June 9, 2016

Dear Declan,

Yesterday was your brother's birthday.  It was a great day.  We had cake and sang "Happy birthday," several times.  Everything was as it should be...except you weren't there.

Your absence has been very hard for me.  But it had been really hard for your brother.

He was the age you would be now, when you died.  It was heartbreaking to see him struggle.  For over 5 years now he has tried to sort out your loss.  It has been a rough road.

It took me a long time to see how deeply it affected him.  I should have figured it out sooner.  Initially it was easy.  He was sad and I could see it.  But as the years went on it was subtle.  He just had a hard time with things...unrelated to you.

I see now he just was trying to process in his own way.

You were his little brother...the brother he had been hoping for a long time.  You were to share his very cherished room.  He allowed you in his heart and it broke when there was no little brother sleeping in the crib across the room.

It wasn't until your little brother came along that he started to open up.  "I didn't realize how much we missed with Declan until Ollie was here."  He said it over and over.

I know you watch over your big brother.  I know his pain means a lot to you.  I know that he is special to you.

I look at my little family and always picture where you would fit in.  So many little boys I should have running around.  The hole you left was huge.  You would bridge the gap that your little brother trails.  You would be home to play with him.  You would be trouble helping him get into things.  You would make everything different.

I am starting to realize that this will never end.  I will spend a lifetime mentally placing you here...because you aren't here.  I will picture all the accomplishments as they should come.  I will mourn this fall when you were to start school.  I will mourn the day you should graduate high school.

Our family was forever changed when you came and left so quickly.  We were never the same.  We looked the same: two parents and two children...until your little brother came.  But nothing would ever be the same.  We were hurting.  We had to learn to navigate life with broken hearts.  We had to learn how to be there for each other.  We had to learn how to love you in Heaven.  We had to learn that we can be happy and hurt at the same time.  Everything our family does together always comes with a bitter-sweetness.

Thank you for being there for your siblings.  Thank you for giving us hope in dark days.  Thank you for helping me when no one else could.  I know you were a gift to us from Heaven.  You are our beacon of light to guide us through this life.  We are better for having you in our family.

Love always,

Mommy

September 24, 2015

5 years...

It's coming...

...another birthday.  I never know how it will be.  Sometimes the days leading up to it are harder than the actual day.  Other times I am caught off guard how hard it is on the actual day.

I've been very anxious the last few days.  I'm sure I am worried how the day will be.  I'm usually way too concerned how the day goes.  I want it to be special.  I want Declan to know how very much we love him.  I want to have a peaceful day, but I don't want it to seem I'm okay with him gone.

All in all, I'm a huge mess.  I have conflicting emotions that pull at me.  It isn't very fun.  But I'm hopeful it will be still a fun day.

I can't believe it will be 5 years on Monday.  When he first died I had friends where I am now...how did I get here?  It was so fast.  I had him, he was gone, we had a funeral, and now it has been 5 years.

January 18, 2014

Helpless...


I have been going to a lot of non-stress appointments the last few weeks.  For those that don't know what those are, they are just a way to monitor baby.

I was waiting for my appointment yesterday.  My kids were goofing off in the waiting room.  I was telling them to calm down when someone caught my eye.

A tear-streaked woman being escorted by a nurse into the fetal monitoring office.

My heart sank.

I wanted to run over to her and hug her.

I didn't even know what was wrong, but it couldn't be good.

I sat and ached for her.

The last few appointments I have had nurses tell me I was the only good result that day.  I was speechless.  So many women having a hard time!  I had expected to be one of them.  Each test they come in and tell me my baby is doing great.  I almost don't believe them.  How?!  Then I think, well this time.  I know better.  Things can go from great to disaster in a moment.  One appointment Declan's heart was fine, the next...it wasn't.

I am so grateful things are going good so far.

My heart just hurts as I see the panic and worry on some of these mother's faces.  I remember that feeling as I waited to be seen after I had heard Declan's terrible hummingbird heartbeat.

As I sit in the non-stress tests whenever his heart beat goes up the slightest, my heart quickens.  I can't help it.  My eyes dart to the monitor and I watch as his heartbeat returns back to normal.  It is hard to resist the panic even though everything is going fine.

It is hard to feel no control over my body and what it is capable of accomplishing.  I told Christian last night how hard it is to be a mother and pregnant.  Our bodies house these special souls and when your body betrays you and doesn't take care of your child it is hard not to feel responsible.  But I know these things aren't in my hands and I have to let myself off the hook.  I'm doing all I can, there isn't more I can do.

December 11, 2013

Butterflies...


I have been away from the blogging world for quite a long time.  After getting super sick with this baby, I just haven't had the energy to get on the computer much.

Life has not been easy by any means.  I am very blessed that this baby has been able to stick with me through so much.  I am not sure how he is still here with the mess that is me.

This pregnancy has given me so much.  I have felt a peace with Declan's passing I wasn't expecting.  But I also have tapped into the anxiety of how hard doctor's appointments are for me.

A month ago I had an appointment and completely broke down during it.  My current doctor delivered Emmy, but didn't deliver Declan.  He forgets what happened to me.  I have to remind him, which is hard, but I do understand he has a lot of patients.

Even though I am going to a completely different office and nothing is remotely the same, I can't help feeling the nervousness.  I was a wreck the rest of the night after my appointment.  The next day I was bawling all day and couldn't stop.  As I draw near to birth of this baby, I worry.

What if it happens again?  How will I do it again?  How am I going to do all these appointments?!

I am now doing weekly appointments starting at 32 weeks.  My doctor is trying to take every precaution...which I appreciate.  But that means walking through that door every week praying that his heartbeat won't sound like a hummingbird...like Declan's.

