Monday, October 19, 2015

4 years of "what if's"

So I had a little girl 4 year ago........   Some people think I should stop thinking about her....obsessing about her.....talking about her......BUT I will not. She was real! She was so very real...I have the memories and pictures to prove she existed! She was real.....some days I have to look at pictures to make sure it all happened. Logically I know she existed...but there are days I wonder..did this all really happen to me? This stuff happens to everyone else. This stuff isn't suppose to happen to ME! But is here I am trying to be a voice for my daughter and every other baby that joined our Lord sooner than our hearts wanted. People don't realize how big the baby loss community truly is, until you become part of it. I have sisters...real sisters that are bonded to me in ways that no other human being can be bonded to my soul...we share a loss that no one wants to talk about....our babies. Our goal in life is break the silence. Oct. 15th is National Baby Loss Rememberance Day. Ronald Reagan declared this a national holiday way back when...way back when I oblivious to life and all the "stuff" that can occur. I was young and innocent....oh, how I wish for those days back. Our daughter Gracie was born 3 days after our anniversary. When it fell that way on the calendar I thought...well our anniversary is going to be shot for the rest of our lives and it definitely does but a damper on things, but somehow we always make our day significant. Do I feel that Gracie's birthday is only 5 days from National Rememberance Day? Nope....this little girl carries a message....a very loud and clear message. A message I will talk about to my very last breath. Life matters! No matter how little or how long it with matters. God sent us Gracie as our first born for lots of reasons, but the first and foremost of these reasons is to show us and many others how precious life is. None of us are guaranteed a long life....we just know for this moment we are here and that is all we know. That's the thing....we all think we are going to be here until we grow old and gray....well I might look older than our wedding pictures from 6 years ago and I definitely am more gray, but that's not the picture we have in our heads. We all think we will be in our 80-90's if not older but we don't know that. Gracie was with us for 15 hours....15 hours that stand still in my mind. Some days I feel like I'm forgetting but then I stop and think to myself...I can recall everything about every single minute of her life. From the minute they showed me her from behind the blue C-section curtain to her last's all categorized in my brain. She was real.....she existed....she breathed....she had a heartbeat.....she was ours.
I'm not exactly sure why year 4 is tough, but being I have two nephews that are the same age could be why....the fact that she should be in preschool may be why. I might just be selfish for a moment and say...why can't my baby girl be doing these things? I look at how much Gracie's 2 1/2 year old sisters know and the things they say and do and I can't help but wonder to myself...I wonder what Gracie would be like? What would she be learning? I'm only human....I'm only a mom.....I want my baby just like everyone else has. When you find those baby loss mommies that you really bond with....ones that you share your heart with, you cannot help but become close to them. It's hard to find someone that understands your frame of mind. For some...they were there for you during pregnancy and the funeral process but their lives move on and in a sense ours does to, but in a very weird way....a way that no one can describe. So I am very thankful for my baby loss mommas and their support and love. It's hard to be alone on this journey.
So people tell goes on. Well yes it does....but not without a lot a big bumps in our roads. When certain events occur, milestones are achieved, it is hard for us to move on. People might think after so many years that it gets "easier." Well it doesn't get easier. Our minds our wired different than others. We think on a completely different wave length than others. Our minds always go to the worst possible scenario. Our girls are 2 1/2 and Jeff and I are still paranoid something is going to happen to them. You don't want to hover...but good grief it's hard to relax. All I can think to myself is how would you live with yourself if you were the cause of another loss of a child? It's's a struggle. It a real struggle to enjoy your surviving children. I step back often to try and regain perspective daily so I don't smother them. Would I like to put them in a bubble and protect them? Heck ya! Is that fair or realistic to So the struggle is is every day. We live on a active, working farm so the struggle for my husband is even more of an issue. He has nightmares of running the kids over with equipment. The other day he drove out of the yard in his pick up and he stopped half way down the drive way convinced he was dragging Sarah under the pickup since that girl has no fear of things. The struggle in our minds is so very real and up front, every single day. Do I hate the way our minds work....heck ya...makes it hard to enjoy our two girls....the reality is, this is how our brains work. We try....we really do try our hardest to be "normal." Our "normal" is so vastly different from everyone else's but we try. We talk about Gracie to Anna and Sarah daily. We have picture in their room. They know it's their sister in heaven's birthday tomorrow. They know we are going to have cupcakes and balloons to celebrate. They know their sister existed....and they will always know that as long as Jeff and I can breath.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

