Daily, Holidays, infant loss, Joshua, Madeline, Parenting, Parenting After Loss

When Mother’s Day is Hard

Mother’s Day is hard. Even with my sweet, little, beautiful Madeline, it is STILL hard. I look at her and I know that I am blessed.  
I know that I am lucky because there are so many that are still longing with aching hearts and empty arms to hear the words “momma, I love you” and for that I know that I am blessed. And even still my heart aches and my soul longs to hear those words come from another little voice too.  
My arms, no matter how full of hugs from my sweet girl, will always still ache at the inability to hold her big brother. I feel the weight of her body as she cuddles in each night still wanting to be held before falling asleep (don’t say she is spoiled – you can’t possibly understand the reasons we do what we do) and I feel the weight of so much more than just her tiny 26 pounds. I feel joy and grief dancing their every present tango inside my heart.  
I miss him.  
Often it is that simple and that complicated all at once. I just miss him. I long to be with him as much as I am with her and that is simply an impossibility this side of Heaven.  
These holidays are such aching reminders of what was, what is, and what could have been. They bring up wounds that never heal. They make me cry tears that never really dry. They leave my heart feeling vulnerable and wounded.  
I know I am not the only one. That makes me sad too. As much as my heart aches for my Joshua, my heart aches for your child too.  
My heart aches for the ones that are still tearfully and prayerfully waiting for a positive result on a test that you take month after month just hoping that the odds will be in your favor this time. My heart aches for those who have seen those tests turn positive only to have your heart break weeks or months later. My heart aches for the ones who have watched the ultrasound machine anxiously as the doctor searched for a sign of hope. My heart aches for those who, like us, have held your tiny child in your arms as they took their final breath. My heart aches for those of you who have had to say goodbye at any point, at any age, for we all know that 15 minutes, 36 hours, 15 years, 36 years, none of it is enough time with our children. My heart aches for the moms (and dads) I know that right now are watching their little ones fight battles that are far bigger than they should have to fight. This motherhood gig is not for the faint of heart. 
So today while my heart somehow feels both full and broken, I am still grateful. Grateful to the little boy who made me a mother. I miss you more than words could ever express and I love you to Heaven and back. And to the little girl who made me a momma, I love you. Thank you for helping to heal your broken momma’s heart.

Advertisements
Daily, infant loss, Joshua, Madeline, Parenting After Loss

Missing

I’m struggling to get out of bed today. This is the day I spend 364 days a year dreading. I would much rather stay in bed and skip over this day. The memories that too easily come and play on repeat. There are some images that a mother and father just shouldn’t have in their heads. Today is a day that is impossible to turn them off. The nightmare that never ends. I miss him. We miss him. It hurts. Today more than ever… 2/20/2013 – 2/22/2013 – 36 hours was not enough.

 

 

And then there is this…

16649221_10100831758426909_2858811842443016415_n

Madeline really does know how to fill our broken hearts with joy. Four years ago I watched my husband hold our son and my heart broke as it was for the first and last time all at once. Every time I watch him with our daughter I am overwhelmed with love for him, for her, and just for the opportunity to watch them together. I love how they love each other.

Baby Loss, infant loss, Joshua, Parenting After Loss

Ouch

It was innocent enough. 

A dad was talking about how much of a pain it is to have to take his kids’ coats off in order to get them in their carseats. He made a joke about it being okay if one of them froze to death since he’s got two others…

An elderly man talks about all the hoops he has to go through to get his passport renewed. He has to show his driver’s license, birth certificate, old passport, etc. He jokes that he has to give them blood and his firstborn son too…

People say things without thinking. I know this. Logically my brain understands that these people don’t know that I did have to give my firstborn  son back. That I do live everyday without one of my children. They don’t get that these things aren’t funny. That these type of jokes aren’t things to joke about. My brain knows that people don’t say these words with any ill intentions, but my heart wants to shake them and tell them that their words hurt. 

The truth is we all say things from time to time that can probably be misconstrued by someone. Sometimes it’s the simplest things, the things that seem innocent enough, that can sting a wounded heart. 

