Saturday, February 28, 2015

Physically Remembering

There is one chair we have, the glider in the nursery, that I can physically still remember what it is like to be super pregnant with Sloane. I cry when I remember, but I love it so much to remember that huge belly and those kicks and squirms.

The Sunday night before she was born

I sat in her room today, because the sun was shining, and the windows in her room let the sun in just beautifully. As I sat in this same chair, 5 months later to the day, I could still feel her. I could remember that belly and those kicks, but I could also feel her spirit, and know she is ok. 

Her little friends that will always be waiting for her
I took a picture of me in this same chair today, with no large pregnant belly, to show what a difference 5 months can make, physically, mentally and emotionally. I would give anything to go back and get induced the night of that first picture on September 28, but my naive little brain had no idea what was in store in the next few days.

This is the blanket my mom made for her, which I still like to cuddle up with sometimes. It's a shame for something so beautiful to not have a little babe to be wrapped up in it.  But I am grateful to have a spot in the house I can always count on to go and remember those sweet (although they weren't so sweet at the time) kicks.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Sometimes It Is Too Much

I just read this blog post:
My Baby Died and I Can't Shut Up About It

and one line really stood out to me- "it was too much for me."

My life is so busy. It is a rare occasion when there is an evening that is free and I am at home. Most times, I enjoy this busyness, as I grew up busy, shuttling from one activity to the next. I do well with being busy because I feel useful and productive. In the midst of this busyness, however, I often do not have time to fully feel. I move from one activity to the next, just like I have always done. Sad thoughts may enter my mind, but they do not resonate in my heart, because there is no time to do so, as my mind is on to the next task at hand and that sad thought is no longer there.

In the midst of the busyness, there are certain things that I can deal with in my head. I can see newborn babies, hear of people's pregnancies, and see babies born around the time Sloane was born. I can think of what milestones Sloane would be reaching if she were here still. I can do these things, and it does not resonate in my heart. I may even be able to make a kind comment to these other mothers, if it's a good day.

But in the quiet times, at home, these things catch up to me, and they make their way from my head to my heart. These are the times that my head does not get to be in control anymore, for my heart takes over. My heart still knows that it is hard and that I miss my baby girl. My heart remembers with such clarity the night she was born, holding her, leaving the hospital without her, and burying her sweet little body. My heart knows it has to be guarded most of the time, and that it can't always share in others' joys like it used to.

I am grateful for both my head and my heart, and grateful for the busyness and the quiet. I am grateful to do daily activities as I need to, but also to have time to reflect, process, and give my heart time to grieve.

Friday, February 6, 2015

What No One Should Have To Do

Lately, my thoughts have been on... Sloane. No surprise there! We had a small graveside service for her. That seemed overwhelming enough, I could not handle the thought of trying to plan anything bigger. We had some family and a few close friends attend, one of whom took pictures for us.

We just got the pictures this week, figuring we might be strong enough now to handle looking at them. It was still hard to see them and to remember that day, but I am grateful for the pictures to be able to more fully remember it. While October 1st and 2nd will be burned into my mind forever, the days following are a blur, and these pictures help bring some clarity to one of them.

When I look at these pictures, I am reminded of the strength of my dear husband in those early days. I was physically so so weak, and emotionally broken. We managed through that time together, but he was so determined to do whatever he could for our little girl, to try and make up for the lifetime of other things he would not be able to do for her.

These pictures break my heart, because caskets should not be made that small. People should not go from becoming parents to burying a child at the same time. I don't want to be the mourning mother in black in the cemetery, but yet that is me in these pictures. 

Tomorrow it will be 4 months since that day. I wish there was more we were doing for her every day. I wish there was more to do for her than write about her and remember her. I wish I could share her smiles, her coos, and the cute little outfits she would have had, instead of memories of her funeral. 

They put the stone in last week that so many so generously contributed to. I feel more peace at her grave now that it is in, but like everything else, it came with a mix of emotions. It was hard to see it because it made it that much more final, but it looked a lot nicer and I felt like it was better for her with it in. 

Going there, we are always reminded of the incredible outpouring of love and support that was so freely given to us in those early days, and that enabled us to get the stone in so quickly. So much help from so many people trying to help ease our burden. I learned so much from people who would drop everything, give so much, cry with us, and take time to be with us or pray for us or think of us. That is what makes each day bearable, and that is what I keep holding on to. There is so much good in the world, and there is so much that is even better that is yet to come, esp. being with baby Sloane again one day. So while we may have done what no one should have to do, and we will continue to struggle and learn through this, I have to be grateful for all of the wonderful people in my life, and grateful to have my little girl waiting for me and cheering me on.