I also have non-stress test appointments every week starting 32 weeks.  So that's two appointments a week...yikes!

It is completely worth it.  I've done this before with Emmy.  So I know I can get through, but I am so nervous I can't breathe some days.

I don't want to rush this pregnancy.  I want to enjoy it, but I have gestational diabetes and that just makes this all so complicated.

So much of me wants February to be here.  I almost feel as though I've been holding my breath for weeks.  Thanksgiving was fine, but I found myself relieved it was over.  I worry Christmas will be that way for me too.  I just want to know.  Will he come home with me?  Or will my heart shatter again?

I cried in the car yesterday telling Christian that I can't turn it off.  I can't be reasonable about this...love isn't reasonable.  I can't just stop caring about him.  I am attached...I dream of holding him and looking into his baby eyes.  I imagine resting my cheek against his as I inhale his amazing baby scent.  I can't help worrying that will be taken.

Every time I worry I haven't felt him move much, I stick my hand on my tummy and he starts to kick...as though he is telling me, "I'm still here!"

He finds my hand wherever I rest in on my pregnant belly.  I have never had a baby do that before.  I feel he is trying so hard to reassure me.

I know I will make it through this.  I know I will be so grateful for every moment I have with him.  I know that even though my pregnancies are super rough they are worth it...even with Declan.

I am very blessed to have two living children.  I will be very blessed to have a third living child.  I am even blessed to have an angel baby.

August 1, 2013

Struggles...

I have been absent for a long time.  My silence was due to challenges I was facing personally.

I had meant to get the button up for donations...that did not happen.

Life has been rough and is still getting rougher.

I will try to get things going with Declan's blankets again.  I'm not donating on his birthday anymore...that day I want to reserve for just my family from now on.

But I will try to get a donation together soon.

April 11, 2013

Knowing...

I was just finishing my workout when a song came on that took me right back to the time right after Declan died.

I inhaled and picture myself running.

Tears welled in my eyes as the song seemed to speak only to me.

I love that song!

It reminded me there is still a lot of life to be lived.  The pain was crushing me, but love would heal me.

Strange looking backward.  I felt so helpless and so lost.  I thought I would never get where I am now.  The long nights of anguish seemed endless...until the monstrous pain stopped growling all the time.

Soon it was every day...only not so painful.  I would feel relief...only to have the monster return with vengeance.

I was so frustrated with myself.

Why couldn't I handle this better?!

This song echoed my thoughts.  It, like many songs, gave me hope.

It seems a strange song to run to...since it is beautifully slow...but it kept me going.

The fast songs wouldn't last long.  My energy would wane and suddenly I was having to dig to the deepest recesses to accomplish my run.

The song pushed me forward, when I just wanted to give up and say, "I'm not going to make it!"  Both in my runs and in life.

(Safety Suit- Life Left to Go)

The monster is not yet gone, but not my constant companion either.  How wonderful it is to realize that!

March 20, 2013

Loving life again...


I knew the day would come when I started to feel like a normal person.  It was inevitable, but there were times I doubted.

I thought my life would be a sum of tears and road-blocks.

Diving in the deep recesses of my heart and mind I started to sort.  What was going to help me?  Self-doubt?  Self-loathing?  Fear?  I knew what to throw out.

I reminded myself I have the right to be happy.  I was placed here to succeed, not to fall into an unclimbable abyss.

I had to take a hard look at myself and what I wanted...then love myself for it.

I had to forgive myself for all that I had to do to stay afloat...mere survival.  I had to ask my husband to forgive me for falling apart and pulling away.

Then I looked where to start.

Me.

What in the world did I want?

I had to start with the basics.

I wanted my husband...always!

How would that happen?

Love him...leaving nothing to chance.

I wasn't going to hope we survived together...I was going to fight for it every single day!

He would never wonder if I loved him...I was going to assure him each day!

I remembered how deeply I wanted to be with him before we were married.  I had received resistance from others, but it didn't stop me from knowing he was everything I wanted and what I would fight for.

So the battle began...I brought out my weapons of love.  We would make sure this marriage was as strong as I could possibly make it.  The saying giving 200% hovered over my thoughts.

What else did I want?

I want my kids to know I love them.  I want them to know how much I want them to be happy in this life. 

Patience! 

I needed to be patient with myself as a mother, but also not throw up my hands in defeat wondering if that was the best I had.... 

I know it isn't.  I have so much to learn and hunger for the knowledge of becoming the best mom I am equipped to be.

Then what?

I wanted to enjoy the little things....

Just laughing more than I don't.

Loving each day...excited what it will bring...instead of wondering how in the world I was going to get through it.

So how in the world do I do that?

I had been trying for two and half years!

I felt it was there, but a fog was keeping it just out of reach.

There is no way to do alone...in my experience.

My faith in a Savior and God is the only way.

I tried it alone.  I would fall on my face every time.

It got to the point I was on my knees sobbing to God.  Telling Him as my Father that I would not make it. 

I knew at that moment when the rush of love came...I was doing it wrong.  I needed to have a Father/daughter relationship with him.  Go to Him with everything...even things that I didn't even think to talk to him about...because I thought it was too trivial.

A fire lit inside me.

I will be stronger than I ever would or could be before.  But not because of anything I was doing, but He who makes all weak things strong if we allow Him.

It was then I realized my life was going to be good...no Great!

Declan's departure would enhance my experience here...not cloud it.

It seems silly, but starting with simplistic desires was my way back to knowing how to navigate the rest of my life.

I don't have all the answers.

I guarantee I will still fall on my face occasionally when I forget my course. 

But I do know I have a patient Heavenly Father who will never stop reminding me of the person We both want me to be and will always love me.