So, this is my reminder to myself as much as it is to you, be gentle with your words. You never know what battle wounds someone may be hiding. 

Baby Loss, Daily, infant loss, Joshua, Parenting After Loss

February…Again

  I’ve thought about taking a break. A break from Facebook and Instagram. A break from seeing the photos of your adorable children playing together…brother and sister. A break from the reality that we should be posting our own photos in between reminding our almost 2 year old and almost 3 year old to share on a daily basis. A break from the heart ache of knowing that instead I have to point at photos to teach Madeline about her big brother. 

But the truth is that I can’t take a break from this reality. I can’t turn off the realization that February is here, and I should be getting ready for Joshua’s third birthday party, but instead I’m trying to figure out how we get through another birthday without him. 

I keep thinking that at some point this will get easier. Honestly, in some ways and on some days it does feel easier, well, maybe not easier rather lighter at least. The weight of the grief three years out feels like something I can easily carry most days. Like putting on an old backpack. It’s there. I feel it, but I can still move through my day mostly unhindered by the weight of it. Then there’s those other days. Those days that bag feels like it is loaded down like my college back pack always was. Pulling me down. Slowing me down. Weighing me down. February is the two ton of bricks loaded on top of the already too heavy books. 

While my instinct is to hide away and shut everything off, I’m choosing to instead make an effort to use this blog more again. I’m going to grieve out loud with the hope that others who are going through a similar feeling of loss will know that it is okay to feel the pain and to speak it out loud. 
[Print by: Franchesca Cox]

Baby Loss, Daily, Joshua, Madeline, Parenting, Parenting After Loss

My Saving Grace

The weight of her tiny body on my chest was the only thing keeping me grounded in that moment. I knew that. If it wasn’t for the feel of her breathing as she lay there sleepily cuddling into me I was afraid I might have forgotten that I was supposed to be breathing too. I spoke softly to her as I apologized that her big brother was not her for her to play with. I promised them both that I would make sure that she knew about him. Telling her sweetly that I knew they would have loved each other very much and had lots of fun.

This is a familiar scene around our house. Me in tears, holding our daughter, while desperately wishing our son was here too. This life we live is not easy. It is not fair. But it is ours.  It is our blessing and our struggle.  We don’t take the little moments for granted.  For now we just hold Madeline a little tighter until we can hold Joshua too.

 

Daily, Holidays, Parenting After Loss

To My Husband on Father’s Day

My Darling Patrick,

To watch you be a dad has been one of my favorite things ever. You are patient (even when it’s hard). You are loving (even when we haven’t slept for what feels like days). You teach, you guide, you cuddle, you tickle. You can make her laugh like no one else can and smile the biggest smiles. You are her clown, her comfort, her safe place, her friend, her hero, her dad. You make this parenting thing so much easier (even on the really hard days) and I know our journey to get here wasn’t at all what it should have been, but I’m grateful that we made it through. There is no one else I would ever want by my side at 3 am trying to figure out the eternal question of “how is she STILL awake?” We love you and are absolutely certain that you are the best dad in the history of ever!

Love you always and forever (and then some more),

Victoria, Madeline, and Joshua

          

Letters to Maddy, Madeline, Monthly Letters, Parenting, Parenting After Loss

14 Months

Dear Darling Madeline,

You are 14 months old!  Time just keeps speeding by and you are growing up and changing every day from baby to more toddler despite my futile attempts to hold you and rock you like a little baby.  You look at me and I can just tell what you are thinking, “Mom, I’m too big for this.  Put me down, I’ve got stuff to do.”  I’ve got news for you little one, I will continue to hold you and try and rock you like a little baby until you no longer fit in my arms.

10402487_10100425285866179_8357864977272667904_n

This last month has been busy like usual. We got to celebrate our 2nd Mother’s Day with you.  I am so glad that I get to be your momma.  It’s pretty much my favorite thing ever right next to being your daddy’s wife.  You both are my world and I love you both so much.

