in so many ways I can't really imagine having a 1 month old either. I often feel like I'm in a pandoras box. I don't grieve for her in the same way I did even 3 months ago. My heart is more at peace only because it has to be. Only because that state of agony is so incredibly painful that I can't bear to let it come out often. It is there, supressed, that silent and deep hurt within my soul. I miss her, I miss what she would have been, I miss who I was, I miss so many things. However, so much has come to light in our lives since she was born. We where forced to deal with so many issues within ourselves and had she not shaken our lives upside-down I don't know that we ever would have had the need to look within our selves in such ways as we have. As much as I wish she was here, I am so thankful for the gifts she left behind. I have had a lot of peace within myself recently, and that does feel good. I know we where chosen to go down this road for a reason, not because we are being punished but because God trusted us to see His lessens in this experience.

2007 also means that in 6 months we also have to deal with 7/7/07. Levi and I have talked about that day often and how we will spend it. I can't help but be thankful that she was born on a Friday and her 1 yr angelversary will be on a Saturday. We will all be together that day. I have 6 months to decide what to do that day, and I have a feeling I will need every day of that time to figure out how I want to celebrate her.

I have been okay recently. 12/6 wasn't as hard as I had anticipated, I stayed home warm and cozy. No one day can compare to the devestation of those first three months.

It was just one year ago, around 1/15/06 or so, we decided to have another baby.

Never imagined we'd be here....

Reese....

You have been on my mind constantly lately. I cannot even begin to tell you how excited I was for the holidays this year. Just as I was when I was carrying Alorah and due in January. Big belly, holiday feasts, and something even bigger to look forward to. I still don't grasp how we got here. My soul aches for you from its deepest depth. I miss you SO MUCH. I feel like I am on a speeding train heading toward Dec 6th, the day we had planned for you to be born had everything gone perfectly. You would be full-term, pink, healthy, screaming, cooing, nursing, and thriving. We had won the biggest lottery of all, and in one fail swoop we lost it all. Why? I will never understand. I don't know how we will get through that day, I don't know what we will do. I do know that it won't be easy. Nothing about this process is easy. In one breath life goes on, in the next it stopped on July 5th when we found out we lost you. The mixed up soup of life that has gone by in between is so confusing to me. We have, somehow, survived. We all have scars, scars that will never heal, deep scars. We have been tested in huge ways, esp. in our marriage, in ways I never could have prepared for. All our Christmas shopping is done, my goal was completed. If only all our goals could be completed, but I guess life would be pretty boring if we didn't have anything left to accomplish...and boy do we have a LOT to accomplish.

I miss you Reese, I miss you with everything that I am.

I was laying on the floor with your siblings the other night, watching a movie. Alorah came up and kissed my empty tummy and said "I love you baby Reese". I told her, again, that you had died...you aren't in mommy's tummy anymore, and again she cried hot tears :( She said "Oh mommy, she's an angel, the angles helped her". She then asked to put your ornament on the tree, which she did get to do. We all miss you Reese, we all feel your presence in everything we do.

I hope you are warm, safe, snuggled up and calm. I hope we meet again little one. I hope you'll know me....