2 Years of Rainbow Love.....

I really need to get some time to write more often! It's have been since October since I blogged last and it is always so therapeutic for myself to write my thoughts down! There are two very good and fun reasons I never have time for "me" anymore....and they just turned TWO!  In the past (before I had kids) I always thought that when they turned one that would be a hard moment for me. Well I think I was still in that first year "twin blur" that occurs when you have two babies and are extremely sleep deprived (because one of those twins is a CRAPPY sleeper...she shall remained unnamed at this time). So about three weeks ago I was looking at the calendar and I thought to myself....holy crap, my babies turn two in three weeks! How in the world is that even possible?! So I gathered my disorganized self together to get a birthday party assembled. In today's day and age, I will agree that birthday parties have become a little over the top and I haven't at this point given in to the pressure, but what I have aimed for is a family oriented, fun party with decorations that will mean something to my kids. No froo-froo decorations....just good old store bought Disney fun. I'm not dissing the mom's that go all out...I just don't have the time and energy for it. God bless those that do! I should hire you maybe! :) One of my childhood memories I have is that my folks (especially my mom) did everything they could to make you feel extra special on our birthday. Mom decorated (which she is not a huge fan of, but she did it for us) and made us our favorite meal. When we were little she had our closest family and friends invited to our party. As a kid, your birthday is as big as Christmas...come on you all remember that feeling don't you? You are the center of attention ALL day and for once it's about you (maybe that's the whole middle child syndrome talking there?! HA!). Well for two weeks we talked about the girls' party to try and get them to understand a little bit of it and all they grasped from our conversations is a very important aspect of a birthday party.....there was to be CAKE! Holy moly and you would think the whole day revolved around this cake...well maybe it does, right? The best party of meal is dessert...I guess two year olds figure that stuff out early. As the days counted down our slide show on the computer flashes pics up from the day they were born all the way to the present and this mommy got sad. Where in the world did the past two years go? By ALL means I do not have those fuzzy memories of the newborn fact I think my kids gave me post traumatic stress disorder for that phase of childhood. Oh my...there's honestly not even words to describe those days. My mom and I stumbled around into each other in a blur of sleep. I would have an hour between feedings because I was trying to be super mom and pump and have to make bottles. We had just started calving on the farm and Jeff was trying to get things ready to get into the was pure chaos. At a family gathering last fall, one of my sister in law's baby was fussing and just not happy and I just had to walk away....I just had horrible memories of those days. The guilt of trying to split myself in two so I could "love" both of my babies equally so no one needed excessive therapy when they grew up, was just horrible. Combine the guilt feelings with postpartum depression and hormones fluctuating all over the place....oh that was an ugly time. I'm very grateful that my mom was retired and was able to stay and help like she did. To top it all kids were not those beautiful, peaceful sleeping babies....they were both crappy sleepers from the start! Sarah has finally figured out the whole sleeping thing since she got tubes in her ears last December, but Anna....I think she will be waking me up until she moves out at 18. I've just learned to sleep anywhere over the years (and most of the time it is not in our bed!). We spend parts of our nights in the recliner...even with tubes in her ears, she still has a hard time with teething. Would I change anything.....heck no! I love those two little stinkers more than I ever thought my heart was capable of loving anything. They are at a very fun stage right now. They love to be outside and feed the cows and play with their toys. They are learning so much right now too....just little sponges which is really a fun time! They come home from daycare and I swear they know a million more things then when I dropped them off that morning! We are so entirely grateful that the Lord decided to give us not one but two little girls after having Gracie. These little girls taught us how to live again....we hadn't even realized that we had stopped living after burying our dear Gracie. A piece of our hearts will be forever missing since Gracie went to live with our Lord, but the emptiness that filled our souls was filled once again with love....more love then I think we ever had thought we would experience again. They made us smile and laugh once again....we were once again alive. When you bury your child you basically die with them. To find a purpose to be in this life again is very hard. The pain is so intense your heart actually physically hurts. That pain remains with you, and somehow you learn how to cope with it on a daily basis. I can honestly say that when we found out we were pregnant 9 months after having Gracie, it filled us with a sense of hope. A hope for having children that God will allow us to keep here on Earth with raise and to love. With that sense of hope, came extreme fear of more loss and hurt and that stayed with us a very long time...even after they were born. In fact, there are days I find myself wondering how long God will allow me to keep these girls on Earth with me. I don't know if I ever have truly let my guard down. On their first birthday I remember Jeff saying to me....well we've had them for a year, so now what's going to happen to them? Crazy thing about all that, is that I was thinking the very same thing. I think after any major change in your life whether is moving, marriage, having children or losing a child, there is a new normal. After losing a child, we struggled to what that new normal was suppose to be. For 7 months we had been parents to Gracie....and after her funeral, we had no idea who we were at that point. We didn't leave the house or talk to many people because we didn't know how we were suppose to be. Of course we adapted over the months/years and I think these thoughts of "how much time do we have with our kids here on Earth" will just be in the front of our minds. We've had time with a child taken away from us once before...we have lost our ignorance and innocence in how life is suppose to progress. You are suppose to go first...not your kids. Well as with a lot of things in our lives....we are not the norm. So while I really dislike it when these thoughts cross my mind frequently, I believe they also allow me to be a better mom. Nothing is taken for granted. This is probably why I have a million pictures of my kids and why I post so often on facebook...everything they do fascinates us and is so exciting. We are grateful for getting to experience those milestones with Anna and Sarah, since we missed them with Gracie. There should be a 3 1/2 year old little girl running around the house terrorizing the cat and getting into things, but there's not...that reality is what we face daily. That reality is what has made us treasure so much of the past 2 years with Anna and Sarah. Two crazy but very love filled years......