11203059_10100435091171269_7089719797592382441_n

We had your follow-up doctor’s appointment this last month and of course everything was great. We met with your regular pediatrician who couldn’t understand why the other doctor was worried in the first place.  Silly doctors.

22182_10100439554556609_307454025210515365_n

We actually all 3 got to enjoy a full 3-day weekend over Memorial Day.  That was a nice change of pace.  We really didn’t do anything super exciting, but it was just nice to all be together with no urgent need to be anywhere.

10645064_10100436473800469_7841779005022710566_n

We did however go to the Farmer’s Market.  We went a lot last year, and that’s the plan for this summer too.  It was pretty chilly out that morning, but you enjoyed your sample of bread and loved looking around at all the people.

11390289_10100452535837019_5723934523712229695_n

You have perfected the temper tantrum and pout lately.  I can’t say I’m a huge fan.  If you don’t get something you want or if it’s time to leave when you are still playing you throw a HUGE fit.  You cry and throw yourself backwards and basically become a limp, screaming, noodle.  Not fun.  Now your little pouty face however, that is pretty darn cute.  If you are just mildly upset about something you will scrunch your nose up, pucker out your lips and just whine.  It’s so hard not to giggle every time you do it.

11235437_10100448152012239_8967687552837307737_n

For the most part though you are a pretty chill kid.  You love to sit quietly and play.  You have an amazingly long attention span for a one year old.  I’m always impressed with how long you will play with one toy.  I’m still not sure if you have any favorites, but you do love your Mega Blocks.

17699_10100451271196369_8345716494401166674_n

We made our annual trip down to downtown Lee’s Summit for their Downtown Days festival.  You absolutely loved watching the animals at the little petting zoo.  You were a bit startled when the pony stuck his head out of the fence and tried to say hi to you, but then you just smiled and laughed.  I love how fascinated you are by life.  It is truly amazing to see everything again through your pretty brownish-blue eyes.  It was pretty hot out that day so you got your very first ice cream cone.  You dove in face first.  It was pretty funny to watch.  After a couple bites we went with a cup and spoon to finish it off.  Much less messy that way, but probably not nearly as fun.

11401553_10100451255782259_4834333766387806988_n

Your fourth little tooth is finally peaking its way through.  Eventually you will get all of your teeth…

You have been a dancing fool lately.  You’ve been “dancing” for a while now, but lately it has become pretty much your favorite thing ever.  Every time you hear music of any kind you get to dancing.  You shake your hips and shimmy your shoulders and move your arms.  You totally feel the music and it is just the cutest thing of all time in the history of ever.

11219077_10100425114339919_7193232434740920448_n

This month we also (finally) installed your big girl car seats in both cars.  No more having to lug that infant seat in and out all the time.  You seem much happier in your new seats with lots more room.  You do pretty well in the car (most the time).  You like to look out the window, wiggle to the radio, and “talk” to me while we drive.

11391270_10100448410294639_2260676022802456066_n

You love to give kisses and hugs and each kiss you give with a big “MUAH.”

11209354_10100423757049939_8806571626159521900_n

You shake your head no when you are done with something or to tell me you don’t want any more food.  You love chicken, pasta, meatballs, mashed potatoes, cheese, applesauce, yogurt, green smoothies/juice, oranges, strawberries, raspberries, bananas, green beans, goldfish crackers, graham crackers, water, and of course milk.

15600_10100436912835639_2008335391371980946_n

You love Sophie and she is slowly starting to warm up to you.

11045479_10100424034538849_5258626506272958047_n

You love books and blocks and your water/sand table and to color.  You love to push your little walker all around the house, but you still don’t want to let go.  You will pick it up and turn it around when you get to the edge of the room, but you still think you need to hold on.  You’ll get there eventually.  I’m trying to stay patient.

11128630_10100428164357659_3595046549362441363_n

You are just full of personality and joy.  Everywhere we go you smile and greet the people you pass and I like to think that your little smile brightens their day just a little bit.  You are a ray of sunshine my sweet little rainbow and I am just so blessed that you are mine.

10653743_10100449233554819_3603296833064171349_n

Love Always and Forever,

Momma