RSS

Monthly Archives: January 2012

#32: A Vision

Shortly after Alex died, I had a dream. A pretty ordinary dream about getting my kids ready for daycare. But instead of Benjamin and Alex, it was Benjamin and a little girl. I remember zipping up a brown coat on this little girl and telling her that the coat used to belong to her big brother, Alex. I also remember telling her not to worry, because girls wore brown too!

This was a time when the loss of Alex was fresh, and the scars of his absence were raw. I could hardly imagine a life without him. This dream gave me new hope, and enabled me to think of a time when our family would go on.

At this time, I wasn’t even sure if we could get pregnant again, I didn’t know if it was possible. And I was pretty sure that we were destined to have another boy if we did get pregnant again. Flash forward to today. I am 20 weeks exactly, and I am carrying a girl.

Amazing.

I am so excited to be bringing a girl into our family. Not that I wouldn’t welcome whatever God gave us, but I’ve already had two perfect sons, one of them an angel. I am ready for a girl.

A girl is something different for us and for our family. New clothes, new blankets, new memories. A girl enables me to preserve all of the memories I have of Alex, but make room in my heart for a new bundle of joy.

I’ve already been humbled by the miracle in my womb. A surprise baby I was so eager to have… now I am humbled by the miracle of this dream. A dream that comes true is a vision, a gift from God. I remember asking my pastor, how do you know if a dream is a vision? His answer? Time.

Enough time has passed to prove that God had granted me a vision, and for that I will always be thankful. I am so in awe of His power and so grateful for His love and blessings in my life.

One last detail- in the dream, I looked at a photo of our family to see how many children we had- we had three children on Earth. I wonder if that’s the next chapter we have to look forward to…

Advertisements
 
2 Comments

Posted by on January 24, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

#31: Back

I started cleaning out the nursery. Not really for any reason in particular. I am putting away Christmas decorations and getting the whole house in order is just a bug that’s itching me right now.

Alex’s room has layers and layers of stuff. First, it was a catchall for any baby stuff in the entire house. Next, it was a place we would stash things if we were trying to keep the upstairs clean, then it became overflow as we would buy things for Benjamin- clothes he didn’t fit into yet. There are layers and layers of stuff in there. Seven months of layers, to be exact.

Last night I cleared through the first two layers to find the stuff that was really painful- the things that were pure Alex. I knew they were there, so I wasn’t surprised to find them. Perhaps I was just surprised to feel how hard it would be to revisit the things that were his. The clothes that only he wore, the plaster molds of his hands and feet, taken so lovingly after he died. His pacifiers, burp cloths, blankets and diapers, all mixed in with his death announcements, obituary printouts and pictures. It is collage of sadness.

I feel my eyes fill with tears and before I know it, I am faced with Alex’s death all over again. The emptiness in my heart of missing him, the heavy weight of wanting to feel him in my arms and the longing to smell his sweet baby scent.

It is ripe, fresh, new.

It’s not the same tragedy that I’ve been working through the last seven months. This feels different. Raw, painful, exposed.

I sort through the things that are Alex’s. Such a short life, marked only by photos and clothing- where are the real remnants of my child? The empty spot he seemed to fill in my mind, rounding out our family, and completing the vision I had for us. The special place he held in our lives, as Benjamin’s little brother. The short, staccato cries he would yelp when it was time to eat. The small curve of his hand around my finger, as I would nurse him until he fell asleep. Where is all of that, and how can I possibly accept the fact that all of those things are gone forever?

The only thing that remains of Alex is my memories of him. I feel like those fade every day. For every detail I recall, there are three other things I forget. At what point will I no longer have his memories to fill the hole in my heart?

Why did everything feel so good before? Was it just the euphoria that comes from an unexpected pregnancy? Will I go through cycles where things feel great, and then be completely leveled by a new facet of my grief? I don’t know.

I sort through the things that were Alex’s and I cry. I miss him all over again and the hurt is different. It’s not the numb ache I’ve learned to live with these past months- it’s something new. I don’t know what to do with his things, or this feeling, so I do the only thing I can. I compartmentalize them both. Alex’s belongings go into a tote. My hurt goes into a… I don’t know. I tuck it away for another time when I feel better equipped to handle it.

I’m just so surprised. I honestly thought I was all better.

 
5 Comments

Posted by on January 17, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

#30: Waiting

I’m almost 18 weeks along. In just a few weeks we will know if we should start buying things in blue or pink. Time flies! Kind of. As much as I am surprised how quickly the weeks pass, I am impatient to get into weeks 32 and beyond… to a point where I know the baby would be okay.

I don’t think I’m worrying irrationally about things, but after everything that has happened with Alex, I feel much more cautious. I understand how ephemeral life can be, and I am looking for some sort of guarantee that everything will be okay. When will I feel “in the clear” with everything?

I know right now that it won’t be once the baby is born. I will likely be scared that something could happen, or that the baby will have the same heart defect that Alex did. Will I feel okay if this baby makes it to three months instead of the two months Alex had? Will I feel calmer once the baby hits his/ her one year birthday? I don’t know.

I’m not paralyzed with fear, but everything that has happened has cast a small cloud over the rest of the horizon for us. It’s hard to enjoy things 100% because I understand how fleeting everything can be.

As I type this Benjamin is running around in his Gabba underwear,  pee dripping down his legs. “Benjamin, did you pee?”

“No, why?”

I should have learned more from everything that has happened with Alex. I should have learned to quit looking around the corner and to just live in the moment. Yes, there will be speed bumps and pot holes and anvils falling from the sky. There are also rainbows, sunrises, sunsets and shooting stars.

I love this family. Whatever form it takes, I will let God decide.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on January 8, 2012 in Uncategorized